It was almost a decade-and-a-half back that Mumbai last played Saurashtra in a Ranji Trophy match with Sachin Tendulkar in the side. Shitanshu Kotak,the only player in the current Saurashtra squad to have played against the Tendulkar,remembers the match as if it were yesterday.
He was a big star even at that time,having already made his mark on the game, recalls the 36-year-old Kotak,the memories of the 1994 tie at the Wankhede Stadium come flooding back.
We scored around 375 in the first innings,and managed to grab a lead by bowling them out for less. It was only due to a disappointing collapse in the second essay that we lost the game, recalls Kotak,who scored 76 and 48 in the two innings respectively.
He insists that pushing Mumbai to the edge in that game was a remarkable achievement as the team was an extremely formidable one,which in addition to Tendulkar included the likes of Ravi Shastri,Sanjay Manjrekar,Vinod Kambli and Paras Mhambrey.
Tendulkar got out for 12 first time around. But with 220-odd to chase in less than 45 overs,he stamped his class by scoring a breathtaking 80 to lead his team to victory, remembers Kotak.