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Home truth! Sachin Tendulkar and his Mumbai Tests

1992-93 vs England
My first taste of a Test series win
Your first Test on your home ground has to be special. We had won the series so we came into the game on a high. The atmosphere was excellent. It was an excellent feeling having clinched the series in Chennai and we ended winning here too. Vinod got a brilliant double hundred.

 

Vinod Kambli
Vinod Kambli

The mindset was fine after my hundred in the previous Test. I was looking for a big score here and I scored 78 – lbw Tufnell. At one stage, people thought I was batting slowly when Vinod was blazing away but you have to figure out who’s bowling and the kind of field setting.

I thought Vinod was going great guns and there was no need to take any undue risks. To get into a huge partnership was crucial.

Brief scores
England 1st innings: 347 all out
(G Hick 178, C Lewis 49; Kapil Dev 3-35, A Kumble 3-95)
India 1st innings: 591 all out
(N Sidhu 79, M Prabhakar 44, V Kambli 224, S Tendulkar 78, P Amre 57; P Tufnell 4-142)
England 2nd innings: 229 all out (R Smith 62, M Gatting 61, G Hick 47; A Kumble 4-70)
Result: India won by an innings and 15 runs

1994-95 vs WI
Wind in our sails
West Indies had a good attack of Courtney Walsh and Kenny Benjamin. My 85 in the second innings was crucial and that allowed us to put up a decent total to chase in the fourth innings.

Sanjay Manjrekar
Sanjay Manjrekar

We were not in a great position on the third evening when Benjamin got a couple of early wickets. I would put this innings as extremely important. It was Sanjay Manjrekar’s comeback into the Test team and he had a good partnership with Nayan Mongia.

Walsh was a challenge and when we are talking about him, you are talking about one of the greatest bowlers of all time. With his ability, it did not matter what type of track you are playing on for he could generate pace and bounce.

It was tough to tackle him and Benjamin was hostile. Srinath scored some important runs and hit a huge six he hit over Carl Hooper which landed on the roof of the stadium.

Brief scores
India 1st innings: 272 all out
(N Mongia 80, S Manjrekar 51;
C Walsh 6-79)
West Indies 1st innings: 243 all out (S Williams 49, K Arthurton 42; V Raju 5-60)
India 2nd innings: 333 all out
(S Tendulkar 85, S Manjrekar 66, J Srinath 60; K Benjamin 4-82)
West Indies 2nd innings: 266 all out (J Murray 85, J Adams 81;
J Srinath 4-48)
Result: India won by 96 runs

1997-98 vs SL
Ton for Sara, but draw for India
I was captain of India this time. The thing which I can never forget about that Test is that we had a chance to win and it rained at that time of the year (December). I scored my first Test hundred at the Wankhede.

Sara

It was an important innings for me because I had not got runs in Nagpur. The ball hit my thigh pad and went on to hit the stumps after I started well — the first ball I hit Muralitharan for a six. The first two games were drawn.

I remember we were on top but couldn’t pull it off. The first two sessions were very good on the last day but we dropped some crucial catches and bad light, and eventually drizzle stopped the game which was disappointing.

I got 148 – bowled by Pushpakumara. I was going great guns I thought and was looking to get a boundary every now and again. I dedicated my ton to Sara, who was born a few days ago then. Sourav played very well for his 173. He played some wonderful shots. It was inspiring to see him blaze away.

Brief scores
India 1st innings: 512 all out (S Ganguly 173, S Tendulkar 148, R Dravid 93;
R Pushpakumara 3-108)
Sri Lanka 1st innings: 361 all out (M Atapattu 98, Aravinda de Silva 66; R Chouhan 4-48)
India 2nd innings: 181 for nine decl (R Dravid 85, N Sidhu 43; Dharmasena 5-57)
Sri Lanka 2nd innings: 166 for seven (S Jayasuriya 37;
A Kumble 3-56, R Chouhan 3-59)
Result: Match drawn

1999-2000 vs South Africa
Proteas power shows the way
I had announced that I wouldn’t be captain after this Test series but I was not thinking about all that when the game started. All that was on my mind was winning the Test. I made the decision after consulting people close to me and I was sure of what I was doing.

Mark Boucher
Mark Boucher

South Africa were well organised with a good attack. I made 97 before I was caught behind by Mark Boucher. Once the ball left Kallis’ hand, I said to myself ‘my boundary ball’ and I flicked it. I don’t think the umpire nor the non-striker picked it and I walked.

I was unlucky not to score a hundred. Very rarely you edge while playing a flick shot. The positive aspect was that I batted well, moved my feet well and the time I was at the crease, I controlled the game.

To lose any Test match is disheartening and it did not have to be South Africa to feel any different after a loss.

