‘Was scared to bowl him doosra’ - Saqlain Mushtaq recalls dismissing Sachin Tendulkar in 1999 Chennai Test
The 1999 Chennai Test between India and Pakistan saw one of the most exciting battles between the two arch-rivals in the longest format. India, chasing a target of 271, were reeling at 81/5 when Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar got a partnership going with wicketkeeper-batsman Nayan Mongia. While Mongia was dismissed for 52, with India going down 6 for 218, Tendulkar carried on and went on to score a ton. Just when it looked he will single-handedly win the match for India, the former right-handed batsman was dismissed by Pakistan spin legend Saqlain Mushtaq. India were bundled out for 258, losing the match by 12 runs.
Speaking to Sportstar in an Instagram Live chat, Mushtaq recalled his feat and said that God was on his side that fateful day. “God was on my side that day. I did not think that I will get the Master blaster (Sachin) out. But when god has plans, you can’t beat that. Till my last breath, it will give me enough pride that I could dismiss him that day. Mera naam uske naam ke saath juda rahega....”, he said.
Also Watch | ‘My brother & coach’: Sachin Tendulkar reveals the two most important people of his life
Mushtaq further went on to recall that he was motivated on the field by former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram. “He (Wasim Akram) told me that he had full faith in me and he believed that I could do something magical for the team. Those words helped and I suddenly felt stronger,” he said.
The former Pakistan right-arm bowler added that he was scared of bowling doosra to Tendulkar as he was ‘intimidating’. “I conceded a few boundaries, but eventually, got him out. Sachin had sharp eyes and he could read everything. It was intimidating. You wouldn’t believe, but I was scared to bowl him the doosra -- fearing that he might hit boundaries,” he said.
“That was his power. The pitch was slow, so it was tough. But then, with god’s grace, I could send him packing,” he added.
The Pakistan spin bowling legend further added that he enjoyed touring India because of the hospitality. “Touring India was always fun. People were hospitable. You could go out shopping or visit restaurants for Hyderabadi biryani and people won’t accept money. Such was the gesture. But on the field, we knew we could not afford to lose,” he said.