In the year 1987, a teenager had gone to the MRF Pace Foundation with the hope of becoming a fast bowler. After rejecting the youngster, the Foundation’s coaching Director Dennis Lillee had advised him to concentrate on his batting.
Lillee could hardly have known then that this boy, who went by the name Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, would concentrate so much on batting that by the end of his career he would have most of the batting records in international cricket under his belt.
For a good part of his career, Sachin Tendulkar remained the No.1 batsman for the Indian team and was the most sought after wicket for the opposition.
Despite this, his love for bowling continued and he would often lend his services whenever the team needed a breakthrough.
As Rahul Dravid had recounted once in a match between West Zone and South Zone, when the seniors were debating about whom to get on for bowling, in his quirky voice, Sachin had said, “Main daalega”(I will bowl).
On being asked on the type of his bowling, he had said, “ Kuch bhi chahiye daalega, off-spin bhi ya leg-spin bhi” (Whatever is required, I will bowl, off-spin or leg-spin).
On two occasions, he had defended less than six runs in the last over of an ODI (in 1993 against South Africa in the Hero Cup and in 1997 against Australia in the Titan Cup). There have been many other gems from his golden-arm both in Tests and ODIs.
Here, we take a statistical look at some of his bowling feats in ODIs.
Sachin Tendulkar is in the top five for the highest % of stumping
With 22 stumping out of his 154 wickets, he is in the top five for bowlers with maximum percentage of dismissals via this mode.
Targeted the best batsmen from the opposition
Given the fact that Sachin Tendulkar was a non-regular bowler who was more often than not called for breaking partnerships, his target would be the best players from the opposition camp.
Even then, to repeatedly get the wickets of the likes of Inzamam-ul-Haq and Brian Lara among others is no mean feat. In fact, only Sanath Jayasuriya and Venkatesh Prasad (both eight times) have dismissed Inzamam more number of times than Sachin Tendulkar.
In the list of bowlers who got the great Brian Lara out on the maximum times in ODIs, Sachin Tendulkar is at number seven.
Favourite hunting ground
In terms of the stadiums, Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka seems to be Sachin Tendulkar's favourite hunting ground. He holds the record for taking the second most number of wickets in ODIs at this venue (behind Mohammad Rafique from Bangladesh who has taken 22 wickets from 23 matches).
His best performance at this venue was when he picked up 4/38 against the Australians in the ICC Knockout trophy in 1998. In this game, Sachin Tendulkar had also scored 141 runs. His wickets included the key wickets of captain Steve Waugh, Michael Bevan and Damein Martyn.
With ten wickets at the Nehru Stadium, Kochi, Sachin Tendulkar is the highest wicket-taker ever at the port city. Like his batting, he reserved the best with the ball also for the Aussies and his figures for 5/32 came against the team from Down Under in the Pepsi Triangular Series in 1997-98.
Tournaments in which he excelled with the ball
The Asia Cup in 2004 is one tournament which got the best out of Sachin Tendulkar. Not only was he the second highest wicket taker in that series, (behind Irfan Pathan who took 14 wickets), his 12 wickets is the third-most (behind Ajatntha Mendis’ 17 in 2008 and Pathan’s 14 in 2004) in a single Asia Cup edition.