Nine years after his retirement, Sachin Tendulkar still got it. At 49 years of age, the Master Blaster produced a knock that will put many a T20 inning to shame. Tendulkar, the India Legends captain, played a blistering innings of 40 off just 20 balls against England Legends in the Road Safety World Series, which included three fours and three sixes and produced a blazing start, setting the platform for his team’s big 40-run won.
Tendulkar has been nothing short of sensational in the ongoing series. He got out for 16 against South Africa but looked in peak form in the next one against New Zealand Legends. Tendulkar remained unbeaten on 19 off 13 balls during which he cracked four boundaries – a pull off Shane Bond, a lap shot and his trademark punch off the backfoot – before rain brought an early end to his innings. But on Thursday in Dehradun, fans once again got to witness the genius of Tendulkar as he rolled back the years, doing it in some style.
Opening the innings, Tendulkar opened his account with a single before picking up his first boundary towards backward square leg. However, it was in the next over that Tendulkar went berserk, smashing former England pacer Chris Tremlett for 6, 6 and 4. The first six was a Tendulkar lap, as the ball carried all the way over the boundary at fine leg. The second six though, broke the internet as Tendulkar stepped out of the crease to Tremlett and lofted him over long-on in a throwback to his 1998 Desert Storm innings in Sharjah.
Besides the straight drive and the backfoot punch, another shot which Tendulkar was known for in his pomp was this, where he would repeatedly jump out of the crease and smash boundaries and sixes. He followed it with another boundary off the next ball to finish an expensive 18-run over. The six sent social media into a meltdown, with many even demanding his return in India’s T20 World Cup team. Here are some of the reactions.
Tendulkar did not stop there. Rikki Clarke was lapped for another six and so was Jade Dernbach, although it was a four as Sachin raced away to 40 off 19 balls. A fifty was there for the taking, but just when Tendulkar was burning up Twitter with his blitzkrieg, he chipped the ball back to leg-spinner Chris Schofield for an easy catch and bowled. Nevertheless, Tendulkar had thrilled the Dehradun crowd, enough to take them to a nostalgia trip with his enthralling innings. India-L posted 170/4, and in reply, ENG-L were 40 runs short. Fittingly, Tendulkar was adjudged the ‘Man of the Match’
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