Mumbai: He could be the Master Blaster to the world, a menace for all great bowlers in the history of cricket but there was one medium pacer who challenged Sachin Tendulkar in his career.
Former South Africa skipper Hansie Cronje is the man we are talking about; the middle-order batsman who rolled his arms – 43 wickets in 68 Tests; 114 wickets in 188 ODIs – got the precious wicket of Tendulkar five times in Tests and thrice in limited-overs.
Tendulkar handled the likes of Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Wasim Akram and Allan Donald but didn’t know what to do with Cronje.
Once, in an interview with The Guardian, he said: “Honestly. I got out to Hansie more than anyone. When we played South Africa he always got me out more than Donald or Shaun Pollock. It wasn’t that I couldn’t pick him – it’s just that the ball seemed to go straight to a fielder.
I was going great guns in Durban one year and played some big shots against Donald and Pollock. Hansie came on and I flicked his first ball straight to leg-slip. I never knew what to do with him.”