I was upset and disappointed after Dravid declared innings at Multan: Sachin

Stranded at 194

I was upset and disappointed after Dravid declared innings at Multan: Sachin

Stranded on 194 when stand-in skipper Rahul Dravid declared the Indian innings in the 2004 Multan Test against Pakistan, Sachin Tendulkar has spoken about the anger and shock he felt by the decision which “did not make any sense”.

In his autobiography ‘Playing It My Way’, Tendulkar reveals how hurt he was at the declaration and he told Dravid to “leave him alone” so that he could come to terms with his disappointment of missing out on a double century.

“I assured Rahul that the incident would have no bearing on my involvement on the field, but off the field, I would prefer to be left alone for a while to come to terms with what had happened,” Tendulkar writes in the book.

However, the batting legend said the incident didn’t have any adverse effect on his relationship with Dravid. “Despite this incident, I am glad to say Rahul and I remained good friends and even on the field, our camaraderie remained intact until the end of our careers. We continued to have some good partnerships and neither our cricket nor our friendship was affected.”

In the book, Tendulkar has narrated the entire story of the Multan declaration and what happened behind the scenes after he was back in the dressing room. Tendulkar writes, “At tea-time, I asked stand-in skipper Rahul Dravid, who was in charge because Sourav was out with a back injury, and coach John Wright what the plan was. I was informed, we were looking to give Pakistan an hour to bat, so would put them in with 15 overs left on the second day. It was perfectly sensible and I went about my business after tea with this plan in mind.”

“A little later, when I was on 194, he came out again and said I should try and get my double hundred in that over itself because Rahul had decided to declare. I was startled to say the least, because in my mind I still had 12 balls in which to score the remaining six runs before 15 overs were left for the day”, Tendulkar writes.

But as it happened, Tendulkar did not get to play a single ball in that over and his partner Yuvraj Singh too got out. “Then just as Parthiv Patel, the next batsman started to come out, I saw Rahul gesturing us to go back to the pavilion. He had declared the innings with me stranded on 194 and with 16 overs left for the day — one more than we had agreed. Tendulkar admitted that he was indeed “shocked” at Dravid’s decision. “Disappointed and upset, I made my way back to the dressing room and could sense that the whole team was surprised at the decision (Rahul Dravid declaring with me stranded at 194).

Tendulkar said that he told Rahul that “he was indeed upset and can’t pretend otherwise.” “Rahul said that the call was taken with the interests of the team in mind. It was important to demonstrate that we meant business and were keen to win. I wasn’t convinced. First, I said to him that I was batting for the team as well. The 194 was meant to help the team and it was my individual contribution to the team’s cause.”

Tendulkar reminded Dravid of the Sydney Test match, held less than a month ago. “...When we had both been batting on the fourth evening and Sourav had sent out two or three messages asking when we should declare and Rahul had carried on batting. The two situations were comparable and, if anything, the Sydney declaration was far more significant and may have cost a Test match and series victory. If Rahul was so keen to show intent in Multan, he should have done the same in Sydney.”

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