‘He always had two answers’: Sourav Ganguly reveals why Sachin Tendulkar never wanted to face first ball
In a chat with Mayank Agarwal on his latest special episode of ‘Open Nets with Mayank’, Sourav Ganguly revealed whether Sachin Tendulkar always wanted him to face the first ball when they opened the innings in ODIs.
For the Indian cricket team, there has never been an opening pair more successful than the one of Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar. Between 1996 and 2007, Tendulkar and former India captain Ganguly have opened for India in 136 innings, and have amassed 6,609 runs at an average of 49.32. In terms of runs, the Tendulkar-Ganguly pair is the most successful in the world. India also used the pairs of Tendulkar-Virender Sehwag, and Ganguly-Sehwag in the middle but while these did well, and the current pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan has also been really successful, none has yet managed to match up to the level of success Tendulkar found with Ganguly
But there’s a rumour that’s been circulating for the longest time, that Tendulkar always wanted Ganguly to face the first ball whenever the two came out to bat. In a chat with Mayank Agarwal on his latest special episode of ‘Open Nets with Mayank’, Ganguly revealed whether the rumour is a myth or a reality.
In a video uploaded on BCCI official Twitter, Mayank asked: “Did Sachin paaji force you to take the strike when you opened the batting in ODIs?”
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In his response, Ganguly said: “Always, he did. He had an answer to that. I used to tell him ‘sometimes you also face the first ball. I always face the first ball’. He had two answers for that,” Ganguly said.
“One, he believed if his form was good, he should continue and remain at the non-striker’s end. And when his form wasn’t good, he would say ‘I should remain at the non-striker’s end, as it takes the pressure off me’. He had an answer for both good form and bad form,” he further added.
Ganguly further revealed a trick he used a couple of times to ‘force’ Tendulkar to face the first ball. “Until and unless some days, you walk past him and stood at the non-striker’s end, and he was already on TV, and he would be forced to be at the striker’s end. That has happened once or twice, I went past him and stood at the non-striker’s end,” he said.