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Shy boy to batting god, first roommate recalls journey of Tendulkar

By Unnikrishnan
Sachin Tendulkar

Bengaluru, November 15: On this day, a 16-year-old Sachin Tendulkar walked out in Karachi to make his Test debut against Pakistan. The journey ended 24 years later in 2013.

Along the way to the batting pinnacle, a hosts of records too tumbled. The boy became the batting god.

However, the image of a shy, young cricketer still remains fresh in the minds of many.

Suru Nayak, the former India and Mumbai pacer, was the first roommate of Tendulkar in the 1987-88 domestic season during a match against Baroda.

Suru Nayak

"He was a very shy boy of around 15. I was the senior most member of the team and the management thought it would be good for a newcomer to share the room with a senior player. Skipper Chandrakant Pandit told me to keep a watch on the young man.

"In fact, inside the room Sachin was a busy boy - imitating his shots against spinners and pacers etc. But once on the field or outside, he would go into himself. He would not speak much. He was very shy even to sign an autograph. Those days, there used to be a decent turnout for Ranji matches and people were aware of Tendulkar's reputation as a future star," said Nayak.

"He will not come and give his opinion unless he was asked. I think his brother Ajit should be given credit for moulding his behaviour. In fact, Sachin was not so naughty but Vinod (Kambli) was an absolute riot," he said.

Was there a streak of divine in Tendulkar the batsman even when he was a kid? Nayak thinks so.

"He was special even at that age. He was a thin boy, but very observant. His power of observation was excellent. He did not play any matches that season but he was happy to bat in the nets and being part of the Mumbai team.

"I was playing my penultimate season then. But Mumbai had two excellent pacers in Anoop Sabnis and Raju Kulkarni. They were quite nippy. But Sachin handled them with ease at nets. He has good time to play shots and we were sure that the boy would make it big," said Nayak.

He did indeed!

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    Story first published: Wednesday, November 15, 2017, 13:54 [IST]
    Other articles published on Nov 15, 2017
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