With cricket coming to a standstill, many former cricketers are using social media to interact with each other and reflect on their careers. Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra, who is now a well-known commentator, has also become significantly active on his YouTube channel where he invites his former teammates for light-hearted conversations.
On Saturday, he talked to former Indian pacer Ajit Agarkar, who had been his opponent during U-16 and U-19 zonal championships. However, the duo played together for the India U-19 squad. Both cricketers have also represented India in Tests.
During the chat, Chopra surprisingly pointed out that during Agarkar's younger days, he was touted as the 'next Sachin Tendulkar'.
"We heard there was a player for Mumbai, his name was Ajit Agarkar and Sachin Tendulkar has given him pads also. Agarkar will be the next Tendulkar,” said Chopra.
In response, Agarkar admitted that it was indeed the case because he used to make runs in school cricket. He also said that he had the same coach as Tendulkar during childhood -- Ramakant Achrekar.
"Actually, it started because I wanted to become a batsman. In school I used to make runs, our coach was the same - Ramakant Achrekar and he must have seen something in me," said Agarkar.
"Sachin Tendulkar was by then the next big thing to come out of his coaching. Pravin Amre and many others also came before Sachin and were doing well. Many used to come out of his academy."
Ajit Agarkar may have turned to bowling but he still remains the owner of a record which is only shared by five other Indian batsmen - a Test century at Lord's. Agarkar is in the company of some of the elites of Indian batting lineups over the years -- Gundappa Viswanath, Rahul Dravid, Dilip Vengsarkar, Ajinkya Rahane and Ravi Shastri.
Continuing the story, Agarkar said that even as he used to score runs, his primary focus was on progressing in his overall game.
"I used to make good runs and that was the perception of people. Now when you play well at the age of 16 you go and play IPL but then there was a fixed step to reach the national team. I used to make runs and there was a news going around that there might be a new batsman coming from Mumbai but at that age you think just of progressing in your game," said Agarkar.
"Sachin gave me gloves. We were in the same school and he thought someone was performing well and so he gave me gloves. I didn’t know him much then. I did not use his pad, maybe I could have become a better batsman if I had used his pad."