Former Indian batter Sachin Tendulkar is widely regarded as one of the greatest in the history of the game. A record holder for the most runs in both ODIs and Tests, Tendulkar commanded a huge respect as a batsman during his playing days, even from the opponents. The bowlers thought twice before sledding the ‘Master Blaster’, being careful not to excite Tendulkar with gestures or words. However, an Indian bowler committed the same mistake; what followed was narrated by former cricketer Deep Dasgupta during his commentary stint in the third ODI between India and the West Indies.
Dasgupta revealed an incident from the 2007 Ranji Trophy final between Bengal and Mumbai where the latter played with big guns like Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar, Wasim Jaffer and a young Rohit Sharma in the XI. The Bengal team had a youngster named Ashoke Dinda who would appear for India several times in the future; Dasgupta, then Bengal captain, recalled how Dinda looked at Tendulkar after hitting him on the elbow, then the Indian batter replied in style.
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“It was the final of the Ranji Trophy between Bengal and Mumbai. I was the Bengal captain, we had won the toss and chose to bowl. It was a wet wicket and they had lost some quick wickets. It was a real Mumbai side, with Zaheer, Ajit, Rohit… you name it,” Dasgupta began.
“They lost two wickets early and Sachin came out at bat. It was the first season of Ashoke Dinda, he was young and fast. I had already told him: ‘With Sachin you just come bowling’. Dinda at the time had a habit that when he beat the batter, he would simply take 2-3 extra steps in his follower and glare at him. So I categorically said to him, ‘Don’t say anything to Sachin’.”
It would turn out that Dinda was staring at Sachin after a few pitches, and the batter went on to score a century (105) in the innings.
“Then, on one ball, he bowls a little short, it bounces off the wicket and hits Sachin on the elbow. He shakes his hand, it was obvious he was injured. And then Dinda comes and starts to look at him angrily. I was like, “What are you doing man!” I ran up to him, put my hand on his shoulder and said “go back, go back” And then Sachin got an 80 or a 100 (105) So “You have to be careful what you talk to whom. Because players like him can punish you,” Dasgupta concluded.
Mumbai went on to win the match by 132 runs.