Sachin Tendulkar’s back spasm was maybe a psychological tactic against Pakistan: Saqlain Mushtaq on 1999 Chennai Test
Remembering that iconic Test match which Pakistan won by 12 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series, former Pakistan off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq said the back spasm was probably Sachin’s tactic to apply psychological pressure on the Pakistan bowlers.Updated: Jul 12, 2020 07:10 IST
Sachin Tendulkar’s 136 against Pakistan in the 1st Test match at Chennai in 1999 is considered to be one of his best knocks. Sachin’s back spasm during that innings is as famous as his dazzling display of strokeplay against a Pakistan attack comprising of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Saqlain Mushtaq. Sachin battled severe cramps and nearly guided India to a famous win single-handedly on a fifth-day Chennai track that was anything but easy to bat on.
Remembering that iconic Test match which Pakistan won by 12 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series, former Pakistan off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq said the back spasm was probably Sachin’s tactic to apply psychological pressure on the Pakistan bowlers.
“Did Sachin play the next match after that?” asked Saqlain on a YouTube show called Cricket Baaz when asked to react on Sachin’s injury during that game.
“He had given a slight indication of his injury but we were all saying that he was using it as a psychological tactic against us. I feel, not sure how far it is true, that these are tactics of batsmen and even bowlers that they would come hobbling and then would bowl a fast bouncer and claim a wicket.”
Saqlain, who had picked up five-fors in both innings of that Test match and had dismissed Tendulkar on both the innings also, added that it could have been a minor injury as Sachin Tendulkar went on to play the next couple of Test matches.
“You never know. They were saying that he had back spasms, he played the next Test match and after that other matches also. It is possible that it was something like someone getting a cramp while bowling, but it was not anything major.”
Saqlain, who is hailed as the inventor of the ‘doosra’ delivery, however, did not forget to add that every sportsman plays with a niggle or two, which can be physical and sometimes even mental.
“My claim is that any cricketer who is playing competitive cricket, would always be carrying a niggle. There are some niggles which are physical and then there are some niggles in the mind when you don’t have surety. The day someone performs, niggles are there with him, but his mind is clear,” added Saqlain.
While chasing 261 for victory India had lost half their side for only 82. Sachin then stitched a terrific 136-run stand wicket-keeper Nayan Mongia to bring India right back in the game before the latter played a rash shot to throw his wicket away for 52.
Struggling with back pain, Tendulkar then took matters in his own hands and started to attack the Pakistan bowlers. He succeeded in getting a few boundaries but got a top edge to a Saqlain doosra when India were at 27 more runs to win.
After Tendulkar’s dismissal, India lost their last three wickets for just four runs and Pakistan won the Test match by 12 runs.