'Today at 35, I want to tell you, he was bang on': Uthappa recalls Sachin's important advice during 2008 CB series
- Uthappa has revealed that Tendulkar was battling an insurmountable amount of pain through the series but ended up playing the entire tournament. He played 10 matches in the tri-series, scoring 399 runs at an average of 44.33.
India's Commonwealth Bank tri-series win in Australia in the year 2008 is clearly one of their biggest series wins of all time. India overcame Sri Lanka to join Australia in a best of three-finals and led by Sachin Tendulkar's stupendous batting in the first two finals, wrapped up the series without the need of a third final.
Robin Uthappa, who was part of that Indian squad, opened the batting along with Tendulkar in both finals, adding 50 and 94 runs in the two finals respectively. Today, years later, Uthappa has revealed that Tendulkar was battling an insurmountable amount of pain through the series but ended up playing the entire tournament. He played 10 matches in the tri-series, scoring 399 runs at an average of 44.33.
"You won't believe it, Sachin Tendulkar… I call him paaji. He played with a lot of pain in that Commonwealth Bank series. He was not ok physically and he played through a lot of pain. There were times when he would wince in pain. We would ask him if he's ok and he'll be like 'I'm fine'. He would always put the requirement of the team ahead and he would always do that. He played through a lot of pain," Uthappa said on The Grade Cricketer Podcast.
Tendulkar lit up both finals, scoring an unbeaten 117 in Sydney – his first ODI century in Australia – while missing out back-to-back hundreds when he was out for 91 at the MCG. Legend has it that if it were to go down to the third final, chances were high that he would not have played the decider as he was in so much pain.
"I remember we had a conversation with him in that series where he said 'Robin, it's so hard to keep yourself fit after 32, 33 and 34, because it gets that much more challenging, Injuries start taking a toll. I was just 21 or 22 when I had that conversation and I said 'no paaji, you're just saying this'. He said 'Robin, when you're 35, let's have a conversation and see if you agree with me or not.' And today at 35, I want to tell you, he was bang on," Uthappa added.