Former India captain and BCCI President, who recently completed 20-years in International Cricket, revealed that fateful day in Lord’s where he slammed a century on Test debut. Dada spoke to Star Sports and said that how fielding first helped him calm down.
“Not many get to play their first Test at Lords and I remember fielding at point – a packed stadium at the Lords. And it has always been a happy hunting ground for me – every time I have gone back since my debut. I was in awe to walk down the long room on the first day and luckily we fielded. Otherwise, as a batsman, I was supposed to bat at No.3. I got a 100 on a Saturday, which is probably the best day for Test cricket, with every seat being full. It was my Test debut and get to a 100. They say it can’t get better and the mindset of that Test match was remarkable”
He also added that how Sachin Tendulkar came to him at Tea time and asked him to have his cup of tea as the southpaw was getting jittery.
“As you said, at the back-stands you get cheers for every shot you hit and then finishing at tea time on a 100 was special. I remember, during the tea, I was batting at 100 and I was mentally tired – more than physical – because, first 100, the emotions, the happiness, the highs make you tired as well. I was putting tape around the bat handle because it has just started to soften up, because of the bounce and the ball hitting at the top of the handle. I remember Sachin coming up to me and saying – you relax, have your cup of tea. So, I remember those moments I walked into the dressing room and everybody was standing outside the dressing room to cheer me, because of my achievement.”
Dada went onto become the captain of the Indian cricket team and helped win Test matches in Australia, England and Pakistan.
“The entire journey, making a debut in 1996, getting a 100 at Lords. Then in few years, getting to captain India, getting to build a team – probably people rated as good as anybody in the world with the successes. Then giving the captaincy off to somebody and still being a part of the journey of winning matches and seeing the national team develop, becoming a force all around the world – which started under your captaincy. And then being in a administrative role, trying to change the game. I feel very fortunate that during my tenure as a president, India won in Australia, 2-1, in a remarkable series. It has been a fantastic journey and as a sportsman, as a cricketer, you don’t expect anything better than this.