As the world pays rich tribute to legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar, who announced his retirement from One-Day cricket on Sunday, one also remembered the bowler in the batting maestro who was equally a match-winner earning for himself the title of 'Man with the Golden Arm'.
Tendulkar was an unorthodox bowler and has 154 wickets from his 463 matches. Tendulkar has two five-wicket hauls and his best was 5 for 32 against Australia in Kochi, 1998.
Tendulkar could have claimed more wickets, but a tennis elbow put paid to that.
He underwent an operation in 2005 for tennis elbow in England and subsequently cut down on his bowling but always obliged his captains when a partnership needed to be broken.
Being an unorthodox bowler, Tendulkar was always attacked and the batsmen had to pay the price.
Tendulkar first bowled in an ODI against England at Trent Bridge in 1990. He conceded 10 runs from just one over that he got as India won the match by five wickets.
He bagged his first man of the match award as a bowler in 1994 against the West Indies in Sharjah. He picked up four for 34 dismissing Clayton Lambert, Richie Richardson, Gus Logie and Jeff Dujon, to skittle out West Indies for 141. India won the match easily by seven wickets.
No one can forget the famous Hero Cup semi-final against South Africa at Kolkata in 1993. South Africa needed six off the last over and India skipper Mohammed Azharuddin gambled by asking Tendulkar to bowl the final over. Tendulkar gave away just three runs from the only over he bowled to leave the South Africans confused with his unorthodox spin.
Like his batting, Tendulkar also reserved his best bowling performances for the Australians. At Kochi in 1998, India set Australia a target of 310. The Australians were going great guns but a great spell by Tendulkar (5/32), who picked up the formidable quartet of Steve Waugh, Michael Bevan, Darren Lehmann and Damien Martyn, helped India win by 41 runs.
Tendulkar's best bowling performances have come on home soil and in most of those matches he had failed as a batsman. And in most cases, the bowler in Tendulkar boosted his confidence as a batsman. Whenever the runs dried up, Tendulkar took to bowling.
The last time he bagged wickets was in 2007 against Pakistan in Guwahati. He bagged two for 32 from his five overs as India won the match by five wickets.
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