Former India captain and current president of the BCCI Sourav Ganguly revealed why Sachin Tendulkar never wanted to take strike while opening with him for India in ODIs. Sachin and Ganguly are among the best opening pairs in the history of ODI cricket and produced several match-winning partnerships for India.
Tendulkar avoided facing the first ball in 50-overs cricket due to 2 particular superstitions, his former opening partner Sourav Ganguly revealed.
Ganguly was hosted for a freewheeling chat by India’s Test opener Mayank Agarwal recently where he spoke about his pairing with Sachin as an opener. Sachin and Ganguly are the ninth most prolific pair in the history of ODIs with 4173 runs in 71 matches at an average of 61.36 with 12 century and 16 fifty-plus stands to their name.
Both Sachin and Ganguly had the skills and temperament to single-handedly take on any bowling attack on their day, however, when it came to taking the strike it was always Ganguly who had to step up as Sachin always had a reason to not face the first ball.
“Always he did. He had an answer to that. I used to tell him sometimes you also face the first ball, I am always facing the first ball. He had two answers to it: One – he believed if his form is good it should continue and he should remain at the non-striker’s end. And when his form was not good he used to say I should remain at the non-striker end because it takes the pressure off me,” Ganguly told Mayank when asked if Sachin used to force him to take the strike when opening together.
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“So he had an answer for both good form and bad form. Until and unless You walk past him one day and you stood at the non-striker’s end and he would already be on TV and would be forced to be at the striker’s end. That has happened 1-2 times, I just walked past him and stood at the non-striker’s end,” Ganguly added.
Ganguly and Sachin shared the dressing room for over a decade and were strong pillars of the Indian batting line-up throughout their playing careers. The duo was part of the Indian team which won the iconic Natwest series in 2002 and reached the final of the ICC World Cup in 2003 where India lost against Australia in the final.