Australia in India 2000-01 April 2, 2013

Tendulkar's revenge

Sachin Tendulkar's 126 in the 2001 Chennai Test against Australia was achieved by reining in his instincts when facing Glen McGrath and helped win India the series - but he remembered the bowler's goading when the ODIs began
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Glen McGrath and Sachin Tendulkar continued their duel into the ODI series
Glen McGrath and Sachin Tendulkar continued their duel into the ODI series © Getty Images

I am going to continue from where I had left off in the last piece and complete my trilogy (of sorts) on the 2001 series.

In the final Test at Chennai, India got off to a solid start in response to Australia's first innings score of 391. With the score at 211 for 2, Sachin Tendulkar came out to face Glenn McGrath, who was working up appreciable reverse swing with a slightly older ball, and marked his usual leg stump guard. McGrath had just accounted for SS Das with the first ball of the third day, a sharp incoming delivery. Sensing the context of the match, Tendulkar started off cautiously and played out the McGrath spell.

By the time he came back for his next spell, Tendulkar had just about started opening up and played a majestic cover drive off McGrath. Strangely, McGrath was taken out of the attack after a mini, four-over spell immediately after lunch, in which he took the wicket of Ganguly. Once Tendulkar opened up, he was in scintillating touch. There was a glorious square drive off Jason Gillespie, a conventional sweep for six off Colin Miller and many varieties of paddle sweeps (some of them should be called reverse straight drives) against Shane Warne and Miller.

With the series hanging in the balance and Tendulkar, along with Rahul Dravid, dragging the match away from the grasp of Australia, McGrath was brought back into the attack. After having little success with his probing line, McGrath attempted a string of bouncers against Tendulkar, and when he refused to take the bait, McGrath engaged in a bit of a verbal duel, chiding Tendulkar to take him on and go for the hook shot.

This is the mighty Tendulkar, already being hailed as next only to the Don. He is being provoked by the guy who had him worked out in just the previous match. He is in sublime form here, and was already batting on 72. He could have got out and it wouldn't be considered a failure. He could have taken on the most potent bouncer in the game and stamped his legend.

The id was suppressed, and the super-ego prevailed.

As Tendulkar had said before, a contest is not always won by belting a bowler out of the attack. Playing out a probing spell to set you up for a big innings is perhaps a bigger success.

"He knew his odds against the meanest bouncer in the game and understood the cost of a mistake. Yet, he didn't let the incident completely perish from his mind, biding his time until the odds turned in his favour"

He played out the McGrath spell, put on a show against the rest, and reached his hundred with a six over long-on off Miller. Individually against McGrath, he played 42 balls across three spells, with two majestic cover drives, a couple and two singles. Overall, he scored 126 and set up the match and the series for India.

But the subplot didn't quite end there. When stripped of the larger context, and with no series at stake, Tendulkar was at a greater liberty to take on McGrath in Bangalore in the first ODI that followed the Test series.

McGrath, with his unique short strides that aided his exaggerated carry, runs into bowl the first ball of the seventh over, pitches it on just short of a length angling in from outside off. Tendulkar, who had been off to a quiet start till then, picks the length up so early that it is as if he had been waiting for that particular delivery, as if he had a mental map of the length he will take McGrath on, shuffles across a tad and, with nearly no weight transfer, launches it over midwicket for six. Brutal.

Was it great anticipation or gifted vision?

This particular shot may be a great exhibition of Tendulkar's batting prowess, but that's not all. It's also a fine testimony to his mental strength and gambler's instinct. On a bigger stage, with a crucial Test series on the line, Tendulkar resisted the urge to establish his supremacy in the individual battle. He knew his odds against the meanest bouncer in the game, and understood the cost of a mistake in that context. Yet, he didn't let the incident completely perish from his mind. He was biding his time until the odds turned in his favour and, when they did, he stamped his class.

As if that wasn't statement enough, Tendulkar followed it up with a beautiful on-the-rise cover drive off a slightly fuller ball. And when McGrath bowled an even fuller delivery, Tendulkar unfurled the most pristine cover drive off the front foot, which left McGrath trying to mime the shot on his way back.

The mini-duel started with a chide to play the pull shot, and ended with a mime of a cover drive.

