Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar is the mightiest name in the sport of cricket. Having played the sport for a staggering 24 years, there is barely a list of batting feats that do not have the name of the Little Master, who holds the record of playing most Tests (200), most ODIs (463), apart from being the leading run-maker in both formats with 15,921 and 18,463 runs respectively.
He also holds the record for making most centuries in both the formats, 51 and 49, respectively, while no one has more half-centuries than him either.
Tendulkar leads both Test and ODI lists with 68 and 96 fifties. 664 international appearances, 34,394 runs, 100 centuries, 164 half-centuries, his numbers speak for his longevity and consistency.
But Tendulkar as a bowler was no less great. With such batting feats, it is not hard to neglect how good a bowler he was.
He was more than a capable bowler and has been the creator of many famous spells, at times pulling off what even the designated bowlers in the team could not. 200 wickets to his names in international cricket, the Little Master showed that he was no mug in the other department of the game.
With the bat, Tendulkar's mastery left one and all awestruck. But he managed a couple of times with the ball too. He happens to be the only bowler to have successfully defended six or fewer runs in the final over of the game more than once.
The first such – and rather famed – instance was the 1993 Hero Cup Semi-final against South Africa at the Eden Gardens.
Chasing 196, the Proteas needed six off the final over. India skipper Mohammad Azharuddin handed the ball to Tendulkar, with Fanie De Villiers and Brian McCullum in the middle. Trying to steal a second, de Villiers was run out on the first ball of the over, bringing Allan Donald in.
Tendulkar delivered not one or two, but three dots on the trot to turn the tide in India's favour before Donald took a single, leaving McCullum to get four off the last ball.
All Tendulkar conceded was a single, as India won by 2 runs and scripted one of the most famous wins of all time.
Another such instance arrived three years later with Australia being at the receiving end during the Titan Cup, 1996, in pursuit of 290. With all of India's bowling options exhausted, Azharuddin once again turned to Tendulkar with the opposition needing 6 runs with a wicket in hand.
Unlike the instance against South Africa, Tendulkar made the business easy as he sent back Brad Hogg on the very first ball and secured India a 5-run win.