New Delhi: On a foggy Wednesday when Services restricted Mumbai to 199 for 6 at stumps on day one of the Ranji Trophy semi-final, an unheralded left-arm spinner Avishek Sinha grabbed the limelight by dismissing Sachin Tendulkar in his first over of the match. Tendulkar had stroked his way to a sprightly 56 and was looking set for a big hundred when Sinha queered his pitch.
Talking to CricketNext after the match, he stated that this is the biggest moment of his first-class career and expressed hope that his career will take an upswing from here on. "There cannot be a greater batsman than Tendulkar so nothing can be bigger than getting him out. I am quite thrilled and will take a lot of heart from this moment. This is the best thing to have happened to me ever since I started playing cricket."
The unassuming tweaker admitted that he had chalked out a strategy against Tendulkar prior to the match. "In the last Test series, Tendulkar had trouble encountering the left-arm spinner Monty Panesar and fell to him on a couple of occasion. I had that thing in the mind and I closely watched the montages of Tendulkar's batting against England and it helped me to formulate strategems to hoodwink him."
Tendulkar blasted a massive six off his first ball and perished trying the similar shot off the next ball but the 28-year-old, who has just seven first-class matches to his name, said that he wasn't flustered by the upfront assault from the maestro. "Tendulkar is a naturally aggressive batsman and likes to go after the bowlers. I didn't flinch when he hit me for a six off the first ball. That's how he plays. I focused on pitching the next ball on right spot and invoke him to play across the line. Our ruse worked and he mistimed the next shot."
Sinha asserted that spinners have a role to play even on seamer-friendly wickets. "It is about getting wickets eventually. One has to bowl in the right areas consistently to pick up wickets irrespective of the conditions and pitch. If you could add variations and remain disciplined, you can snap up scalps everywhere."