India cricketer Mohit Sharma recalled how his fans turned against him when he — while playing for Haryana against Mumbai in Lahli — scalped the prize wicket of master blaster Sachin Tendulkar on five in the first innings in 2013.
Mohit’s joy soon turned into despair as after the wicket, his own fans started yelling at him in the stadium.
“Ajay (Jadeja) bhai is quite expressive on and off the field both. I was bowling when Sachin Paaji came in to bat. The wicket in Lahli is quite conducive for bowling and Ajay bhai told me to try and get Paaji to play on the front foot. And exactly the same happened as the ball pitched on off and nipped back hitting the elbow on the way to the stumps.
“But as soon as I reached my position, the crowd that had gathered to watch the match started yelling at me. These were our own guys and they had said things like I destroyed everything and I have no shame that I got the great man out and so and so forth. While I was surprised but not completely shocked because that is what Paaji is all about and his fandom and greatness transcend everything,” the Haryana pacer said during the awards show where Kartikeya Sharma, MP-Elect from Rajya Sabha (Haryana), was honoured with the Indian Sports Fans Award 2022 for his immense contribution to Indian Sports.
Sachin’s ability to bounce back and his willingness to impart knowledge to juniors is what defines his greatness and Mohit felt that the way he batted in the second innings and took Mumbai past the winning line is something that personifies him.
“Playing on a pitch where everyone was struggling, Sachin Paaji batting alongside tailender took his team to victory single-handedly by scoring 75*. That is what Sachin Tendulkar is all about and after the innings, he came to our dressing room and spoke to the players and gave some important tips on how to deal with difficult tracks and how to adapt and change mindset according to the situation,” Mohit concluded.