Told Ganguly I’ll go after McGrath: Sachin Tendulkar recalls how he unsettled Aussie quick in ICC Knockout in 2000
Terming the quarterfinal against Australia in ICC Knockout Trophy in Nairobi a ‘match he cannot forget’, Sachin Tendulkar recalled how had planned to put Glenn McGrath off his natural rhythm.Updated: May 16, 2020 17:45 IST
A lot of great fast bowlers like Wasim Akram, Brett Lee, Glenn McGrath tried to sledge Sachin Tendulkar early on his career only to realise it was not the best way. It made him more determined as he let his bat do the talking. Former Pakistan off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq recently said he was embarrassed after he had sledged Tendulkar in a Test match. But there was one particular match against Australia when Sachin initiated the sledging. He had decided to have a few words with McGrath to unsettle his rhythm.
Terming the quarterfinal against Australia in ICC Knockout Trophy in Nairobi a ‘match he cannot forget’, Sachin recalled how had planned to put McGrath off his natural rhythm. Sachin added that the pitch was a bit damp and India were batting first so he and captain Sourav Ganguly had to bat well to give India a good start.
“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 an interview.
ALSO WATCH | ‘My brother & coach’: Sachin Tendulkar reveals the two most important people of his life
“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 (play mind games) 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.
The Master-Blaster revealed that he planned to make McGrath angry and bowl to his body rather than outside the off stump.
“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,” he said.
Sachin’s plan worked as Australia did not get a wicket in the first 10 overs and India raced to 66 in 11.3 over before Tendulkar was dismissed by Brett lee for 38 off 37 balls. He hit three fours and three sixes in his stay in the middle.
McGrath failed to pick up a wicket in that match conceding 61 runs in his 9 overs. India rode on debutant Yuvraj Singh’s fantastic 80-ball 84 to post a challenging 265 for 9 batting first.
2 overs were deducted from Australia’s innings because of slow over-rate and they were bowled out for 245 in 46.2 overs as India advanced to semi-finals with a 2-run win.
Ajit Agarkar, Zaheer Khan and Venkatesh Prasad picked up two wickets apiece for India.
Tendulkar recalled another ODI against Australia where had taken the attack to 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. The idea was to not let him settle, and the plan had largely worked. I eventually got run out for 35 runs in that match but I was in good form to continue otherwise,” Sachin said.