On Dennis Lillee’s 68th birthday, India legend Sachin Tendulkar has revealed it was the former Australia tearaway that told him to ditch bowling and focus on batting.
Tendulkar would finish his 200-Test career as the format’s leading run-scorer and century-maker, post 100 international hundreds and widely be regarded as the greatest batsman since Sir Donald Bradman.
What a sound piece of advice that turned out to be from DK Lillee!
Tendulkar posted a video on Twitter to his 17.2 million followers wishing Lillee happy birthday and recounting the time he first the Australian at the MRF Pace Foundation 30 years ago.
While he may not have graduated from the Foundation, Tendulkar learnt perhaps the most important lesson of his sporting life: forget the bowling and just bat.
"Dennis, many, many happy returns for the day," Tendulkar said.
"I can never forget the day I met you in Chennai in 1987.
"I was there to become a fast bowler but this is something that most of the guys don’t know.
"I was always a batter but while catching the train from Mumbai to Chennai my brother told me: ‘It won’t be a bad idea to carry your batting gear’, because after having bowled for a while you made me just standing there doing nothing, so then I padded up and played against all those fast bowlers.
"I actually ended up doing that for the rest of the week.
"You correctly said: ‘I think this young lad should go out and bat, forget about bowling’.
"But that desire continued and instead of bowling in matches I used to fulfil all my desires in the nets bowling from 17 yards, sometimes also pretending to be Dennis Lillee in the nets."
Happy birthday to one of the best bowlers to have graced the sport, Dennis Lillee! Here's a small incident from our first meeting. pic.twitter.com/GZgEN7Zei8— sachin tendulkar (@sachin_rt) July 18, 2017