Lillee revealed how he had been less than impressed when Tendulkar first appeared at his Madras foundation with fast-bowling ambitions. "At 12 years of age, he and about another 150 came along for the first or second session that I had there," said Lillee on Wednesday."I didn't know who he was, he was just a young kid coming along like every other one, I didn't know. And he was one of my rejects in the first lot, I said something along the lines of 'I think you should stick to batting' or something like that and he did - and did he stick!"The next time I saw him was about two years later.
He in fact came along as a batsman. And there was this young lad, a little short, thin young lad in the nets smashing my fast bowlers back over their head and smashing them to the boundary and all these things I was telling them to do weren't happening."And I sort of looked and I thought 'Gee, this kid is pretty good' and I called (coach) T A Sekar and I said 'Come to the back of the nets, have a look at this kid, he looks fantastic'.
"I sat there for a while and I said 'Geez, what's this kid's name?'. He (Sekar) said 'you rejected him', I said 'No way'."He said 'No no, as a bowler' and I said 'What's his name?', he said 'Sachin Tendulkar' and I said, 'this kid could be anything'."He was 14 I think. He travelled across from Bombay (to Madras) just to be a batsman in the nets and get some practice. Did he get practice!"