Piyush Chawla talks about the time when cleaned up Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar is regarded as one of the legends of cricket. The right-hander registered 15,921 runs in 200 Tests, apart from scoring 18,426 runs in 463 ODIs as well. To this day, he is the only cricketer to score 100 international centuries. Throughout his career, Tendulkar faced several world-class bowlers including the likes of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Shane Warne, Shoaib Akhtar, Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee, Dale Steyn, etc. But in 2005, when Tendulkar was still a major threat for most bowling units in the world, a 16-year-old Piyush Chawla managed to get his wicket.
It was the final of 2005 Challenger Trophy in which India B team faced off against India Seniors in Mohali. India Seniors team had won the toss and elected to field. The Dinesh Mongia-led India B team were bundled out for 177. While chasing, in the 7th over Chawla cleaned up Tendulkar for 22. In a recent interaction on chat show ‘Homerun with AV’ with sports commentator Arun Venugopal on his YouTube channel Gethist Creative, Chawla recalled the moment.
“So, like on a lot of occasions when something like this happens, in this match, too, Parthiv Patel was behind the stumps. Dinesh (Mongia) bhai was the captain. As a 15-16 year old, when you are going to bowl at Sachin paaji, only two things are possible: you are either very nervous or very relaxed. Luckily, I was very relaxed,” Chawla said.
“Even if Sachin paaji hits me, how does that matter? If a man, who has taken the likes of Shane Warne, (Muttiah) Muralitharan, and Glenn McGrath to the cleaners, hits me as well, that’s not a big thing. So at that time I had nothing to lose. I was just enjoying the ‘Oh I am bowling to Sachin paaji’ feeling,” the former Kolkata Knight Riders leggie added.
“So, as a bowler when you start from your run-up, you think about what you exactly want to bowl. On that particular one, I don’t know what exactly happened. When I started off from my run-up, that too bowling inside the field restrictions, I thought I will bowl a normal leg-spin from the leg stump going away from him. To be very honest, I still don’t know – it’s almost 16 years now. I don’t know what came to my mind and I just bowled a wrong ‘un,” he recalled.
A year later, Tendulkar faced Chawla again and smashed him for 20 runs in his first over. “People remember that I had got paaji out in that fashion. Paaji, too, isn’t a man who forgets things quickly. The very next year, again in a Challenger Trophy game in Chennai, paaji smashed me around for 20 runs in my first over (chuckles)! That’s what I was saying: if paaji hits me around, it’s not a big deal. Paaji has smashed so many bowlers, which is why people don’t remember this (particular caning),” Chawla said.