When he's not watching / talking / tweeting / reading cricket, Mahesh Sethuraman works in a bank in India to pay his bills. He tweets @cornerd

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • nareshgb1 on April 3, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    Mahesh - this is classic. The previous article was excellent - but this one takes it to a different level altogether. Man - you really watched the game, you picked out a great deal of insight and and you certainly can write about it. Kudos and Thanks.

  • on April 2, 2013, 14:50 GMT

    Tendulkar, alone had to carry the burden of indian batting. even in2011 world cup, he had his share in big matches like v/s pakistan. may be he has failed, in 2003 world cup finals, he has performed in all other matches to take India to finals.recall his performance in two consecutive matches at sharjah in1998 april, he single handedly thrashed aussies. first win in triangular series in austrelia in 2008-09 season was registered due to SRT.MATCH against pakistan in world cup is more than a final for Ind ia, and since 1992, in every encounteragainst pak, SRT has performed . in 1992, he had a half century at strike rate of 90, which helped india to register win andSRT was MOM.IN1996, he had ashare of29 runs in a sedate opening partnership with Sherry.IN 1999, even after he lost his father, in super six match against pak, he scored 46odd runs in total of 228.NOBODY can forget what he did against pak, in2003. he completely demolished pakistan.he incidentely was named MOM.IN2011, his ma

  • vatsap on April 2, 2013, 13:32 GMT

    Tendulkar could have easily taken the glamour/flashy route in the later half of his career, quite a number of his centuries were to the cause of the team, played with style/grace and grinding out opposition, overtly defensive at times. For those accusing him of being selfish, there were a whole bunch of talented cricketers around him Sehwag/Ganguly/Laxman to support him and most of Sachin's innings were in the context of the match and his team. Hats off to a champion.

  • vsssarma on April 6, 2013, 3:35 GMT

    McGrath and Sachin played 4 test match series together. Their relative performances in these 4 series are as under:

    Batting: Tendulkar 602; McGrath 81

    Bowling: Tendulkar 95; McGrath 784

    Fielding: Tendulkar 111; McGrath 183

    Overall: Tendulkar 698; McGrath 697

    They competed with each other aggressively and came out evenly.

  • Arrow011 on April 5, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    @-Praveen Arasada - Rightly replied, people just want to comment for the sake of it. All the sane world hails Sachin as the greatest including Akram & Miandad of pak who have played against him but the odd insane people have their logic of comparing the tortoise Inzamam.

  • Arrow011 on April 5, 2013, 5:14 GMT

    @getsetgopk - Pakistan has always been belted in neutral territory. How do you consistently forget that Pak lost in 1992 World cup against India, Tendulkar as a 19 years old won the match for India when imran, akram, mushtaq were in team, do you remember Jumping javed incident? Tendulkar is a great, only insane people will have different opinions. Pakistan a great cricket nation from 1989-99? Get your facts right, despite this they never won in a World cup match till now from 1975, what greatness with lopsided home umpires?

  • getsetgopk on April 4, 2013, 11:40 GMT

    @pitch_curator: Tendulkar getting old and having slow reactions is understandable but Bhajji getting old and having slow reaction? is not understandable. Both of them have performed well against Auss but thats about it. The team that others use as a yard stick to measure themselves against has always been Pak especially in sub continental conditions but it sounds hollow to cricket fans like myself when people start referring to tendulkar as 'great' when he didn't play against Pakistan from 1989 to 1999, the decade when we had one of the most lethal bowling attacks ever known. 1 billion people saying that someone is great doesn't make him great if you ask me, what makes them great is when they take the field against the very best and perform! We have never walked away from a contest, its always been India playing hide and seek when it comes to cricket. Even in that hide and seek, he averages 42 against Pak, thats as pathetic as it gets for a team whose bowling attack is non existent.

  • pitch_curator on April 4, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    Overall I still think McGrath shades Sachin in head to head. It is a pity that they did not have many duels in the late 90s when both of them were at their peak. McGrath is not an easy guy to go after especially in the initial overs. He has to be probably the most intelligent/thinking fast bowler of all times. Steyn is equally talented and quicker but he gets tonked once in a while in ODIs as he does not seem to think and bowls to a set plan. He has no answers when the ball stops swinging and batsman starts attacking him ODIs and T20s. McGrath was simply awesome.

  • ms_blue on April 4, 2013, 6:29 GMT

    jeeze dat pull of Mcgrath was jst jaw dropping...2 anticipate & pick d length early is gods gift 2 Sir Sachin...

