While Sachin Tendulkar has had several iconic rivalries with legendary bowlers, one of his most underrated ones was with former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq. Though Saqlain did not dismiss Tendulkar as many times as other bowlers, the few times he did, it resulted in some memorable moments. One such instance was during a match in Canada, where Saqlain had planned to needle Tendulkar but ended up getting outwitted by him instead.
After a tight first over, Saqlain sledged Tendulkar with some harsh words, only for the Little Master to respond calmly and say, “Saqi… I never thought you would do this. And you don’t even appear the kind of person who would say such words. I thought you’re a very decent person.” Tendulkar’s words hit Saqlain hard, and for the next few overs, he was consumed by what had transpired.
Tendulkar’s clever tactics worked, and he went on to hit boundaries in the next few overs, earning Saqlain’s respect. When Tendulkar finally stepped out and smashed another four, Saqlain realized he had been trapped. After the match, the two players caught up and discussed what had happened on the ground, with Saqlain admitting that Tendulkar had outwitted him with his words.
This story sheds light on the lesser-known rivalry between two cricket legends and highlights Tendulkar’s intelligence and tactical thinking on the field.