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Shaun Tait

'The worst thing I have ever done is sledge Tendulkar'

Speed demon Shaun Tait learnt a valuable lesson when the people of Mumbai turned unfriendly

Interview by Mohammad Isam

February 3, 2013

Comments: 34 | Text size: A | A

Shaun Tait in his distinctive follow-through, Australia v Kenya, World Cup 2011, Group A, Bangalore, March 13, 2011
Shaun Tait: loved the feeling of bowling 100mph even though it hurt © AFP
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Players/Officials: Shaun Tait | Sachin Tendulkar
Teams: Australia

First time I clocked 100mph
It was a one-day game in 2006-07 when I clocked 160kph, also a game against Pakistan. I think I also did it in Melbourne against Pakistan in a T20 game two years ago. I did it against England at Lord's in 2010.

It was goal of mine to clock 160kph - only four guys have done it. It was at the back of my mind, but it's a difficult thing to do. It hurts a lot. I did feel it was a 100mph ball.

First time I broke a stump
In an Under-14 inter-league match. It was a no-ball but I broke the stump. It was a good feeling.

First time I hit a batsman
When I was younger I hit a few guys. At an U-16 game I hit a guy on the back of the head. He turned around and it knocked him out. He was carried off the field. I don't remember his name and I don't want to mention him. He might read it.

First time I got nervous
It was in my first Test match, at Trent Bridge in 2005. It was just the big stage, and I think when you play a Test match for your country, your life changes. Before the game, a couple of guys from the team said your life is going to change. I think just thinking about all that and the attention you receive, I was nervous about all that.

First sledge I remember
In my U-16s, I used to sledge people all the time. The worst thing I have ever done is sledge Sachin Tendulkar. When I went back to Bombay for a few weeks, every time I went outside, someone had a go at me on the street. That was the last time I sledged him. It was a big mistake.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (February 4, 2013, 23:12 GMT)

Exactly my point. Tendulya was a top batsman in late 90s and up to 2010. He hasn't done anything in the past 2-3 years. Why didn't he save India from whitewash in England and Australia. I know nobody can save all matches, but couldn't he save a couple of matches with his legendary batting?? Why didn't he save India from defeat at home against England recently?? Surely if he is a legend, he should be able to save his country at least once in a series, if not all the time. These days even Ashwin can bat better than Tendulya.

Posted by KK_Cricket on (February 4, 2013, 12:54 GMT)

@ PadMarley: its Lance Klusener

Posted by SherjilIslam on (February 4, 2013, 12:41 GMT)

@ Al_Bundy1 and @ coolindianfan: I would like to add two three more innings where he nearly won india the match. 136 vs Pak in chennai, 1999.India lost by 12 runs as last three Indian wickets couldn't score 17 runs. 175 against Australia in 2009-10 Gwalior, Ravinder Jadeja and remaining Indian bats could not score the remaining 50 odd runs at around run-a -ball chasing 350.India lost by 2 runs. 140 odd against Pak at Rawalpindi 2004, India lost by runs after Sachin got out.There are many more such innings,but the point is, if the kind of support Indian team now posses in the form of Dhoni/Raina/Yuvraj/Kohli in ODIs and Dhoni/Kohli in tests until 2012, in our current Indian team, more of his innings could have resulted in winning causes. I don't want to say anything else, as my friend coolindian has elaborated them well.

Posted by spinkingKK on (February 4, 2013, 12:00 GMT)

Which batsman made you think that you don't belong in tests? Answer:VVS.Laxman.

Posted by coolindianfan on (February 4, 2013, 9:56 GMT)

@ Al_Bundy1 continued 119 vs england saved almost a lost test match...

114 at perth.. no? other player scored 50 known as one the great knock

111 vs SA in sa in 1992 no player even able to cross 25 in this... show me has dravid ever such kind of knock...

122 vs eng in eng no other player even able to cross 18 next highest was 18 by manjerekar has dravid ever played such kind of knock in his dream... thats called realibility .. 155* vs aus in 1997 in 3rd inngs... 169 vs SA 59-5 dravid laxman gangully all back to pavilion acc. to donald this is best inngs on SA soil by any batsman... 116 vs aus in 1999 no other able to cross 30+ matchwinning right he has 20 hundred innwinning cause and 20 in match saving if that still dosent solve ur biased attitude against sachin then may god bless you. after all u dont get rated along with bradman for being over rated( if u have problems with that that is coming from warne and in a way by bradman)

Posted by coolindianfan on (February 4, 2013, 9:52 GMT)

@Al_Bundy1ate u're probably sulking at the fact that sachin's acheivemnts are as follows: Bradman 11 memeber, espn cricinfo 11, benauds 11 member, Sharjah classics ,world up 1996, 2003 , 2011, a test match record of batting average 54 in austarlia and england, 46 in sa, singlehandedly winning finals of Cb series 2008, Sydney 1992, perth-the best ever inns played in aus-still standing- 1992 as a 17 year old , old trafford matchsaving century 1990 as a 17 year old, chennai match winning ton where he decimated SKW-1998 v aus, headingly 2002 v eng-148 matchwinning again, capetown 2011 v steyn and morkel where he saved a test series for India almost winning it for them with an inns of 146, 175 v australia in 2009, a beligerent double century in an odi against steyn and morkel,126 against warne and co in 2001 series that to decider, 241 against aus at sydney 2004 against lee and co, matchsaving marathaon 163 against NZ in a test match 2009 to win india the series, And innumerable other

Posted by aailatendlya on (February 4, 2013, 6:55 GMT)

@creekeetman, then it means you dont understand cricket at all :) Sachin is one of the greatest player ever to grace the field period.