  • pitch_curator on April 4, 2013, 5:46 GMT

    @ aarifboy -- What a ridiculous comment. Fact of the matter is that Sachin and Bhajji have become old and their reactions have gone down. That is the reason for their poor performance in recent times. This neutral umpire thing is a joke. Sachin did not have any Indian umpires accompanying him in overseas tours. Then how did he score so many runs abroad till 2011? Were there Indian umpires in 92, 99 and 2003 when he scored those runs in Australia?

  • nareshgb1 on April 3, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    Mahesh - this is classic. The previous article was excellent - but this one takes it to a different level altogether. Man - you really watched the game, you picked out a great deal of insight and and you certainly can write about it. Kudos and Thanks.

  • on April 2, 2013, 14:50 GMT

    Tendulkar, alone had to carry the burden of indian batting. even in2011 world cup, he had his share in big matches like v/s pakistan. may be he has failed, in 2003 world cup finals, he has performed in all other matches to take India to finals.recall his performance in two consecutive matches at sharjah in1998 april, he single handedly thrashed aussies. first win in triangular series in austrelia in 2008-09 season was registered due to SRT.MATCH against pakistan in world cup is more than a final for Ind ia, and since 1992, in every encounteragainst pak, SRT has performed . in 1992, he had a half century at strike rate of 90, which helped india to register win andSRT was MOM.IN1996, he had ashare of29 runs in a sedate opening partnership with Sherry.IN 1999, even after he lost his father, in super six match against pak, he scored 46odd runs in total of 228.NOBODY can forget what he did against pak, in2003. he completely demolished pakistan.he incidentely was named MOM.IN2011, his ma

  • vatsap on April 2, 2013, 13:32 GMT

    Tendulkar could have easily taken the glamour/flashy route in the later half of his career, quite a number of his centuries were to the cause of the team, played with style/grace and grinding out opposition, overtly defensive at times. For those accusing him of being selfish, there were a whole bunch of talented cricketers around him Sehwag/Ganguly/Laxman to support him and most of Sachin's innings were in the context of the match and his team. Hats off to a champion.

  • vsssarma on April 6, 2013, 3:35 GMT

    McGrath and Sachin played 4 test match series together. Their relative performances in these 4 series are as under:

    Batting: Tendulkar 602; McGrath 81

    Bowling: Tendulkar 95; McGrath 784

    Fielding: Tendulkar 111; McGrath 183

    Overall: Tendulkar 698; McGrath 697

    They competed with each other aggressively and came out evenly.

  • Arrow011 on April 5, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    @-Praveen Arasada - Rightly replied, people just want to comment for the sake of it. All the sane world hails Sachin as the greatest including Akram & Miandad of pak who have played against him but the odd insane people have their logic of comparing the tortoise Inzamam.

  • Arrow011 on April 5, 2013, 5:14 GMT

    @getsetgopk - Pakistan has always been belted in neutral territory. How do you consistently forget that Pak lost in 1992 World cup against India, Tendulkar as a 19 years old won the match for India when imran, akram, mushtaq were in team, do you remember Jumping javed incident? Tendulkar is a great, only insane people will have different opinions. Pakistan a great cricket nation from 1989-99? Get your facts right, despite this they never won in a World cup match till now from 1975, what greatness with lopsided home umpires?

  • getsetgopk on April 4, 2013, 11:40 GMT

    @pitch_curator: Tendulkar getting old and having slow reactions is understandable but Bhajji getting old and having slow reaction? is not understandable. Both of them have performed well against Auss but thats about it. The team that others use as a yard stick to measure themselves against has always been Pak especially in sub continental conditions but it sounds hollow to cricket fans like myself when people start referring to tendulkar as 'great' when he didn't play against Pakistan from 1989 to 1999, the decade when we had one of the most lethal bowling attacks ever known. 1 billion people saying that someone is great doesn't make him great if you ask me, what makes them great is when they take the field against the very best and perform! We have never walked away from a contest, its always been India playing hide and seek when it comes to cricket. Even in that hide and seek, he averages 42 against Pak, thats as pathetic as it gets for a team whose bowling attack is non existent.

  • pitch_curator on April 4, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    Overall I still think McGrath shades Sachin in head to head. It is a pity that they did not have many duels in the late 90s when both of them were at their peak. McGrath is not an easy guy to go after especially in the initial overs. He has to be probably the most intelligent/thinking fast bowler of all times. Steyn is equally talented and quicker but he gets tonked once in a while in ODIs as he does not seem to think and bowls to a set plan. He has no answers when the ball stops swinging and batsman starts attacking him ODIs and T20s. McGrath was simply awesome.