Brief scores
India 1st innings: 225 all out (S Tendulkar 97, A Agarkar 41; J Kallis 3-30)
SA 1st innings: 176 all out
(G Kirsten 50, H Gibbs 47; Tendulkar 3-10)
India 2nd innings: 113 all out (R Dravid 37; S Pollock 4-24, H Cronje 3-23)
SA 2nd innings: 164 for six (Gibbs 46; A Kumble 4-56)
Result: South Africa won by four wickets

2000-01 vs Australia
Gilly had us all at sea
The first morning of that Test was pretty lively. There was reasonable life in the wicket. McGrath, Gillespie and Fleming bowled well. I was in terrific nick. I went and started playing my shots and things changed. I got a good ball from McGrath and was caught behind in the first innings.

Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar in full flow against Australia in 2001. Pic/Getty Images

The ball was seaming around. If you are prepared to play your shots, Wankhede is a good track and you’ll get the balls to put away and they bowled good spells. I felt good. A good Test match.

The turning point probably was in the second innings when I got out. If we had put up a decent total in the second innings, things would have been different.
I was unlucky, pulled a shot one off Mark Waugh which hit Langer’s back and ricocheted to midwicket.

The 10-wicket loss did not reflect the closeness of the game. They won by that margin because they had to chase only 47 runs. Gilchrist changed the complexion of the game but that was the last significant innings he played
in that series.

Brief scores
India 1st innings: 176 all out
(S Tendulkar 76; S Warne 4-47)
Australia 1st innings: 349 all out (A Gilchrist 122, M Hayden 119; Harbhajan Singh 4-121)
India 2nd innings: 219 all out (Tendulkar 65, S Ramesh 44;
M Waugh 3-40)
Australia 2nd innings: 47 for no loss
Result: Aus won by 10 wickets

2002-03 vs West Indies
When Viru had them for tea
Another early finish to a Wankhede match. I got 35 on the first day and was batting overnight. It was hard work with the old ball getting some reverse swing. Next morning, I missed a cut shot and was caught behind.

Virender Sehwag

We on the whole were in good form and our team started to play quite well. To go one-up after the first Test was important in a three-match series. Zaheer bowled good spells. It was heartening to see Sehwag (147) and Bangar (55) putting on 200-plus runs for the opening wicket.

Brief scores
India 1st innings: 457 all out
(V Sehwag 147, R Dravid 100,
S Bangar 55, VVS Laxman 45;
M Dillon 3-54)
West Indies 1st innings: 157 all out (S Chanderpaul 54, Zaheer Khan 4-41, Anil Kumble 4-51)
West Indies (2nd innings after following on) 188 all out
(C Gayle 42, W Hinds 40; Harbhajan Singh 7-48)
Result: India won by an innings and 112 runs

2004-05 vs Australia
We spun them out
I wanted to get back in action after that terrible tennis elbow injury. I did all sorts of things – took injections, went to England for treatment. I was losing patience but I had to follow the doctor’s advice. When I got that chance to play here, I grabbed it.

Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan Singh celebrates

The second innings became very important. I got into a partnership with Laxman and added some critical runs. That gave us a fair chance to get the Australians out on that surface.

The way the track was playing, we always knew we had a reasonable chance. We had the spin ammunition. It was critical in the second innings to put up a decent total so that our bowlers could extract whatever was there in the wicket.

Murali Kartik
Murali Kartik

You get very charged up in these tense games. You want to go out there and make yourself counted. It was very satisfying to win that low-scoring game.

Brief scores
India 1st innings: 104 all out
(R Dravid 31; J Gillespie 4-29, N Hauritz 3-16)
Australia 1st innings: 203 all out (D Martyn 55; A Kumble 5-90, M Kartik 4-44)
India 2nd innings: 205 all out (VVS Laxman 69, S Tendulkar 55; M Clarke 6-9)
Australia 2nd innings: 93 all out (Harbhajan Singh 5-29, Kartik 3-32)
Result: India won by 13 runs

2005-06 vs England
The crowd did no boo me

We had come into this Test match after a fine nine-wicket win in the second Test at Mohali. Owais Shah got some useful runs for them in both innings. He batted really well and helped them put up a decent total on the board (400) in the first innings.

Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar walks back after being dismissed in the first innings against England in 2006. Pics/AFP, Getty Images

When it came to talk about the crowd booing me (when he was caught behind by Geraint Jones off James Anderson), it was news to me. I didn’t see anything of that sort. Obviously, when you get out, you are in a different zone but I don’t think anyone booed me at all.

I think it was just the reports that mentioned that. I have always felt that Wankhede Stadium has stood behind the team, the reception they give you is special. When the team needed support, Wankhede was always there to support the team.

The wicket in that Test was helpful — the ball spun. We were bowled for 100 in the second innings. Obviously, it is disappointing when you lose, but the opposition produced good cricket.

We too tried to produce good cricket. Somebody is going to win and somebody is going to lose and you can’t keep winning all the time. Overall, England played better cricket in that Test.

