Forward of an ODI match in 2002 towards England in Cuttack, Badani stated that Srinath was being uncharacteristically nervous and Tendulkar determined to play a prank on him to lighten his temper.
“For some strange reason at Cuttack, he (Srinath) was extremely nervous, extremely wobbly, which he normally isn’t,” Badani stated on his Instagram account on the episode of #StorieswithHemangBadani. “Java (Srinath) is extremely vocal and very confident in his normal self, but for some strange reason, he was a little nervous that day.
“And, I wasn’t taking part in that sport. So, what Sachin asked me to do this sport was ? Srinath, clearly being a 6’2, 6’3, had actually lengthy pants, and Sachin, being about 5’5, 5’6 had shorter pants.
“To just try and lighten the mood and to make sure that Srinath got back to normalcy, during practice before the game, when the match hadn’t started yet, he asked me to switch trousers. He said, ‘Take my trousers, put them in Srinath’s bag, and pull out his trousers and keep it away wherever you can, be it in your bag, be it in my bag. Just take it away’.”
Srinath did not even discover that he was sporting shorter trousers. “Srinath being Srinath, doesn’t even care. He finishes his practice, gets back to the dressing room, puts his trousers on, gets on the field, bowls the first ball, and there are people laughing on the field. The Indian side is laughing on the field, and little does he realise what’s happened,” stated Badani.
“Then someone pointed at his trousers and said, ‘Sri, look at your trousers, they’re so short!’ That’s when he realises that something is on, and something is wrong. Actually, what has happened after that is, because of this banter and lighter moment, he gets back to being normal and bowls a brilliant spell.
“However he had to come off the sphere after the primary over, he modified his trousers, he asked me, ‘What the hell is going on, kisne kia [who did it]’ and all that. I stated I’ve no clue. I innocently put my arms up and stated, ‘I do not know, Sri, what you are speaking about. I do not know what’s occurring!’ And [he] ultimately modified his trousers, went again in, and he bowled a superb spell.”
Srinath took one wicket and gave 41 runs within the 9 overs that he bowled, thus ending up with the second greatest economic system price within the assault in that match behind Harbhajan Singh. India nevertheless went on to lose the match by 16 runs.