  • ms_blue on April 4, 2013, 6:29 GMT

    jeeze dat pull of Mcgrath was jst jaw dropping...2 anticipate & pick d length early is gods gift 2 Sir Sachin...

  • pitch_curator on April 4, 2013, 5:46 GMT

    @ aarifboy -- What a ridiculous comment. Fact of the matter is that Sachin and Bhajji have become old and their reactions have gone down. That is the reason for their poor performance in recent times. This neutral umpire thing is a joke. Sachin did not have any Indian umpires accompanying him in overseas tours. Then how did he score so many runs abroad till 2011? Were there Indian umpires in 92, 99 and 2003 when he scored those runs in Australia?

  • pitch_curator on April 4, 2013, 4:36 GMT

    @ Kiwiroc@ Kiwirocker -- Lets talk about numbers then. Lara averages the same as Tendulkar in 4th innings. And if you are talking about runs winning matches then Lara holds the record for maximum test losses by a player in the game. As per your definition Lara should then be the worst and most selfish player ever to play the game. Coming to Inzi, he aaverages a PATHETIC 30 runs in australia in test matches. So much for greatness. And if you thought that it was a one-off look at his average in South Africa -- a mind boggling 31 runs.Tendulkar has scored 20 centuries in match winning causes for India in tests while Inzamam scored 17 centuries when Pakistan won. Check out your stats. and FYI -- Murali, Wasim and Waqar are also equally involved in IPL as Warne. It now seems to be a joke that you blame India when DRS is there or not. India did not insist on using DRS in world cups. It was the insistence of all other countries. DRS gave Tendulkar not out. So, if you have any issues ask ICC

  • aarifboy on April 4, 2013, 3:34 GMT

    Sachin and Bhajji stopped performing once neutral umpires came to both ends,although it proved good for India who started winning more outside of their country.Sachin and Bhajji are past now,golden era of cricket has arrived with neutral umpires on both sides in tests

  • on April 4, 2013, 2:18 GMT

    @kiwirocker - it is sad that people such as you are allowed to comment on forums such as these. Just say something random, just because it is free! You are a Tendulkar hater - part of a rare species. You give the examples of McGrath and Inzy - both part of teams with very strong bowling attacks. Yes - Tendulkar does not fit into your definition of greatness - but I dont think anyone is bothered about your definition of greatness. McGrath and Inzy will be the first cricketers to admit that Sachin is the greatest batsman of their era. Who are you and I to disagree?

  • Massey_T on April 3, 2013, 20:27 GMT

    Japper btw, its the flip side of the coin man, if its played on a pitch with assistance to the batsman, then sachin dominates,simple as that! There are plenty of matches beyond the matches you picked to show us that fact. But yes I agree, Mcgrath is a better match winner than the lil master but you should see how hard it was for sachin to play with a mediocre side like India for a greater part of his career until some late blooming. Wonder if mcgra wud have been the same bowling for india on unresponsive pitches or for that matter some of the lesser teams! Agreed though, mcgrath , is, a , legend!

  • on April 3, 2013, 15:00 GMT

    Great article...sort of a hair raiser for an ardent 'GOD' fan.But it has to be mentioned that it is such beautiful and healthy rivalries that colour to this gentleman's game.Like a rally between Federer & Nadal or a tussle between Senna & Prost or a bout between Ali & Frazier, these are the instances which remain in the heart of a die hard fan.Two legends having great amount of respect for eachother locking horns.Wonderfully written,laying ample importance to the nuances and subtleties.Expecting more such lovely ones...

  • Vkarthik on April 3, 2013, 13:37 GMT

    I saw the match live. But you have added more drama to his 126 than required. Batting conditions were much easier.Only by day 4 or 5 spinners took control of the match. There was hardly anything for pace bowlers. Tendulkar's two best knocks in that series came in the first test.

  • on April 3, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    Nice Article The second part is the summery of you article. I also read the article and see analysis of Anantha. I really liked that. http://www.espncricinfo.com/blogs/content/story/627501.html

    It was nice you can see that Ponting, Waugh, Beven, Adam Gilcrist, etc is so far from SRT.

    Please read that article.

