Sourav Ganguly on Monday shared an fascinating nugget relating to his long-time opening companion Sachin Tendulkar, mentioning how the star batsman by no means wished to take first strike. Ganguly revealed Tendulkar had his causes for not taking first strike, saying he was better off being on the non-striker’s end regardless of whether or not he was in kind or off form.
However, a cursory look at Tendulkar’s numbers counsel that the previous India batsman by no means had the most effective of outings when he took first strike early in his career. Out of 344 innings as an opener, Tendulkar has confronted the first ball only 49 instances, wherein he’s scored 1625 runs. Contrastingly, his ODI average of 48.29 slipped to 36.11 in these matches. Only twice has Tendulkar scored a century whereas dealing with the first ball of the innings – 120 against Sri Lanka in the 1999 Aiwa Cup and 114 vs South Africa in Mumbai.
It was in 1994 in a match against New Zealand that Tendulkar was promoted to open the batting in ODIs for the first time. But it wouldn’t be for one more two years that Tendulkar would face the first ball of the innings. During the 1996 World Cup, Tendulkar confronted the first ball twice, scoring three and 65 against Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka. A month later, he confronted the first ball against Sri Lanka in a match in Singapore and fell for 28.
It would take one other 20 innings for Tendulkar to face the first ball again. Clearly, he didn’t choose taking first strike. On events when Tendulkar has began as a non-striker, his average climbs as much as 50.31. Taking first strike, Tendulkar has scored 13685 runs, with 43 ODI centuries.
However, regardless of his reluctance to take strike, considered one of Tendulkar’s most epic ODI knocks have come whereas dealing with the first ball – the 98 against Pakistan in the 2003 World Cup match. It could baffle you to know that the last time Tendulkar confronted the first ball in an ODI was manner back in 2004, eight years before his retirement in 2012.