Former Australia speedster Brett Lee believes batting legend Sachin Tendulkar used to play “cat and mouse” with legendary spinner Shane Warne during their playing days.
Speaking on Star Sports’ show Cricket Connected, Lee said that Tendulkar was very comfortable batting against Warne and in fact on his days, the Master Blaster just toyed with the Australian leggie, which was a rare sight.
“He (Tendulkar) 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,” said Lee.
“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,” he added.
Tendulkar and Warne had an epic duel whenever they faced each other on the field.
Lee further revealed that Warne hated the way Tendulkar batted against him and would express anger after being unable to get the former Indian batter out.
“The way Sachin used to read bowlers out of their hand, the different technique he used to play different balls was pure class.
“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.
“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,” Lee said.
Tendulkar made his debut against Pakistan at Karachi in 1989 as a 16-year old. The master batsman went on to play 200 Tests for India, scoring 100 centuries across Tests and ODIs. In 463 ODIs, Tendulkar scored 18,426 runs including 49 tons and in Tests, he has 15,921 runs to his name including 51 centuries.
“I was 22 years when I got my first opportunity to play against the Little Master,” Lee, who played 76 Tests, 221 ODIs and 25 T20Is for Australia, said while recalling the first time he played against Tendulkar.
“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.