  • Rajeev129 on April 3, 2013, 12:38 GMT

    Keep on adding those battles. I am eagerly waiting to see the reactions of both legends one after other. Hoping that you are not supporting anybody individually and posting exact outcome from those matches. (I had a doubt that you supported Tendulkar in this article by mentioning "Cover Drive" in couple of occasions). In my opinion 1 wicket is equal to atleast 5/6 of such boundaries. So you please highlight such shots only if repeated again and again.

    But i really enjoyed these 2 articles, when will be next article posted ?

  • sachkaan on April 3, 2013, 12:04 GMT

    Hi Mahesh, I really like your way of analyzing a particular moment in cricket. I feel this is right way to view this sport.

  • crazysloggers on April 3, 2013, 10:01 GMT

    @ kiwirocker- mcgrath was a part of a great team which were considered the invincibles, whereas tendulkar and lara were in the weaker teams. once in a while you can single handedly win matches..this game is a team game. remember lara smashing murali and co with over 500 runs in a 3 test series and still lost 0-3. so your theory greatness that do not win matches is nothing..u keep it to yourself. let mcgrath play in a zimbabwean or kenyan team.. let see what his greatness is !!!

  • crazysloggers on April 3, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    i am not a big fan of SRT, but since so many here underrating SRT, i would say tendulkar had played long for india. he has lot of records which might not ever get broken. he has dominated all the best bowlers in the world and what actually you meant to say domination?.. tendulkar has attacked , defended and left alone goodand bad deliveries which makes him the best. or if you want to say a particular player dominated a bowler..i can give u a lot of egs of players like sehwag, yuvraj, razak and even a dough marilier who hammered mcgrath..tendulkar plays every ball by merit and that makes him the best player after DON

  • KiwiRocker- on April 3, 2013, 9:25 GMT

    mrgupta: Greatness that does not win matches means nothing. Tendulkar failed scored plenty of runs in world cups but what exactly did he win? He failed in crunch match against Pak in 1996, failed in world cup final of 2003 and 2011. If you want to see greatness, refer to Inzemam's Ul Haq's match winning knocks in 1992 or Ricky Ponting's hammering of Indian bowlers in 2003 or Dhoni leading from the front in 2011. India won one world cup in Tendulkar's 25 years long career and that tells you something and even that world cup was won by DRS for India rather than Tendulkar. He was out twice against Saeed Ajmal and even little man knew it. You want greatness: Inzemam Ul Haq scored 23 centuries and 15 won matches for Pakistan. tendulkar and Sehwag combined have not won so many tests for India..and No India had pretty good bowling attack, Srinath, Parsad and Kumble were good enough in most condition.....! Reality is that Tendulkar only plays for records and best batsman of modera era was Lara

  • KiwiRocker- on April 3, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    This article was waste of two precious minutes of my life. What is the whole point of all this? Tendulkar is a greedy records collector who has become a walking wicket in world of cricket. You want some numbers: I give you some. Tendulkar averages 34 in fourth innings of a test match. It is foruth innings of a test match where matches are won, lost or saved. As an example Younis Khan Averages 52 and India's own Dravid was close to 50. Tendulkar's combined average against Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Donals was 35. Actually this notion that Tendulkar dominated Wasim And Waqar is flawed as India hardly played Pakistan in 90's Tendulkar played 8 test matches against Wasim And Waqar and his only real contribution was a losing century Chennai. Tendulkar may have dominated SHoib Akhtar on an odd ODI in WC 2003, but he did not dominate the two best bowlers of his era. None of Tendulkar's peers rates him highly except Shane Warne who has vested interest in IPL.Murali, Wasim, Waqar rate Lara!

  • lebigfella on April 3, 2013, 7:35 GMT

    Lovely article... GDMc vrs. SRT... a meeting of two Colossi... I remember the test well. Apart from the odd outburst from McGrath this is the absolute reason why the Aussies never sledged Sachin... it was pointless. Two of the most talented bowlers (and notorious players of mind games) McGrath & Warne were pretty much clueless & powerless against The Little Master... I sincerely hope he gets a ton in his 200th Test & retires BTW... t'would be a fitting end! Great work Mahesh, look forward to the next piece.

