Monty Panesar and Sachin Tendulkar share a ‘sporting’ relationship. On the field, they are fierce competitors, but off it, they share a special rapport.
The rivalry between the England left-arm spinner and India’s batting legend was reignited yesterday during the first day’s play of the second Test at the Wankhede Stadium.
Panesar bowled a beauty to dismiss Tendulkar, who is probably playing his last Test at home, for eight. The record-breaking batsman failed to tackle the turn after the ball spun from leg to hit his off-stump. Panesar stressed it was the moment of the day: “Obviously getting the Prince of India out, Sachin Tendulkar.” Panesar said it was his magic ball that he’s been working on with team’s spin bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed.
“I’ve been trying to work a lot with Mushybhai in trying to get my action right. I felt the previous ball I got my action wrong and dropped my arm a bit. The next ball I said to myself ‘let me get all the processes I worked with Mushybhai’ and I got my action right. I got my fingers nicely around the ball,” he said.
Though Panesar’s celebration was not as wild as the one in Nagpur in 2006, it did rekindle memories of his debut Test. The Turbanator went berserk when he trapped Tendulkar lbw during the 2005-06 series in Nagpur.
After the match, Panesar got hold of the ball with which he claimed Tendulkar’s wicket and requested the Indian legend to sign on it. Tendulkar reportedly wrote: “That will never happen again.”
So precious was the wicket for Panesar that he has safely kept the ball in his bedroom. In that match, Panesar also claimed the wicket of Rahul Dravid.
However, since Nagpur, Panesar again dismissed Tendulkar at Lord’s in 2007. The master batsman was again trapped in front of the stumps for 16. It was a similar dismissal.
When India toured England last year for four-Test series, Tendulkar had a private net session with Panesar in the build-up to the historic first Test at Lord’s. The session tickled the media and The Sun healined its report with THE FULL MONTY.
But Sussex cricket director Mark Robinson said then: “It was good for Monty — you must learn a lot bowling to someone like Tendulkar. It would have given him a boost. I don't think it is a problem for England.”