Meet the man who bowled the first ball to Sachin in first-class cricket
Former Gujarat off-spinner reminisces about bowling to a 15-year-old Sachin Tendulkar
Making my debut for Gujarat, I was bowling to Sachin who had come into bat in the previous over when Mumbai captain Lalchand Rajput was run out. Sachin was only 15 and I was eager to take his wicket. He defended the first two deliveries.
I thought of tossing the next ball a bit so that he could step out and drive me. I was hopeful of a caught and bowled, but he drove me through the cover region. He defended the next two balls and pierced the next one through mid-wicket.
After that, he played all the shots in the book. I don’t remember him using up too many balls for his unbeaten 100. He was too good, although at that time no one could say he would become a great player.
Delivering the first ever ball he faced in first-class cricket is my richest memory. It was great to see my over mentioned in cricket books on Sachin.
We played against each other a few times and were opposing captains in the Gujarat vs Mumbai Ranji Trophy game in Valsad (December 1995).
It’s satisfying to be part of history. In fact, my father is too – he (Ambubhai Patel) is India’s first bowler to dismiss a batsman off his first delivery in first-class cricket.
He achieved this feat when he bowled Mumbai’s opening batsman P K Kamath at the Brabourne Stadium in 1956.