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‘I’d Actually Taken a Lot of Time to Warm Up’: Tendulkar on His Final Over Heroics in 1993 Hero Cup Semifinal

Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar is counted among one of the greatest players to ever grace the sports. The talismanic cricketer had guided India to several memorable victories with his batting during his two and a half decade-long career. Tendulkar also used to bowl a few overs in the middle during his younger days and recently during an interview, posted on his YouTube channel, the veteran great spoke about one such underrated moment of his career when he guided his side to a significant win with his bowling.

The occasion was the 1993 Hero Cup semifinal, played between India and South Africa, at the iconic Eden Garden stadium of Kolkata.

Batting first, riding on then skipper Mohammad Azharuddin’s 90 runs off 118 balls, India posted 195 runs before getting bowled out. In reply, South Africa almost chased down the target as they needed just six runs off the last over.

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Many would have expected Azharuddin to hand the ball to his most experienced bowler to bowl the final over. But the Hyderabad cricketer decided to take a risk by giving the ball to Tendulkar. Interestingly, the Mumbaikar had not bowled a single over till then in the match and was asked to save the match for India on the last over. The ‘Master Blaster’ did not disappoint as he conceded just three runs to guide the home side to a momentum two-run victory.

Reminiscing the incredible day, Tendulkar termed his achievement as an “unbelievable” highlight of his legendary career.

“I remember I hadn’t bowled at all till the 50th over, not a single ball I had bowled so and because it was a bit chilly, you know my body was stiff, my fingers were also stiff and you know I had actually taken a lot of time to warm up,” said Sachin in his latest YouTube Video.

Tendulkar also recalled taking a significant break before bowling the last over as his body and fingers were stiff due to the chilly weather. The 48-year-old also said that he was the one who planted the idea to let him bowl the last over as he was confident about guiding India home.

“When we met in the middle, I told Azhar that I am more than happy to bowl and I am confident that I can bowl this over and then it was decided that I would bowl. I had just made a suggestion that I am confident to bowl the last over, if you want me to bowl, I’m okay.

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“Once it was decided then I said okay fine. I’m trying to hit the ball on my fingers and then I am warming up because every ball mattered. Every run mattered there. But the way the crowd was with us was incredible, you know. Each dot ball was appreciated, unbelievably and that sort of mounted pressure on them,” concluded Tendulkar.

Following their incredible win in the semis, Team India went on to defeat West Indies by 102 runs in the final to clinch the Hero Cup.

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