Former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee revealed how Sachin Tendulkar dealt with the threat of spin great Shane Warne in his heydays as the failure to dismiss the Indian batsman left the leg-spinner frustrated.
“Sachin Tendulkar was toying with Warne and that does not happen often,” Lee said while talking about the Tendulkar-Warne rivalry on Star Sport’s show Cricket Connected.
“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,” Lee added.
Warne tried different ways to get Tendulkar out but the master blaster was always able to read his variations.
“The way Sachin used to read bowlers out of their hand, the different technique he used to play different balls was pure class,” Lee said.
“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,” he added.
“Warne would bamboozle other batsmen around the world, but Sachin would watch the hand much better than most of the other batsmen. Warne hated it, he would come back and say that he tried everything to get Sachin out, but he couldn’t,” he continued.
Lee recalled his own duels with Tendulkar, especially cherishing those occasions when he got the better of the Indian batting great.
“I was 22 years when I got my first opportunity to play against the Little Master,” Lee said.
“I nicked him off and I thought I’m done. I didn’t care about a Test match since I was so happy to get Sachin Tendulkar out,” he added.
Tendulkar scored 30000 international runs in his career across formats and slammed a hundred centuries before retiring in 2013. His record against Australia was especially good and caused them plenty of problems especially in the late 90s.