‘Who scores triple-centuries at school’: Waqar Younis recalls first memory of Sachin Tendulkar
Waqar revealed how he and the rest of his teammates were taken aback knowing what Tendulkar had done in domestic cricket.Updated: Jul 04, 2020 16:46 IST
Sachin Tendulkar and Waqar Younis made their Test debuts together during the 1989 Test series between India and Pakistan and the former speedster recalled his first memory of the then “Indian batting prodigy”, revealing how he and the rest of his teammates were taken aback knowing what he’d done in domestic cricket.
“About Sachin, the entire India Under-19 team, they were just raving about him, saying how good that little kid is. He’s only a schoolboy, scoring triple-centuries at school. Who scores triple-centuries at school? Even scoring a century at school is an amazing thing,” Waqar said on The Greatest Rivalry podcast.
“We always knew there was this young kid coming on the block who was going to be amazing. At first look, he didn’t really give me the impression that he’s going to be the great Sachin Tendulkar, what he is today. What he has done over the years is amazing, on the field, off the field. At that particular time, I didn’t realise he was going to be such a big name in cricket. But his hard work paid off.”
Despite Shahid Saeed and Salil Ankola being the other two debutants, neither career picked up the way Waqar and Tendulkar’s did with the two players going ahead and engaging in numerous battles. Waqar in fact was the first bowler to dismiss Tendulkar in Tests, when he got him out for 15 on his debut. Tendulkar went on to hit scores of 59, 8, 41 and 35 before finishing the series off with a knock of 57, during which he was dealt a bloody nose after being hit by a Waqar bouncer.
“The first Test was at Karachi and I got him early. I think he scored 15. He played a couple of really classy on-drives and straight drives in that 15. He didn’t score much after that in that series but the fifty you were mentioning which he scored in Sialkot, that was on a green top wicket,” the former Pakistan quick said.
“We wanted a result. We wanted the series to have a result and we produced a real green-topper. He came in and got hit on the nose very early in the innings. For a 16-year-old kid, he looked pale at the time, but very determined. I remember [Navjot Singh] Sidhu was batting with him and they both took five, seven minutes and [then] he was ready to go. Then he played that knock of fifty which really showed his class. We knew he was going to be something very special by then.”