Sachin Tendulkar is regarded to be one of the best batsmen to have ever played the game. He holds an embarrassing number of records including those of most centuries and most runs scored in One Day Internationals and Test matches. The Master Blaster is also the only batsman to have scored 100 centuries in international cricket.
Tendulkar, throughout his career, was a team player and would put its interests before personal glory. There were although a few times in his career when Tendulkar felt let down by his team.
We list those occasions when the legendary batsman was unhappy with the team and their decisions.
1. The Asia Cup in 1997
Sachin Tendulkar was the captain of the Indian team for the 1997 Asia Cup in Sri Lanka. Tendulkar’s captaincy was thought to be in danger at the time after the team’s repeated poor performances.
In response to several surprising changes to the squad by the national selectors, Sachin Tendulkar voiced his displeasure, saying that he had been saddled with a “B-grade” team and expected to perform.
Tendulkar was believed to have wanted Vinod Kambli and Nayan Mongia in the squad ahead of Mohammad Azharuddin and wicketkeeper Saba Karim. Despite these differences with the selectors, Sachin Tendulkar led the team to the finals where India lost to the host Sri Lanka.
2. India vs West Indies, Kanpur 1994
Manoj Prabhakar and Nayan Mongia were batting with India chasing a target of 257 against the West Indies and needed a reasonably gettable 63 runs off 54 balls. What ensued puzzled viewers as the next nine overs saw only 16 runs being added by the pair.
Manoj Prabhakar was claimed to have been told by Mongia that the team directive was to conserve wickets and added that he faced only 11 balls from the last 48 balls of the innings, scoring nine runs off them. Mongia, on the other hand, had scored four off 21 balls. He had also missed a blatant run-out earlier in the game.
Mongia and Prabhakar’s performances gave rise to suspicions of match-fixing. Sachin Tendulkar later told the CBI in their match-fixing investigations that he had been so upset with the performance that he did not speak to them for a while after the match.
3. Declaration with Sachin Tendulkar on 194*
The Master Blaster was just six runs short of a double-century in the first innings of the Multan Test against Pakistan when Rahul Dravid declared the innings after Yuvraj Singh’s wicket. Sachin Tendulkar was hurt that the captain had declared the innings without giving him the agreed number of overs to do so.
Sachin Tendulkar had said that the plan was to put Pakistan in to bat with 15 overs to be bowled for the day and Dravid had declared with 16 overs left to go, not allowing him to get his double century.
Tendulkar admitted in his autobiography that he was shocked at this decision, “Disappointed and upset, I made my way back to the dressing room and could sense that the whole team was surprised at the decision (Rahul Dravid declaring with me stranded at 194).”
4. Greg Chappell’s tenure as coach
Greg Chappell’s tenure as coach was mired in controversy. He held huge differences of opinion with Sachin Tendulkar and wanted him to start batting in the middle order during India’s 2007 World Cup, which the batsman declined.
Sachin Tendulkar was also shocked when the Australian coach visited him months before the World Cup telling him to take over the team’s captaincy and saying that together they could control Indian cricket for years.
Sachin Tendulkar was surprised to see the coach not showing any respect for the captain and his position, and later described the Australian as a ringmaster who imposed his ideas on the players.
Sachin Tendulkar went to the extent of suggesting to the BCCI that the best option for India in the World Cup was to leave Greg Chappell behind.
5. Yuvraj Singh’s reaction after getting out
Yuvraj Singh learnt a life lesson from Sachin Tendulkar after getting out cheaply to Australia in Mumbai. Following his poor performance, Yuvraj Singh walked into the dressing room and smashed his bat on the floor, breaking it to bits. This did not go down well with Tendulkar, who was in the dressing room at that time.
Sachin Tendulkar got annoyed at the southpaw and told him off saying that he earned his money and food because of cricket and he should respect the game and never do something like this again.