Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Legendry cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has always been an inspiration for many cricketers. Former Team India speedster Varun Aaron, who recently announced his retirement from red-ball cricket, has recalled one such incident involving the Master Blaster.

Varun was a tearaway pacer who first grabbed headlines in 2008 for his raw pace. However, he couldn’t play for India as much as he would have loved to. He made his Test debut for India against West Indies in November of 2011. Following a lacklustre start, Aaron ended up picking three wickets thanks to Sachin.

Recollecting about the incident, Varun said, “We were playing at the Wankhede Stadium. It was a really flat wicket, and the West Indies were 500 something for four. And I was really down. I was 21 years old and had never bowled 21 overs without a wicket. Sachin Tendulkar was standing at mid-off, he looked at me and asked, ‘why are you looking so down?’ I was like, you know what, Paaji, I’ve never bowled 21 overs for no wickets. I can’t believe this is happening on my debut. He’s like, come here. We stopped mid-over and he said, “Do you know I waited 22 years for my first World Cup Trophy? So you can wait 21 overs for your first wicket, there’s no problem with that. Please come down to earth and get bowling.”

It was only after the inspiring words from Sachin, Varun dismissed the well-set Darren Bravo for 166. In a span of the next four overs, the speedster cleaned up Charlton Baugh and then removed Darren Sammy to trigger a mini-West Indian collapse, who from 518/4, got bundled out for 590.

“It was just a great spell inspired by the great Sachin. And it just shows you that these very small things can actually change careers, change a debut for somebody,” said Varun.