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‘Sachin was toying with him’ — Lee reveals Warne hated Tendulkar’s ability

Warne Tendulkar
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Former Australian quick Brett Lee has revealed how Shane Warne used to hate Sachin Tendulkar‘s ability to pick his variations from the hand, frustrating him to the point that “he tried everything to get Sachin out, but he couldn’t.”

“The way Sachin used to read bowlers out of their hand, the different technique he used to play different balls was pure class,” Lee told Star Sports Cricket Connected. “There were times when Warne would try and get the trajectory a bit different through the air, and sometimes, he would try and get a few balls to drop. Every time he would try the subtle variations, there was only Sachin who would pick them up.”

The Tendulkar-Warne duel, a classic rivalry of the nineties and early 2000s, began in 1992 when Warne debuted against India at Sydney, and ran into Tendulkar, who compiled a masterful 148* when he was just 19.

Warne managed to dismiss Tendulkar thrice in 12 Tests, but was far less successful in ODIs, getting the better of him only once in 17 matches. The highlight of their rivalry came during Tendulkar’s coming-of-age classic in Sharjah, in 1998, when he pulverised the Australian attack, Warne included, for back-to-back ODI tons.

“Warne would bamboozle other batsmen around the world, but Sachin would watch the hand much better than most of the other batsmen,” said Lee. “Warne hated it, he would come back and say that he tried everything to get Sachin out, but he couldn’t.

Warne Tendulkar

Tendulkar is congratulated by Warne for his match-winning hundred in the 1998 Coca Cola final in Sharjah

“He used to advance down the wicket a few times and invited Warne to bowl a fraction too short. Sometimes, he would wait patiently on the back foot and play those beautiful shots. It was almost like he was playing cat and mouse with Warne, and not many batsmen can play cat and mouse with Shane Warne because he’s so talented.

“But on days, Sachin Tendulkar was toying with Warne and that does not happen often.”

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