Former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar recently recalled his first meeting with a 15-year-old Sachin Tendulkar during a Test match against New Zealand in Mumbai in 1988.
Speaking during a Facebook Live video interview with Sportskeeda, Vengsarkar said he had heard about Sachin because of his high scores in inter-school matches.
He added that the then team's coach Vasu Paranjpe was very fond of Tendulkar's batting and urged him to have a look at the kid. "He insisted me so much that I had to see him bat in the nets," he said.
Vengsarkar went on to add that he asked Kapil Dev, Maninder Singh, and Chetan Sharma to bowl to Sachin Tendulkar in the training nets.
"I told them he has been scoring lots of runs in school matches and we need to see how he bats. Hats off to them, they're great cricketers, they said okay to bowl for a while. But Sachin was so impressive, he played so well,” the former skipper recalled.
Vengsarkar elaborated that on the same evening he suggested the Mumbai team selection committee to pick Tendulkar in the 15-man squad but they said it is too early for him and if he gets hurt, they would be blamed.
Vengsarkar, however, convinced them to take him in the squad but not include him in the playing XI. The former skipper wanted to give Tendulkar an idea about the atmosphere in the national team.
According to a report in Hindustan Times that cited the Live interview, Vengsarkar said Tendulkar started seizing opportunities and he made it to the Indian team by the next year.
“In Duleep Trophy, he got a hundred. In Irani Trophy, he got a hundred. Then we went to Pakistan in 1989, and there came Sachin Tendulkar, and the rest is history,” the former India captain concluded.
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