One of the best rivalries that the great Sachin Tendulkar had was with Australia speed demon Brett Lee. The right-handed pacer made his Australia debut in 2000 against India and picked a fifer in the first Test he played.
The two shared a healthy rivalry right until they retired from the game. Lee finished up with Test cricket in 2008 with 310 wickets in 76 matches, while he retired from ODIs in 2012, with 380 wickets in 221 matches. He also played 25 T20Is and picked 28 scalps.
Recalling his first meeting with Sachin Tendulkar, Brett Lee said on Brett Lee TV on YouTube: “I met Sachin for the first time way back in 1999 in Canberra. I was playing in the Prime Minister’s XI against the touring Indian team, which of course had Sachin in it. It was a practice match when he came out to bat and I’m bowling to the great Sachin Tendulkar. I actually thought, ‘I might get an autograph. Get the ball and say, ‘Hey mate, can you please sign this’. I thought that would look cool as my first impression.”
Lee revealed that he dismissed Tendulkar in that practice game and shook hands with him.
“As a young kid growing up, I watched the wonderful Tendulkar and here I was, bowling to him. I managed to nick him off and we shook hands at the end of the game. I was in absolute awe of this wonderful man," Lee added.
Lee also admitted that Tendulkar was one of the few players who were not from Australia but was admired by their fans whenever he went out to bat there.
He said: “Most players who are not from Australia receive a fair bit of flak. They normally get booed. The crowd appreciates the players but doesn’t want to show it… that’s the Australian culture. But every time Sachin walked out to bat, there was massive applause, not only from the Australians but also from the touring Indians who were a part of fans that flew in from around the world to watch Sachin.”
“Every time Sachin managed to get a fifty or a hundred, we used to hear a huge noise. I haven’t seen any other player who toured Australia to get that response… get that standing ovation after reaching 150. Just an incredible guy!" Lee further added.