The Tendulkar paradox

Sachin and the tyros

Sachin Tendulkar's wicket in the Asia Cup final was only the second one that Dilshan Tillakaratne had taken

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan

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Monty Panesar may well have dreamt that his first victim in Test cricket would be Sachin Tendulkar, but when he actually went out and trapped Tendulkar lbw on the third day of the first Test at Nagpur his celebrations were understandably wild. And, guess what, it's not the first time Tendulkar has fallen to a bowler who hasn't exactly established his credentials at the international level. In the piece below, published in the August issue of Wisden Asia Cricket, Siddhartha Vaidyanathan examines this strange tendency.

Sachin Tendulkar walks off after being dismissed by Asim Saeed, who pocketed $1000 for the first wicket of his career © AFP

Much of the pre-match talk before India's first game of the Asia Cup focused on the $1000 that an UAE official had promised any bowler who could dismiss Sachin Tendulkar. Asim Saeed, the left-arm seamer, pocketed the sum after Tendulkar lobbed a catch to midwicket on 18. That turned out to be Saeed's only wicket in the tournament, and it gained him entry into an exclusive club of bowlers who have dismissed Tendulkar for below 25.

Remember Chris Drum, the medium-pacer from New Zealand who haunted Sachin for 23 balls, didn't concede a run and got him out twice? At Gwalior in 1999 he bowled 15 consecutive dot-balls to Tendulkar, inducing him into pulling the next, which flew to first slip. In the next game at Guwahati, he got better. Six dots, and the wicket in the seventh. Drum played one more ODI in his career, finishing with an aggregate of four wickets.

And of course we all remember Joseph Angara, the innocuous Kenyan medium-pacer who had Tendulkar in knots at Port Elizabeth in 2001. Two full maidens and one dot-ball before the stumps were rattled. Angara has 14 wickets in one-dayers at an average of 40.64.

Ranjith Madurasinghe, the Sri Lankan offspinner, played three Tests. The Australian legspinner Peter McIntyre two. Manzoor Akhtar, the Pakistan leggie, played seven ODIs. All managed to get Tendulkar out for less than 12.

But who was the most obscure of them all? Neil Williams, the English medium-pacer, played just one Test, in 1990 at The Oval, and dismissed Tendulkar for 21. To cap things, when Tendulkar played two games for Yorkshire against Middlesex in 1992, Williams was the catcher who accounted for his wicket both times.

This article was first published in the August issue of Wisden Asia Cricket.
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