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'Sachin one of the greatest I have bowled to'

Glenn McGrath says Sachin Tendulkar is one of the greatest batsman he has bowled to and feels it would be absolutely vital that Australia get him out early.

india Updated: Mar 22, 2003 22:11 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Australian pace spearhead Glenn McGrath says Sachin Tendulkar is one of the "greatest" batsman he has bowled to and feels it would be absolutely vital that Australia get him out early in the World Cup final on Sunday.

"He is up there with the greatest I have bowled to. He seems to have so much time and the shots he plays are solid," McGrath wrote in his column in Australian newspaper 'The Sunday Telegraph'.

"I always enjoy the challenge of bowling to Sachin, as I do to any great player.

"To say I feel I have his measure would be wrong. I feel I have Brian Lara's measure, but Sachin is different," he said.

"What gives me confidence is that Sachin often changes his game plan when I bowl to him. I never change mine.

"A bowler gets a big confidence boost when he sees a guy of Sachin's class changing things around. I have managed to get him out a few times but he has also done reasonably well against me on a few occasions.

"Against a guy like Tendulkar, the key is to bowl where you want to bowl, rather than bowling where he wants you to. There is no easy way to bowl to him. It gets back to what works best on the day," he said.

"As it is, I'll just be trying to keep it tight and build the pressure, hoping Brett Lee can come in and blast him out."

McGrath said while Tendulkar's wicket was the key, it would be a big mistake to ignore the capabilities of the other Indian batsmen.

"The last thing we want to do is get caught up trying to get Sachin and forget about the rest. The key will be to not forget the guys at the other end.

"...India have a few danger players we will need to watch closely and get on top of early if we hope to win the final.

"We must make sure we are taking wickets there (at the other end), putting more pressure back on Sachin to survive and then score some runs.

"Having said that, if we can knock over Sachin early, it can set up the innings for us. He has been a standout in the World Cup, scoring more than 500 runs. I am not sure what mood Sachin will be in. Some days he does not try to defend and just plays his shots."

McGrath said though his team was undefeated in the tournament so far and was the clear favourite, it had not played to its full potential.

"I don't think our batting or bowling has clicked and there are areas which can be improved," he said.

"There are probably a few batsmen who would have liked to score a few more runs and hopefully that will happen in the final.
"I'd be disappointed if we weren't favourites to win."

We feel that if we go out and play the way we can, we will win 99 out of 100 games. One thing we don't do is say "we are favourites and I hope we don't crack under pressure".

First Published: Mar 22, 2003 22:02 IST