Left field

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The Sachin Tendulkar jinx

October 13, 2010

India's Sachin Tendulkar is bowled by Australia's Peter George for 214 runs during the fourth day of the second cricket test match in Bangalore October 12, 2010. REUTERS/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds

In getting out to debutant Peter George of Australia in the second cricket test at Bangalore, India’s Sachin Tendulkar has established another test record.

Of the 251 times he has gotten out in a test match, the little master has been the debut wicket of at least ten bowlers – Hansie Cronje, Mark Ealham, Neil Johnson, Ruwan Kalpage, Jacob Oram, Monty Panesar, Ujesh Ranchod, Peter Siddle, Cameron White and Peter George.

While getting Tendulkar’s scalp might seem like a dream start to a young cricketer’s career, which of these players have gone on to become greats of the game?

Barring former South African captain Hansie Cronje, so far, none. And even Cronje’s career was dogged by controversy.

Sri Lankan Ruwan Kalpage sank without a trace, having played the last of his 11 tests in 1999.

Tendulkar was the first — and last — wicket of Zimbabwe’s Ranchod, who played his only test against India in 1993. Johnson, another Zimbabwe player, was talented, but did not get on with former coach Dave Houghton. He played the last of his 13 tests in 2000 and then returned to South Africa.

Panesar was a bit of a sensation, but soon lost form and played his last test a year ago. He’s back in the England squad for the Ashes, so there still is hope. Another Englishman Mark Ealham, however, played the last of his eight tests in 1998, two years after he got Tendulkar on debut.

Injuries got the better of New Zealand’s Oram, who retired in 1999, seven years after playing the first of his 33 tests.

The Australians alone seem to have somewhat given the “jinx” a miss.

While George has a long way to go yet, White last played a test match in 2008, and Siddle in 2010. But all three are considered good prospects and age is on their side.

Whether George will go the distance is anybody’s guess. But for now, he can put his feet up and replay that wicket in his head. He deserves that.

(India vs Australia LIVE Blog & Highlights)

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