Kochi: The cricket fans of Kochi will miss Sachin Tendulkar when India take on England in the second one day international on Tuesday, as it was here that he turned in his best bowling performance in ODIs at the Jawaharlal Nehru International stadium.
His only two five-wicket hauls in his ODI career have also come at this ground in front of a packed stadium.
In the very first ODI played at this ground against the mighty Australians on April 1, 1998, Tendulkar, mesmerised the strong Aussie batsmen with his leg-spin returning with 5 for 32 from his 10 overs which helped India script a 41-run win.
The brilliant effort also fetched him the 'Man of the Match' award.
Kerala Cricket Association curator Ramachandran fondly remembers Tendulkar's words after the match: 'I would like to roll the pitch and take it to Mumbai', he had said, Ramachandran recalled.
India, who batted first scored 309/5, helped by Ajay Jadeja's unbeaten 105. Chasing a victory target of 310, the Aussies went on the rampage with Adam Gilchrist scoring a breezy 61.
However, Tendulkar put the skids on the Aussies, scalping Steve Waugh, Darren Lehman, Michael Bevan, who looked dangerous and looked like taking the vistors to victory, Tom Moody and Damien Martyn. The bowling figures continues to be the best effort from Tendulkar, who called its quits in the shorter-version of the game in December 2012.
Seven years later on April 2, 2005 Tendulkar again came to the rescue by capturing 5/50 in his ten overs against Pakistan to help India win by 87 runs.
Though Tendulkar shone with the ball here, fans were unlucky not to see him flourish as a batsman. The highest he managed at this ground was 26 against South Africa.