“I Think I Have Caught A Hold Of Him”: Saqlain Mushtaq Explains How He Plotted Sachin Tendulkar’s Dismissal In 1999 Chennai Test

Sachin Tendulkar. Photo- Twitter
Sachin Tendulkar. Photo- Twitter

Sachin Tendulkar was a part of many India-Pakistan cricketing battles in his career. He was the biggest hope for India with the bat throughout the 1990s and won many matches single-handedly from seemingly impossible positions.

Sachi Tendulkar had intense battles with Shoaib Akhtar, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, and Saqlain Mushtaq playing against Pakistan in his career. He played a lot against Saqlain during the 1990s and he was one bowler who troubled him a lot during that phase.

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The former Pakistan spinner in a recent candid conversation on The Nadir Ali podcast spoke about how he plotted Tendulkar’s dismissal in the famous Chennai Test match in 1999. Pakistan toured India for two Test matches during the Kargil War in 1999. They won the first Test in Chennai and India won the second in Delhi to draw the series 1-1.

Pakistan scored 238 in the first innings to which India replied scoring 254. Sachin Tendulkar was out for a duck in the first innings and dismissed by Saqlain Mushtaq himself. Pakistan scored 286 in the second innings leaving India to chase 271 in the second innings.

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Sachin Did Not Play A Shot In The First 10 Overs And Then Started Hitting Me: Saqlain Mushtaq

Sachin played one of the knocks of his Test career with immense back pain. He scored 136 and took India out of trouble after they were down and out at 82/5. Saqlain Mushtaq in the podcast first explained how Sachin Tendulkar did not play a single shot against him in the first 10 overs and watched him carefully.

“India vs Pakistan Chennai Test. There is no better Test in Pakistan’s cricket history – it was rated the No. 1 Test. In the first innings, I dismissed Sachin in the first or second delivery. Next innings when he came to bat, which was at a very crucial point in the match, Sachin did not play a single shot for the first 10 overs. He observed all my tricks which I threw at him. I tried off-spin, doosra, top-spin, arm-ball, bowled quicker off-breaks, flighted deliveries… he just played me cautiously for 10-12 overs. After that, he started smashing me,” Saqlain said on The Nadir Ali podcast.

Saqlain then shared an interesting anecdote of his conversation with Wasim Akram the then-Pakitan skipper. He spoke about how he urged Akram to take him out of the bowling attack as Sachin was reading his variations beautifully. All this was a part of planning and plotting Sachin’s dismissal.

“Then came a time when I went to Wasim Akram. I told him ‘Wasim bhai… I think he is reading me well so please take me off and bring someone else. Akram told me ‘Brother, no matter what, you will bowl from this end. I don’t trust anyone else. If this match turns, it will because of you’. I would give a lot of credit to Wasim Akram. This is the communication he and I had during that match.”

Saqlain Mushtaq Shares Story Of How He Dismissed Sachin Tendulkar In the Chennai Test

The former Pakistan spinner spoke about how he did not bowl any single variation to Sachin and just bowled him off-spinners to divert his mind from all his other variations. Despite a bad back, Tendulkar looked settled and good to take India to a win. He had single-handedly brought India close and put them on the brink of victory before a rare lapse in concentration cost him his wicket. This is the story of the famous Sachin dismissal.

“For the next 10-12 overs, I did not bowl a single variation to him. I kept him hooked to just one ball which is off-spin and set one field so that he forgets all that he saw and observed in the first 10 overs. I didn’t show him the doosra – neither at the striker end or the non-striker end. And when he forgot, I went to Akram and said ‘I think now I have caught a hold of him. I will now take a chance against him’. Then I bowled a doosra and he went after him. Sachin had scored a 100 by then and had hit him for almost 16-17 fours. India needed 37 to win with 5 wickets to left, and Sachin top-edged it and Wasim took the catch,” described Saqlain.

Also Read: IND vs AUS: “Don’t Compare Kohli With Sachin Tendulkar…” – Brad Hogg Makes A Massive Statement On Virat Kohli

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