Cricketers whose first and last batting partner was Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar, one of the greatest players to have played the game, had a glittering career. He started his career as a talented 16-year-old against Pakistan in Pakistan and ended his career against the West Indies, at his home ground, the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai as a man who had achieved it all.

In such a long career, Sachin played with and against a staggering 989 players of which 141 were Indians. Naturally, there were a number of players whose career either began or ended with Sachin. Let us today have a look at those players whose first as well as last batting partner was the master blaster, Sachin Tendulkar.

Subroto Banerjee (Test Cricket)

Subroto Banerjee is perhaps one of the most unfortunate cricketers to have played for India. An exciting prospect in the 90s, the fast bowler from Bihar ended up playing only 6 ODIs from 1991-1992 and one Test Match despite performing exceedingly well in it, picking up 3 wickets for 47 runs and dismissing top batsmen of the opposing Australian team.

The 3rd Test match of India’s tour of Australia in 1992 saw India pile up 483 in reply to Australia’s first innings score of 313. Ravi Shastri scored a magnificent double ton and Tendulkar scored 148, remaining unbeaten. Banerjee came in to bat at number 10 with Tendulkar at the other end and was dismissed for a 7 ball 3, never to bat again for India in Tests and hence Tendulkar was his one and only batting partner in Tests.

Sujith Somasunder (ODI)

Sujith Somasunder was a gritty batsman from Karnataka who despite being gutsy and full of resolve just didn’t have enough in him to make it big at the international level. He made his Ranji Trophy debut in 1990-1991 season along with another debutant who would go on to become a legend, a certain Rahul Dravid. After consistently doing well in the domestic circuit and a breakout 95-96 season where he scored 803 runs, Sujith was handed out a national call up to play in the Titan Cup in 1996 against South Africa and Australia.

In his first game, Sujith opened the innings with none other than Tendulkar, then the skipper of the Indian team. He could never get going and was dismissed after a painstaking 9 off 31 balls chasing 262. India eventually lost the match by 47 runs. He was given a go against the mighty Aussies as well, but once again he struggled to keep the scoreboard moving and was bowled by Glenn McGrath scoring just 7 of 32 balls while Sachin was on 23. While India went on to win that match, unfortunately for Sujith, that was the last game he played for India.

Vijay Dahiya (Test)

Vijay Dahiya was one of the many wicketkeeper-batsman India tried out in the early 2000s before the arrival of M.S Dhoni. He made his first-class debut for Delhi in 1993-1994 and made his ODI debut as well as Test debut in a span of a couple of months in 2000. While Dahiya was a decent player, he didn’t have the X factor which would make him a terrific limited-overs batsman. He played 19 ODIs scoring 216 runs. He got fewer opportunities in Tests. He did not get to bat in his debut match against Zimbabwe, which was being played at his home ground Delhi.

In the second game in Nagpur, Dahiya came in to bat at number 8 with India’s score at 601-6 and Tendulkar was unbeaten at 195. Dahiya scored 2 runs in 5 balls and in the meantime, Tendulkar got to his 200. On the completion of Tendulkar’s milestone, captain Ganguly declared the innings and that was Dahiya’s first and last innings in Test cricket and hence Sachin Tendulkar remained his only batting partner in Test cricket.

Sourav Ganguly (First- ODI, Last- ODI and Test)

Sourav Ganguly, regarded as one of the best Indian skippers, had a number of iconic partnerships with Sachin in Tests and their opening partnership in ODIs is considered one of the best in the game. While Ganguly is famous for his Test debut in Lords in 1996, he had actually made his ODI debut in 1992 against West Indies in the Benson and Hedges Cup in Brisbane. He came in to bat at number 6, at 35-4 with Sachin at the other end and was dismissed cheaply for 3.

After a career of drastic highs and lows, Ganguly played his last ODI against Pakistan in 2007 at Gwalior opening the batting with Sachin and was dismissed for 5 in his last innings.

Ganguly had dominated Test cricket in 2007, which was his most successful year scoring in excess of 1000 runs. After an unprecedented comeback in 2007 and two years of brilliant cricket, Ganguly decided to call time on his Test career after the 4th test of the 2008-2009 Border Gavaskar trophy played in Nagpur. While he scored 85 in the first innings, in the second innings of the match which was to be his last and Tendulkar at the other end he was unfortunately dismissed for a first-ball duck by Jason Krejza. It was an unfortunate end to an unbelievable career but it was fitting that the man at the other end was Sachin Tendulkar, a player who will always be synonymous with Ganguly.