Sachin Tendulkar birthday special: Exclusive — Former India all-rounder Sunil Joshi walks down memory lane
On Sachin Tendulkar's 47th birthday today (April 24), the batting legend's former teammate all-rounder Sunil Joshi, in an exclusive interview with Asianet Newsable, shares his best memories with Tendulkar
Bengaluru: As batting legend and former India captain Sachin Tendulkar turned 47 today (April 24), his former teammate, Sunil Joshi travelled down memory lane to share some of his best cricket moments spent with Tendulkar.
In an exclusive interview with Asianet Newsable, the 49-year-old Joshi, who played Tests and ODIs between 1996 and 2001, hailed Tendulkar’s contribution to India and world cricket. He called him “big cricketing brain” and thanked the India and Mumbai superstar for his professionalism and concern towards fellow cricketers.
Also read: Fans trend #HappyBirthdaySachin on Twitter
Joshi, who is now the chairman of the BCCI selection committee, recalled his time spent with Tendulkar and shared the following memories including the one from the epic India-Pakistan Test in Chennai in 1999.
England tour, 1996
“My association with Sachin Tendulkar has been since my debut Test match in Birmingham, England, in 1996. I remember I got hit on my finger while batting in the first innings, against England. During the second innings, I was sitting in the dressing room and was not padded up. Then, during the drinks interval, he sent a message from the middle, he was batting on 60 or 67, I think. His message was ask ‘Joey to get padded up and be ready, he has to come and bat’. Even though I had a hairline fracture, I came back and batted with him and he got a hundred (122). That is something which Sachin really appreciated about me.”
West Indies tour, 1997
“In 1997, first Test match in Kingston, Jamaica, I remember, India needed 80-odd runs to save the follow-on against the West Indies. During the lunch interval, captain Sachin came up to Nayan Mongia and me and said, 'Joey, I want to see you only at the end of the day not before that' (Joshi was the last man out for 43 and India avoided the follow-on. Later, the Test was drawn). He was very keen in communicating with the players, with right words and in the right way.”
Titan Cup, 1996
“These two incidents I remember and I want to talk about one more, from Titan Cup (1996). In Punjab (Mohali), we were playing against Australia. I think I came on to bowl between the 27th and 32nd overs. I bowled three dot balls to Steve Waugh. On the fourth ball, he drove the ball towards me and used a four-letter word at me. I threw the ball back to him and (wicketkeeper) Nayan Mongia missed it. The ball went to the boundary for four overthrows. Sachin was fielding at short midwicket. He was screaming at me. I told him, don’t worry I will get his wicket and had him stumped by Mongia. After that we had a good laugh though it was a tense match (virtual semi-final, India won and entered final).”
“I have had fair amount of partnerships with him. We had one in Nagpur in a Test (2000) against Zimbabwe where he scored 201 not out.”
India-Pakistan Test, Chennai, 1999
“In that epic Chennai Test against Pakistan in 1999, Sachin kept telling me that his back was hurting. I told him, 'I know that, you don’t score runs, I will score. Please stay at the wicket’. Post drinks interval, Wasim (Akram) bowled to me and ball swung and went outside the off-stump. Immediately, Sachin came to me and said, 'ball is reversing, just look at my bat' in which had it will be. He told me to stand on middle stump to counter the reverse swing. Later, Sachin kept on changing his bat from right to left hand. Right hand was in-swing and left hand was out-swing. That is something which I cherish. We lost that Test. We could have easily won the match if I had stayed for long. That knock (136) of Sachin, I will never forget. With so much pain, he kept on batting till the end. I would say that is one of the best Test knocks which I have seen from Sachin.
“Sachin was disappointed with the loss against Pakistan. It was very close, we lost by 12 runs. I remember, after the match, Pakistan captain Wasim was telling Sachin, 'I was not worried about you but I was worried about this guy (Joshi) because it was a matter of two big hits and he was capable of doing it'. When I hit Saqlain (Mushtaq) for a six, Wasim put all the fielders on the boundary. Even when I got out, my intention was to take a single but my bat got stuck in my pad and I was caught and bowled by Saqlain.
“I have spent quite a number of years with Sachin in the Indian dressing room. He has given a lot for India and the whole cricket world to enjoy. I too have enjoyed Sachin’s companionship, professionalism and concern. He is a big cricketing brain. Wishing him a wonderful birthday.”