  • mrgupta on April 3, 2013, 6:45 GMT

    I think what most people forget is the fact that the highest ever World Cup aggregate in a single tournament is 673, which belongs to Sachin and was played in SA with bowling friendly pitches. Since Sachin started playing India has reached World Cup Semis 3 times (1996, 2003 and 2011) and in all of them Sachin was either the leading run scorer of the tournament or the second highest, each time being the highest scorer for India. With no other player ever managing this feat i hope it proves some point about Sachin's greatness.

  • on April 3, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    domination of mcgrath?. watch an young abdur razzak hammering mcgrath in australia during maybe 2000 series. pakistan lost the series.,but mcgrath was clueless in front of this guy.

  • aussiebear68 on April 3, 2013, 5:49 GMT

    Dare I mention the biggest stage these two came together on - 2003 World Cup Final - McGrath finishes the match in his first over with that early wicket of the Little Master. Sure that McGrath would give Tendulkar his day in 2001 for a World Cup.

  • japper on April 3, 2013, 5:07 GMT

    @ heat-seeker - If a batsman is going to dominate McGrath even on a road of a pitch then he should be as talented as a Sachin or a Lara. VVS, Ganguly, Dravid were all greats but not as great as these two. And even Sachin and Lara could dominate him only in India and West Indies, because on pitches that had something for the fast bowlers all they could do was just survive against him and score runs of others. And, McGrath hasn't fared any worse than Wasim or Vaas or Kapil. In fact his average is better than Kapil and Vaas while Wasim whom I think is the greatest fast bowler ever averages marginally better than him in Asia but even Wasim's average is higher than McGrath's overall career average. The fact is there is not one batsman in the world who could dominate him consistently when the conditions favoured him. And, the true test is in bearding a lion in its own den which no one ever was able to do.

  • Johnny_129 on April 2, 2013, 23:24 GMT

    If you combine ODI & Test batting to rate the best batsman, Tendulkar is the greatest along with Viv. No doubt Don would have been great at ODI's too but he never played an ODI - also Don played fewer matches. If you take into account the longevity of a player than Tendulkar is certainly above all, notwithstanding his poor returns towards the end of his career.

  • on April 2, 2013, 18:43 GMT

    he cud have done much much better at the time of green wickets. i worships him but performing on batsmen friendly pitches and on green tops are far different. However he performed best in world on green tops n spinning tracks both since Don and Gavaskar. So its painful to see him struggling for runs nowdays brings out tears. I still hope he will perform huge with fewer innings of lifetime, sooner in future.

  • heat-seeker on April 2, 2013, 18:23 GMT

    By the way, speaking of sub-continental conditions for seamers and pacers... let's not forget that bowlers like Kapil Dev, Wasim Akram, Chaminda Vaas all averaged around 4 runs / over or even less (in terms of career RPO), so it's not that you can't be economical there. A high class bowler getting hit for 18 runs in an over is quite something no matter where you play.

  • heat-seeker on April 2, 2013, 18:18 GMT

    @japper, no one is denying McGrath's greatness or belittling him in any way by citing the occasions he got hit around. McGrath is undoubtedly among the greatest bowlers of his era, and an all-time great. We are simply re-living the memories of some sparkling innings of Tendulkar, which came against a bowler of the calibre of McGrath. For me, the thing that sets Tendulkar apart is that in the series being discussed here (2001 ODIs in India), no one else from either side batted with the majesty of Tendulkar. India had VVS, Ganguly, Dravid, etc., while Australia had Gilchrist, M Waugh, S Waugh, Ponting, Bevan, etc., but no one else was dominating seamers or spinners in quite the same way. That's the key for me... the conditions were the same for both teams' batsmen and bowlers, but one man was clearly stealing the show.

  • japper on April 2, 2013, 17:36 GMT

    Before we get into real argument where Tendulkar has taken Glenn McGrath apart, we got to see where these matches were played. We can see most of these matches are in India or at venues where there is absolutely nothing for the fast bowlers all be it its Glenn McGrath. Unfortunately Tendulkar has not played McGrath that often in countries where a fast bowler really comes into play. Of 10 matches which Tendulkar has played against McGrath in Australia, SA, Eng, NZ and Malaysia (the pitch for that series was prepared by Adelaide Oval Curator), he averages 13 with highest score of 47. and McGrath dismissing him three times including two world cup matches. Sachin is too great a player to average that less against anybody but the statistics suggests its not that easy to get McGrath away because that man can extract the maximum out of a pitch even if it provides minute of assistance. The fact is both of them are all time greats in their respective areas and there is no denying that.

