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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

Knowledgeable, 'paaji', prankster: mates share fond memories of Tendulkar

Hindustan Times   October 11, 2013
First Published: 00:26 IST(11/10/2013) | Last Updated: 13:18 IST(17/10/2013)

All the players, who have either played with Sachin Tendulkar or seen him play as coaches or former cricketers, have a special story about the great batsman to narrate. HT presents a few of the interesting tales and memories of these people with Sachin.

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Cheteshwar Pujara
I got out for four on my debut; he told me the ball had kept low and maybe even he would have got out. He asked me not to worry. I’m thankful to him for all the guidance throughout my career. Personally I’ll miss his guidance as well because

I’ve been interacting with him about how to become a good cricketer. He has an aura; whenever he’s on the field there’s a different aura.

His presence is always felt. Whenever he’s in the dressing room, he has all the information. He has played against most of the bowlers in the world. Whenever I’m facing a new bowler, I go up to him and ask what to do. We’ll miss his knowledge and experience.

As a youngster, I always felt comfortable with him at the crease. I first met him during a Duleep Trophy game. I wasn’t playing but I spoke to him. It was a really different playing.

Manoj Tiwary
I came back from Bangladesh with a shoulder dislocation and Paaji (that’s how juniors in Indian team refer to him) was leaving for Test series.

He enquired from local manager and called me up and asked about what I am doing with my rehab. I said I was going to Mumbai to get a surgery done by Dr Anant Joshi.

Paaji immediately spoke to Dr Andrew Wallace in London and arranged for an appointment and surgery. That was something I could never forget.

Ajit Wadekar, former India captain
It was 31st March and we were in the middle of our 1994 New Zealand tour. Suddenly around midnight, Sachin came to my room huffing and puffing.

He asked me to rush to his room where Kapil (Dev) was not keeping well all of a sudden. When I asked Sachin what happened to Kapil, he said, “Kapil paaji is elder to me so it wouldn’t look nice if I asked him, so I didn’t. You come and check for yourself.”

Even though Sachin is a big prankster, I trusted him and rushed to his room in my pyjama itself. When I entered the room, the entire team was standing there with a huge cake in the centre.

Even Sunil (Gavaskar), who was commentating, had joined in. Since my birthday falls on April 1, not only did they wish me a happy birthday but also happy April Fools’ Day.


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