In an interview to cricket.com, Tendulkar revealed how he upset Aussie lead pacer Glenn McGrath in the quarter-final of the ICC Knockout in 2000. Going back into the details of the crucial game, Tendulkar said that the pitch was a little damp, and McGrath was on top of his game. Hence, something needed to be done to upset the rhythm.
“I cannot forget the match against Australia in the ICC Champions Knockout Trophy in Nairobi in 2000 as well. The wicket was once again damp and not a very easy one to bat on. There was plenty of life on the surface,” Sachin told cricket.com in the interview.
“The way McGrath bowled the first over, I spoke to Sourav Ganguly and suggested that I go after McGrath. I realised we have to do something out of the box. I exchanged a few words with him which took him by surprise. I also started playing shots against him, though some of them were risky,” Sachin added.
Tendulkar explained that his plan was to upset McGrath so that he would bowl at his body, and reduce the chances of getting him out. “The plan was to get him angry and make him attack my body instead of looking to get me out. We were beaten on occasions but also were able to make McGrath bowl where we wanted. I made a quick-fire 38 and this came in a winning cause so I was very happy,” the maestro explained.
Tendulkar was eventually sent back by Brett Lee for 38 off 37 balls, having hit three fours and as many sixes. McGrath finished with figures of 0 for 61 in nine overs. Newcomer Yuvraj Singh’s blazing 84 from 80 balls led India to victory by 20 runs. Ajit Agarkar, Zaheer Khan and Venkatesh Prasad picked up two wickets each for India as Australia fell short in a chase of 266.
During the same interview, Tendulkar also recalled about the first ODI of the 2001 home series against Australia, in which he had again taken on McGrath. “An innings I will remember is the first ODI between India and Australia in 2001, right after we won the historic Test series. I was batting well with VVS Laxman and together we got India off to a flying start. I had decided to be more aggressive against Glenn McGrath. There was an over where I attacked McGrath and managed to hit three boundaries and a six. I eventually got run out for 35 runs in that match but I was in good form to continue otherwise,” Sachin added.
The Aussie pacer, however, had the upper hand over Tendulkar in World Cups, dismissing him cheaply in the 1999 Super Six clash as well as in the 2003 World Cup final.
--By A Cricket Correspondent