Sachin Tendulkar’s early exploits on the maidans of Mumbai were keenly followed by the city’s cricket fraternity, including former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar, who witnessed Tendulkar play in a Harris Shield match.
In fact, Vengsarkar had gifted Tendulkar a bat after he was selected to play for the Bombay under-15 side. Impressed by the little master in the making, Vengsarkar wanted to test his capabilities at a higher level.
It so happened that India were hosting New Zealand for a Test in 1988, and Vengsarkar, the then captain, arranged a session at the nets for Tendulkar.
The bowlers he had to face were the best in the country at the time, led by the ‘Haryana Hurricane’ Kapil Dev. Although hesitant to bowl to a teenager, the pacer went ahead on Vengsarkar’s insistence.
The way he tackled the pacer convinced Vengsarkar that the youngster had it in him and that eventually got him a place in the Ranji Trophy side.