Sachin Tendulkar recalled what prompted him, as a 16-year-old, to take on one of the greatest spinners of all time. He hit none other than the maestro, Abdul Qadir, for 28 runs in an over during a 20-over exhibition match against Pakistan in 1989.
Abdul Qadir had challenged Tendulkar to ‘try and hit’ him before that over. The little master revealed to Aakash Chopra in his YouTube channel that it was at this point of time that he decided to have a go.
“Mushtaq (Ahmed) was bowling, he got hit for two sixes and a four. Abdul Qadir came to me and said ‘I’ll bowl from this side. Try and hit me’. I said you’re such a senior bowler, I can’t hit you that easily. So from there, we started chasing. That was a big over, we got some 27-28 runs.”
Sachin Tendulkar hit Abdul Qadir for four sixes in that over, including three consecutive ones off the last three balls. Such an assault was a rarity in that era. It was even more astonishing that one of the greatest spinners ever had fallen victim to a teenager.
It was the match in which Sachin Tendulkar announced himself to the world
Sachin Tendulkar was known as a child prodigy in cricketing circles even before making his international debut. And he used this exhibition match to announce his arrival to the world.
The former Indian batsman went out to bat at no.4 when India required over 16 runs per over to win in the last four overs. He remained unbeaten on 53 with India losing narrowly.
“I was batting at No. 4 and I remember when I had gone out to bat, we had to score some 65-70 runs in four overs[...] Kris Srikkanth was the captain so our discussion was to get some practice for the next game. I told Chikka ‘I think we should go for the total’. He said ‘Yes, why not.’”
Sachin Tendulkar made his ODI and Test debuts during this tour to Pakistan. While he got to play just one ODI during the tour, the 41-year-old batted in 4 test matches and scored 215 runs at an average of 35.83.