After getting Sachin Tendulkar out controversially in his 199th Test at Eden Gardens, West Indian off-spinner Shane Shillingford would like to exploit the Master Blaster's vulnerability against off spin in his 200th and final Test in a bid to win a slice of cricket history forever. (Read: Shillingford confident of spoiling Sachin Tendulkar's farewell party)
Tendulkar's wicket at Wankhede will be the most cherished one for any bowler and given the 40-year-old's poor record against off spinners, the in-form Shillingford will fancy his chances to etch his name in golden letters alongside the Little Master's in the scorebooks.
When Shillingford got Tendulkar out LBW, the ball struck Tendulkar on his back leg and the replays showed that it would have gone over the stumps. Many feel that more than this 'controversial' decision, it is the way in which Tendulkar was foxed by Shillingford's 'doosra' that got the better of the Master Blaster.
Tendulkar was initially at ease against 30-year-old's discomforting off-breaks. The Maestro even dispatched Shillingford for two back-to-back fours either side of mid-wicket on a second-day Eden wicket. However, the iconic Indian, who is shy of 16,000 Test runs by 153, did look a tad uncomfortable against the off-spinner's 'doosras'. When Sachin lunged forward, the bounce and trajectory would peg him back.
Interestingly, it was Pakistan spin guru Saqlain Mushtaq's words of wisdom that helped Shillingford execute his spin plans in his spell of 6 for 167 in the Kolkata Test. Known to be the inventor of the 'doosra', Saqlain recently conducted a clinic in Barbados prior to West Indies' departure for India tour and revealed all the knowledge he had about Tendulkar and his weaknesses.
"I've told them everything I know about Sachin. I told them about Indian conditions and the pace you should bowl at. You can't predict what'll happen in the match. The Windies boys are more than capable of troubling Sachin. It will be a good contest," Saqlain told an Indian newspaper before the start of the Test series.
Tendulkar is not a stranger to being out LBW. In fact, he holds the record for being out that way most in Test cricket - 63 times. Incidentally history suggests that it is the late spin on many occasions that makes Tendulkar fallible to this mode of dismissal.
In his previous outing in whites for India, Tendulkar was out LBW to another off-spinner, not once, but twice in a single day when Nathan Lyon got him in the fourth and final Test against Australia on March 22 in Delhi earlier this year.
If we go deeper into what the statistics say, Tendulkar has not gone past 32 whenever he has been dismissed LBW by a frontline off-spinner, barring a 109 against Sri Lanka when he was adjudged despite a Muttiah Muralitharan ball pitching outside leg stump in New Delhi in 2005.
Twelve out of the 63 instances, Tendulkar has been dismissed LBW by an off-spinner.
With Tendulkar's history of getting out LBW to off-spinners against him, his farewell 200th Test is likely to throw up an enticing tussle between the 'God of cricket' and spin.