Here at 51allout we appreciate greatness. Great players are to be cherished, respected, admired, put on a pedestal and then smashed back down off that pedestal at a time of the public’s choosing. But we also appreciate the human right to be crushingly negative, cynical, and to look on the dark side of everything. With that in mind, we’ve scoured the Sachin Tendulkar dismissal archives (as you can imagine, the ‘2009-present’ folder was particularly time-consuming) in search of our favourite.
Of course, over (almost) 200 Test matches he’s built up quite the selection; ranging from the ‘missing a straight ball’ efforts which were to become his trademark to the sort of failures which required a bit more dedication to execute, like the way he leapt upon the advantaged handed to him by being dropped at slip in England a couple of years ago and promptly fell LBW to Jimmy Anderson the very next ball. This is the genius we admire, and it is from these vast swathes of options that the whole (well, the ones we can actually find, anyway) 51allout crew have picked their favourite Sachin wicket.
Matt H: My selection is a wicket I didn’t see live, but that I’ve watched literally a few times since. At the time England were attracting some criticism for Ashley Giles’ tactic of bowling outside leg-stump to India’s right-handers – a tactic encouraged and probably invented by his captain Nasser Hussain. It was India’s first innings of the third Test in the 2001 series at Bangalore: India were 1-0 up and that was the way the series ended, but along the way there was this beautiful moment. Cherish it because the sight of James Foster in an England shirt is very rare indeed. It is also, famously, the only time that Sachin Tendulkar has been stumped in a Test match off the bowling of someone named Ashley.
Nichael Bluth: Glenn McGrath was a pretty decent bowler back in the day,as the likes of Mike Atherton can testify. Hence there’s no shame in getting out LBW to him. At least, unless you’re not actually playing a shot, but are instead trying to duck a short one. Despite being banged in half way down the pitch, it barely made it above shin height. At least that’s shin height if the batsman was stood up. Instead Sachin took it somewhere around the shoulder, to genuine laughs all round.
James: With an honourable mention to ‘Tendulkar c Bell b Udal 34’, my pick is another of his dismissals to an English spin demon. With the 2002 Trent Bridge Test meandering to a draw, Hussain turned to Michael Vaughan (Test match wickets: 1 (W Jaffer, if you were wondering)) to pass the time. He soon tossed up a seemingly unthreatening ball outside off stump, to which Sachin demonstrated all his vast reserves of calm compactness and completely missed it attempting a wildly extravagant drive. The ball ripped square and he was bowled. It would have been a perfect denouement to the story had England followed his dismissal by surging through the rest of the batting order to record a historic triumph, but, well, they didn’t. It did, however, prompt a dramatic upturn in the fortunes of Vaughan’s bowling as he went on to dismiss Ajit Agarkar twice in the series.
As a bonus, in tracking down the above videos, we found this wonderful tribute from the incomparable youtube legend Robelinda.