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Untold story of Sachin's golden ducks and one crucial run

January 31, 2024 16:57 IST

0 0 1: Sachin Tendulkar's sequence of scores before he got down to changing cricket

Sachin Tendulkar

IMAGE: Sachin Tendulkar said that was when he understood the importance of scoring one run. Photograph: Hitesh Harisinghani/

Invited to attend Sachin Tendulkar's "first match of his life" by the player himself, his friends returned home disappointed as the batsman they had gone to cheer for was out for a golden duck.

The "colony's main batsman" made some excuses to his group of supporters and convinced that the dismissal was not Tendulkar's fault, the same set of audience thronged the ground for his second match, but, to their horror, he let them down one more time, with another first-ball zero.

For the third match, Tendulkar avoided calling his friends to the ground, hoping for a change in fortunes. But the move did not bring him any luck and all he could do was open his account.


Tendulkar, nonetheless, was relieved with that "one run" and went back from the ground feeling happy, heralding the beginning of a journey that would change the face of cricket forever.

"In the first match of my life, I called all my friends from the Sahitya Sahwas. I was the main batsman of the colony and I called them to watch. All my friends came and I got out on the first ball, which was quite disappointing," Tendulkar said on Wednesday.

"I made some excuses which were usually acceptable in gully cricket. I said, 'actually the ball was low' and they all agreed. In the next match I called them again and I got out on the first ball."

"I made an excuse again and said, 'this ball was a little high, it flew away from there and it was the fault of the pitch and not mine'. But in the third match, I said I won't call them as I would be wasting their time. (I thought) I will go alone," added the little master.

Tendulkar said that was when he understood the importance of scoring one run.

"I went and scored one run. I remember (that) I played 5-6 balls and I got out on one run. But somewhere I was happy — I scored one run. I went back to Bandra from Shivaji Park and that bus journey was a pleasant bus journey because I had scored one run," he said.

"I realised the importance of a single run that is scored because later everyone used to tell us that one run can cost you, (that) either you can win or you can lose.

"But, it was such a big transformation. In the first two matches, I had two scores of zero and then scored one run and went home — that one run changed my mood," said Tendulkar, who is the only batter in history to have scored 100 international centuries across formats.

The legendary batter also revealed that playing gully cricket with a straight boundary back at his first home in the city helped him develop his trademark straight drive, which was later perfected by his coach Ramakant Achrekar.

Tendulkar said since he used to play with boys above his age and there would be space constraints at his home at Sahitya Sahwas in Bandra, he was forced to look for hits down the wicket which would fetch him four runs.

"My favourite shot, one which goes behind bowler -- straight drive -- that was my favourite shot. And I started playing that shot at the Sahitya Sahawas, because there were no fielders (behind the bowler)," Tendulkar said during an Indian Street Premier League (ISPL) event in MUmbai.

"When I went to Shivaji Park and started practising with (Ramakant) Achrekar sir, he would tell me that I should show my full face (of the bat) -- that is the safest way to clear a ball," said Tendulkar, adding that playing with the tennis ball was one of his earliest memories of cricket.

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