The batting legend Sachin Tendulkar has had on-field rivalries with several legendary bowlers like Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Wasim Akram, Allan Donald, Muttiah Muralitharan, James Anderson, Shoaib Akhtar to name a few. However, his on-field rivalry with former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq was also one of the talking points. However, everyone knows about Saqlain’s doosra to Tendulkar in the 1999 Chennai Test that saw his dismissal and he recently opined on that.
“I once had an incident with Sachin. We went to Canada. I had come there after playing County cricket in England. I was a young boy then and I was in my own world of bowling. So after playing County I became a little cocky. Sachin was a very intelligent cricketer. I bowled a very tight first over to him and sledged him. I used some harsh words. He came to me and said very nicely “Saqi… I never thought you would do this. And you don’t even appear the kind of person who would say such words. I thought you’re a very decent person”. He said it so nicely and believe me for the next 4 overs, his words hit me. I was so consumed by what he said to me that before I could realise, he had done his job. He got set while batting,” Saqlain said on The Nadir Ali podcast.
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However, the Former Pakistan spinner also revealed how they caught up and discussed what had transpired on the ground.
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“These are tactics. When someone talk to you nicely, you start thinking about it. While I was in my own thoughts, Sachin kept hitting at least one boundary in the next 4-5 overs and I began respecting him. When he finally stepped out and smashed another four, I felt a slap on my face. I then realised ‘He played a game with me’. By then he was well set and things had gotten out of my hands. Later in the evening, we met and the hotel and I said to him ‘You’re a clever person’. And he started smiling. How well did he trap me. Not with the bat, but only by using his words,” concluded Saqlain Mushtaq.