“Usne meri dhulaayi shuru kar di”: This is how Saqlain Mushtaq expressed awe of Sachin Tendulkar’s Test century vs Pakistan in 1999

Gurpreet Singh
|Published 16/03/2023

The first Test match of Pakistan’s tour to India in 1998/99, at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai was a special one considering that the arch-rivals were set to play each other in the format after a nine-year gap.

The match turned out even more memorable for the fans because of the way it was contested between the two sides on a track which aided the spinners in particular. Having said that, this was also the one the Indian team in general and the legendary Sachin Tendulkar in particular would have liked to forget, considering the ultimate result.

Smashing one of the best centuries of his career during this Test, and ending up being adjudged the ‘Player of the Match’ despite India losing it by 12 runs, Tendulkar was so inconsolable that he did not even turn up to receive the award.

The reason being that he was dismissed at the score of 136 (273), with the team requiring mere 17 runs for victory. The three remaining batters (tail enders) could add mere four runs to the total.

Saqlain Mushtaq expressed awe of Sachin Tendulkar’s Test century

Years later, Tendulkar would go on to remark that the decision to not collect the award post the match, still remains the biggest regret in his international career.

Pakistan off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq, who had dismissed Tendulkar in both the innings of the Chennai Test, could not help but later express his awe with the way the latter batted during the run-chase. Mushtaq exclaimed that he had thrown in all the tricks of his off-spin bowling before him, but the Master would play him merrily without taking a single risk.

However, after getting used to facing him for around 10-12 Overs, Tendulkar would begin with his onslaught and smash him for a flurry of boundaries.

“Wasim bhai, mujhe aap hata dein idhar se” – Saqlain Mushtaq

Praising Tendulkar’s special knock that day, Saqlain Mushtaq during a recent interaction remarked, “Maine usko saare tricks pheke. Top-spin kiya, arm ball kiya, doosra kiya, tez break kiya, flighted ball ki… vo das-barah Over jo hai na maze se dekhta raha. Uske baad usne meri dhulai shuru kar di. Ek time pe ye aaya ki mai Wasim Akram ke paas gaya aur maine kaha ki Wasim bhai lagta hai isko sab pata lag raha hai, to mujhe aap hata dein idhar se (I brought out all my bowling tricks… the top-spin, arm ball, doosra, pacey off-breaks, flighted ball. He kept playing me easily for some 10-12 Overs. But after that, he started beating me black and blue. A moment came when I requested Wasim Akram to remove me from the attack, as he has a fair bit of an idea about what I’m bowling to him).”

Mushtaq later added that he had hit him around 16-17 Fours during that century innings. ” Uss 100 mein, 16 ya 17 chauke maare Tendulkar ne mujhe akele ko, aur 125..30..35 isne kiya hua tha (During that century innings, Tendulkar hit me 16-17 Fours, and he had scored some 125 or 135 runs),” remarked Mushtaq.

For more, Cricket-related news, click here.

Share this article
About the author
Gurpreet Singh

Gurpreet Singh

Even before persuing his post-graduate diploma in English journalism from IIMC, Gurpreet was certain that Cricket had to be the driving force to keep him sane and optimistic in all life-related matters. Hailing from Ranchi and having represented Jharkhand at the Under-14 level, he believes that the more you keep digging in while understanding the nitty-gritty of a sport, the more humble you become with the realisation that you hardly know anything!

Read more from Gurpreet Singh