Kiran More recalls the excitement in Sachin Tendulkar on debut Test in Karachi against Pakistan on the 1989 tour by the Indian team. Twenty-four years later, the former India wicket-keeper and chairman of selectors points out that his former teammate will be as excited walking out to the batting crease in his 200th Test.
More had top-scored with 58 not out in the first innings for India against Pakistan’s pace attack at National stadium, Karachi. Tendulkar and Waqar Younis made their debuts for the respective sides in the same match. “We were together on that tour, since in Pakistan there is nothing to do after the game. I remember him getting very excited on being told about the Test debut.”
Tendulkar batted at number six in the first innings, scored 15 off 24 balls. Talking to The Hindu from Vadodara. More recalls, “Sachin did not make a display of the excitement he felt inside, looked very cool though was playing Test cricket at a very young age. Chandu Borde, our team manager, handled an excitable Sachin nicely.”
More was working with wicket-keepers at Mumbai Indians nets recently when Tendulkar walked up and asked his senior to have a look at his bat flow. “I told him you have played so much cricket and still want to know whether the bat flow is correct. I am sure he will be as excited as on Test debut batting in his 200th Test.”
Tendulkar was not a new face for Kiran More in 1989, but admires the way the youngster shaped up on a green top at Sialkot against a Pakistan attack starring Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Younis. “I had seen him in Mumbai cricket, he was talked about as a talented batsman. The knock in Sialkot on a green top marked him out as a special one. Not many Indian batsmen can do what he did with the bat that day.”
The youngster stroked six fours in 134 balls in the 2nd innings, scoring 57 before falling to Pakistan captain Imran. Tendulkar, just 16 years then, was hit by a Waqar Younis delivery, came back after treatment to become the second highest scorer after opener Navjot Sidhu’s 97. The little Indian won the respect of tearaway bowlers in the rival camp for the courage to counter-attack. He remains a prized wicket 24 years later for a new generation of bowlers.