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Tendulkar, down and under

cricket Updated: Feb 20, 2008 01:03 IST
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay
Hindustan Times
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Forty-one centuries in ODIs, seven against Australia, none Down Under. Sachin Tendulkar wouldn't like this piece of statistic, especially when he has such a fantastic Test record (1522 runs at 58.53 with 6 tons) in the country which has dominated cricket during his tenure as the world's premier batsman.

And if India don't reach the finals of the tri-series, he has just two more games to hit one.

Tendulkar has played 36 ODIs in Australia and, given the rate he scores centuries in this form of the game, he could have scored at least three in Bradman country. The 93 he made against Pakistan in Hobart in 2000 remains his highest, and his ODI average in Australia (32.57) too is well below his lofty standards (career average of 43.95).

He doesn't have too many half-centuries here either — just eight.

The delivery he got on Tuesday was the last thing he would have wanted, or any batsman for that matter. Lasith Malinga's sling-arm action means right-handers expect the ball to leave them on most occasions, especially when the ball is new and there is no reverse swing. The one that got Tendulkar did move away from him, but only after straightening in the air after leaving the bowler's hand.

Facing the ball delivered at over 140 kmph, Tendulkar first had to adjust himself, after seeing that it was straightening. From a good length, it then moved away from the batsman, squaring him up, before hitting the top of off stump. Any player would dread getting such a delivery, and if it happens to be the second ball you are facing, there is nothing much you can do about it.