Cricketing great Sachin Tendulkar has been an inspiration to many, be it on or off the cricket field. Meanwhile, the legend himself has always been supportive towards the players he played with. Recalling the encouraging words of Tendulkar, pacer Varun Aaron revealed how the cricket veteran boosted his morale and that “changed” his Test debut in 2011. In Aaron’s first match in the format, India were playing against West Indies at Wankhede and the pacer was struggling to get his maiden Test wicket. This is when Sachin motivated him to keep going.

“We were playing at the Wankhede Stadium. It was a really flat wicket, and the West Indies were 500 something for four. And I was really down. I was 21 years old and had never bowled 21 overs without a wicket. Sachin Tendulkar was standing at mid-off, he looked at me and asked, ‘why are you looking so down?’ I was like, you know what, Paaji, I’ve never bowled 21 overs for no wickets. I can’t believe this is happening on my debut,” said Aaron in an interview to BCCI.

“He (Sachin) is like, come here. We stopped mid-over and he said, ‘Do you know I waited 22 years for my first World Cup Trophy? So you can wait 21 overs for your first wicket, there’s no problem with that. Please come down to earth and get bowling. I was like, Man, seriously, that makes so much sense. The very next ball, I got Darren Bravo (166) out, caught behind. Then got two other wickets – Carlton Baugh and Daren Sammy. And that just changed my debut.

“Just a few words from Sachin Tendulkar. I had also induced an edge off Marlon Samuels, but it was dropped. I was bowling flat out, gas out in my 26th over. If I had gotten that wicket, you never know, I would’ve gotten one more over from MS Dhoni and may be a fifer as well. It was just a great spell inspired by the great Sachin Tendulkar. And it just shows you that these very small things can actually change careers, change a debut for somebody.”

Aaron played 9 Test matches for India and took 18 wickets. He called time on his red-ball cricket career in February this year.

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