  • heat-seeker on April 2, 2013, 16:04 GMT

    @S Iyer, when your bowlers concede 105 runs in the 1st 15 overs (thus conceding the momentum in the final), and eventually leak 360 runs in 50 overs, the chasing team's openers have no choice but to take extra-ordinary risks. Tendulkar had to go for the bowling from the 1st over, and that's the key reason he lost his wicket to McGrath (attempting to pull). You can blame Tendulkar, but the odds were heavily in favour of the Aussie bowlers. Besides, Tendulkar was the prime reason India made it to the finals (he was the WC MVP in 2003). Not surprisingly, the 3 times Tendulkar has scored 450+ in a WC (the only man to ever do so), India made it to at least the final 4 (1996, 2003, 2011).

  • heat-seeker on April 2, 2013, 15:53 GMT

    I can never forget that over in the ODI match in the 2001 series that Mahesh cites. The pulled six off McGrath was truly incredible! There's a video of it on you--tube, with David Hookes in the commentary box going bonkers! (Hooksie keeps going "Have a look at that!!! Have a look at that!!!") Tendulkar hit McGrath for 18 runs in that over, and Steve Waugh had to temporarily take him out of the attack. You can hear Tony Greig saying in the comm box, "You don't say it often, but Glenn McGrath has just been smashed out of the attack.")

  • heat-seeker on April 2, 2013, 15:51 GMT

    I can never forget that over in the ODI match in the 2001 series that Mahesh cites. The pulled six off McGrath was truly incredible! There's a video of it on you--tube, with David Hookes in the commentary box going bonkers! (Hooksie keeps going "Have a look at that!!! Have a look at that!!!") Tendulkar hit McGrath for 18 runs in that over, and Steve Waugh had to temporarily take him out of the attack. You can hear Tony Greig saying in the comm box, "You don't say it often, but Glenn McGrath has just been smashed out of the attack.")

  • heat-seeker on April 2, 2013, 15:43 GMT

    As I had mentioned in Mahesh's prior piece, Tendulkar's batting in the 2001 ODI series (after that great Test series) was truly breath-taking (and included 2 hundreds), which had McGrath conceding in a newspaper column in the ToI that Tendulkar had got the better of him. Great bowler and great batsman, the 2 of them. Both had their day in the sun against the other.

  • CricFan24 on April 2, 2013, 14:50 GMT

    @Srikanth S Iyer - If not for Tendulkar , India wouldn't have got to the final in the first place. Lara has never done it for Windies. And Australia would have got to the final with or without Ponting anyway....In ODI Finals he averages 55 ( 97 when India win) with 6 hundreds in ODI finals v Ponting's 38 or Lara's 28. The closest anyone comes in the ODI greatness stakes is Viv Richards, and Tendulkar has 12,000 more runs (say it out loud - TWELVE THOUSAND), at a slighty (45 v 47) lower average and slightly lower strike rate.............Is Tendulkar "perfect". No. Noone is . Is he the "Best"...Clearly. You require to recalibrate...

  • on April 2, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    none of this matters .... McGrath got him out in the first over of the 2003 World Cup final .... End of Story .... Tendulkar never delivered when it mattered most.

  • on April 2, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    none of this matters .... McGrath got him out in the first over of the 2003 World Cup final .... End of Story .... Tendulkar never delivered when it mattered most.

  • CricFan24 on April 2, 2013, 14:50 GMT

    @Srikanth S Iyer - If not for Tendulkar , India wouldn't have got to the final in the first place. Lara has never done it for Windies. And Australia would have got to the final with or without Ponting anyway....In ODI Finals he averages 55 ( 97 when India win) with 6 hundreds in ODI finals v Ponting's 38 or Lara's 28. The closest anyone comes in the ODI greatness stakes is Viv Richards, and Tendulkar has 12,000 more runs (say it out loud - TWELVE THOUSAND), at a slighty (45 v 47) lower average and slightly lower strike rate.............Is Tendulkar "perfect". No. Noone is . Is he the "Best"...Clearly. You require to recalibrate...

  • heat-seeker on April 2, 2013, 15:43 GMT

    As I had mentioned in Mahesh's prior piece, Tendulkar's batting in the 2001 ODI series (after that great Test series) was truly breath-taking (and included 2 hundreds), which had McGrath conceding in a newspaper column in the ToI that Tendulkar had got the better of him. Great bowler and great batsman, the 2 of them. Both had their day in the sun against the other.