Brief scores
England 1st innings: 400 all out
(A Strauss 128, O Shah 88; S Sreesanth 4-70, Harbhajan Singh 3-89)
India 1st innings: 279 all out
(MS Dhoni 64, R Dravid 52; J Anderson 4-40)
England 2nd innings: 191 all out
(A Flintoff 50; A Kumble 4-49)
India 2nd innings: 100 all out
(S Tendulkar 34; S Udal 4-14, A Flintoff 3-14)
Result: England won by 212 runs

2009-10 vs Sri Lanka at CCI
Sehwag vs Sri Lanka at the Brabourne
It was a new experience to play Test cricket at the Brabourne Stadium. I had only played club matches there and one first-class game against Australia in 1998. In 1995, we played a one-day match against New Zealand but other than that not many matches. It was at CCI where I played my club cricket so it was special to be there.

Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag celebrates his century at the CCI

Plus, Viru’s knock was unbelievable. He made things look so easy. When Viru gets going, very rarely does the opposition know what to do. It was one of those days when Viru got going and stayed there for a long, long time. We became No 1 in Test cricket in this game and it was truly memorable in that sense.

I remember the celebrations we had when we reached No 1. It was a dream come true. We were all determined to become the No 1 Test team in the world. We vowed to become No 1 and work hard to achieve that. It took us a while — the journey started while we were in Australia in 2008. We started working well together and the target was to get to the top.

It was Viru against Sri Lanka. The pace with which he scored (293 off 254 balls) allowed us to bowl Sri Lanka out again. It gave us a lot of time and we finished the game before lunch on the last day. The crucial wicket in that match was Kumar Sangakkara when Zaheer got him out (caught behind) on the fifth morning.

Brief scores
Sri Lanka 1st innings: 393 all out 
(T Dilshan 109, A Mathews 99; H Singh 4-112)
India 1st innings: 726-9 declared
(V Sehwag 293, MS Dhoni 100; M Muralitharan 4-195)
Sri Lanka 2nd innings: 309 all out
(K Sangakkara 137; Zaheer 5-72)
Result: India won by an innings and 24 runs

2011-12 vs West Indies
Would have been so special to score 100th century at my home ground

I ended Day Three with 67. There was so much hype. I was quite happy that I was batting on 67 overnight. I tried to do my normal stuff, nothing extraordinary. Anyway, people were only talking about that (100th international centuries) so I didn’t want to do something different. I ordered room service and slept.

Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar walks out to bat on Day Four of the third Test against West Indies at the Wankhede Stadium on November 25, 2011. Pic/AFP

The next morning I remember Marine Drive was filled with TV vans. Obviously, that was a different sight which you don’t get to see at 8:30 in the morning. It was packed. When I went out to bat, they had taken the new ball and first ball... Laxman got out to Fidel Edwards. I moved to 94 briskly.

The plan was to play out the new ball first. I started timing the ball well, found the gaps, scored runs in boundaries and hit a six as well. Everything went smoothly until Ravi Rampaul bowled that one ball which had a little extra pace and bounce. That was the only ball I was beaten by that morning.

Obviously this was disappointing — to have that opportunity to score your 100th international hundred in front of your home crowd was so special. I didn’t think about that but that would have been special. I just reached that stage when it could have been definitely special.

I was disappointed, but I wondered how the ball bounced so much. It was a 9:30 am start, the wicket had a dampish look to it. The only ball which bounced and had that extra bit in it was that one. Till then, there were short balls and stuff but it did not have that sort of bounce off the wicket. I was still thinking about that after I got out. It was an incredible Test because all results were possible before the last over. I have not played a Test like that.

Brief scores
WI 1st innings: 590 all out
(D Bravo 166, K Edwards 86; R Ashwin 5-156)
India 1st innings: 482 all out
(R Ashwin 103, S Tendulkar 94; R Rampaul 3-95,
M Samuels 3-74)
WI 2nd innings: 134 all out
(D Bravo 48; P Ojha 6-47; R Ashwin 4-34)
India 2nd innings: 242-9
(V Kohli 63, V Sehwag 60;
R Rampaul 3-56)
Result: Draw

2012-13 vs England
Cook, KP were two good!
IT was very disappointing to lose. The wicket had a lot of turn and bounce, but I just thought Alastair Cook batted unbelievably well and Kevin Pietersen just took the match away from us. When we got to 327, we felt we had a very good chance on a surface like that.

Monty Panesar and Sachin Tendulkar
England spinner Monty Panesar is delighted after clean bowling Sachin Tendulkar on Day One of the 2012 Mumbai Test

I had not seen Pietersen bat better on Indian tracks. I got out in both innings to Monty Panesar. The ball spun on the first day itself and I got out before lunch. I was beaten and it went on to hit the stumps and that was disappointing when I look back.

In the second innings, he bowls a similar ball that was meant to turn and it goes on straight (to be dismissed leg before wicket).

Brief scores
India 1st innings: 327 all out
(C Pujara 135, R Ashwin 68; M Panesar 5-129,
G Swann 4-70)
England 1st innings: 413 all out
(A Cook 122, K Pietersen 186; P Ojha 5-143)
India 2nd innings: 142 all out
(G Gambhir 65; M Panesar 6-81, G Swann 4-43)
England 2nd innings: 58 for no loss
Result: England won by 10 wickets 

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