  • heat-seeker on April 2, 2013, 15:51 GMT

    I can never forget that over in the ODI match in the 2001 series that Mahesh cites. The pulled six off McGrath was truly incredible! There's a video of it on you--tube, with David Hookes in the commentary box going bonkers! (Hooksie keeps going "Have a look at that!!! Have a look at that!!!") Tendulkar hit McGrath for 18 runs in that over, and Steve Waugh had to temporarily take him out of the attack. You can hear Tony Greig saying in the comm box, "You don't say it often, but Glenn McGrath has just been smashed out of the attack.")

  • heat-seeker on April 2, 2013, 15:53 GMT

    I can never forget that over in the ODI match in the 2001 series that Mahesh cites. The pulled six off McGrath was truly incredible! There's a video of it on you--tube, with David Hookes in the commentary box going bonkers! (Hooksie keeps going "Have a look at that!!! Have a look at that!!!") Tendulkar hit McGrath for 18 runs in that over, and Steve Waugh had to temporarily take him out of the attack. You can hear Tony Greig saying in the comm box, "You don't say it often, but Glenn McGrath has just been smashed out of the attack.")

  • heat-seeker on April 2, 2013, 16:04 GMT

    @S Iyer, when your bowlers concede 105 runs in the 1st 15 overs (thus conceding the momentum in the final), and eventually leak 360 runs in 50 overs, the chasing team's openers have no choice but to take extra-ordinary risks. Tendulkar had to go for the bowling from the 1st over, and that's the key reason he lost his wicket to McGrath (attempting to pull). You can blame Tendulkar, but the odds were heavily in favour of the Aussie bowlers. Besides, Tendulkar was the prime reason India made it to the finals (he was the WC MVP in 2003). Not surprisingly, the 3 times Tendulkar has scored 450+ in a WC (the only man to ever do so), India made it to at least the final 4 (1996, 2003, 2011).

  • japper on April 2, 2013, 17:36 GMT

    Before we get into real argument where Tendulkar has taken Glenn McGrath apart, we got to see where these matches were played. We can see most of these matches are in India or at venues where there is absolutely nothing for the fast bowlers all be it its Glenn McGrath. Unfortunately Tendulkar has not played McGrath that often in countries where a fast bowler really comes into play. Of 10 matches which Tendulkar has played against McGrath in Australia, SA, Eng, NZ and Malaysia (the pitch for that series was prepared by Adelaide Oval Curator), he averages 13 with highest score of 47. and McGrath dismissing him three times including two world cup matches. Sachin is too great a player to average that less against anybody but the statistics suggests its not that easy to get McGrath away because that man can extract the maximum out of a pitch even if it provides minute of assistance. The fact is both of them are all time greats in their respective areas and there is no denying that.

  • heat-seeker on April 2, 2013, 18:18 GMT

    @japper, no one is denying McGrath's greatness or belittling him in any way by citing the occasions he got hit around. McGrath is undoubtedly among the greatest bowlers of his era, and an all-time great. We are simply re-living the memories of some sparkling innings of Tendulkar, which came against a bowler of the calibre of McGrath. For me, the thing that sets Tendulkar apart is that in the series being discussed here (2001 ODIs in India), no one else from either side batted with the majesty of Tendulkar. India had VVS, Ganguly, Dravid, etc., while Australia had Gilchrist, M Waugh, S Waugh, Ponting, Bevan, etc., but no one else was dominating seamers or spinners in quite the same way. That's the key for me... the conditions were the same for both teams' batsmen and bowlers, but one man was clearly stealing the show.

  • heat-seeker on April 2, 2013, 18:23 GMT

    By the way, speaking of sub-continental conditions for seamers and pacers... let's not forget that bowlers like Kapil Dev, Wasim Akram, Chaminda Vaas all averaged around 4 runs / over or even less (in terms of career RPO), so it's not that you can't be economical there. A high class bowler getting hit for 18 runs in an over is quite something no matter where you play.

  • on April 2, 2013, 18:43 GMT

    he cud have done much much better at the time of green wickets. i worships him but performing on batsmen friendly pitches and on green tops are far different. However he performed best in world on green tops n spinning tracks both since Don and Gavaskar. So its painful to see him struggling for runs nowdays brings out tears. I still hope he will perform huge with fewer innings of lifetime, sooner in future.