Posted by Bilal_Choudry on (February 4, 2013, 5:18 GMT)

@KiwiRocker you mean mohammad zahid right ?

Posted by meonly_araf on (February 4, 2013, 4:54 GMT)

@Jamal Khan: Show a better innings than this http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/63516.html from a 16 year old in tests which ultimately saved the test match, one could just dream of playing not the one played by this master... against attack that was equal to Steyn, Philander and Morkel at present if not better! and yeah your batsmen are crumbling like bread against Steyn, Morkel and Philander at present!

Posted by MilroyL.S.A.Don on (February 4, 2013, 4:22 GMT)

People may think that Tendulkar is selfish, but he need the support from the other end to win games for India. When the whole batting order collapses, Tendulkar plays a one man show and end up being the highest scorer for India...this doesn't mean that he is selfish..Sachin Tendulkar is the most perfect batsman ever born..IN MY OPINION better than Don Bradman...If he is fit and willing to continue test cricket, he should do it. If Tendulkar could make few more centuries he could set a big target for our future generation to challenge him...this is good for the game of cricket and moreover test cricket. I don't see anything wrong in him continuing playing test cricket.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (February 4, 2013, 2:20 GMT)

Tendulya is the most over-rated batsman of all time. He could not win any test, or save any test for India. I rate Dhoni's 99 runs in last test at Nagpur against England better than Tendulya's all centuries combined. Dhoni and Kohli saved India from defeat. When was the last time Tendulya did anything for his team??

Posted by MrKricket on (February 4, 2013, 2:14 GMT)

Look at the videos on Youtube and compare - Thomson was unbelievably fast before his injury and didn't lose a whole lot after. I've seen all these others guys and no one looks close.

The best bowlers are not the fastest anyway as the records show.

Tait will always remain a "what might have been" player, sadly.

Posted by PadMarley on (February 4, 2013, 2:06 GMT)

Tait, Lee, Akthar .... but who is the other person hit the 100 mph?

Posted by Sombrehombre on (February 4, 2013, 0:26 GMT)

Why are people so high and mighty about sledging Tendulkar? Everyone sledges everyone...

Yes, yes he is the greatest modern day batsman and a wonderful person but to claim he is untouchable from a part of the game is just absolute arrogance, elitism and total cricket snobbery. Bet Tendulkar doesnt mind one bit being sledged...

Tait is saying it was a mistake sledging because of the fans reaction, not because he crossed some moral boundary

Posted by creekeetman on (February 3, 2013, 23:59 GMT)

wow, some people are actually convinced that sachin is the greatest cricketer ever... if i had a top 50, sachin wouldnt even be on the list.

Posted by Webley on (February 3, 2013, 23:28 GMT)

@KingOwl. Agreed.

@Ash2Win. Tait probably only referred to Tendulkar as it was the only time a sledge was taken to be more than that. The reaction he received was similar to that from the Indian posters in these comments...

Sledging is just good-humoured banter to attempt to throw someone of their game and shouldn't be taken seriously, especially off the pitch.

Posted by Nerk on (February 3, 2013, 21:42 GMT)

Interesting article. Certainly different to get in the mind of a bowler like Tait - all about smashing stumps and bowling fast. RE: Sachin Tendulkar - his fans certainly aren't as modest as the master himself. "Done more for charity than every other person in history." I think you will find, if we look purely at spending money on charity, Bill Gates will hold that record by some margin. Of course, he is a far better cricketer than Bill Gates, which levels it out a bit.

Posted by Ash2Win on (February 3, 2013, 20:51 GMT)

@KingOwl... u definitely seem to be an owl plz wake up from ur slumber!!! Yes thr are many greats of the game we nvr said no.. u better ask Tait y he had to refer only to Sachin.. that says it all abt Sachin and his presence in cricketing world.

Posted by KingOwl on (February 3, 2013, 19:56 GMT)

Tait makes one reference to Tendulkar and all the Indians make this into an article about Sachin's greatness. Get a grip guys! Tendulkar is great, no doubt. So are many others, and some are greater. Those are the facts.

Posted by CaptainKool on (February 3, 2013, 16:31 GMT)

Well at least u have guts to accept it. It would be nonsense to sledge Little Master.

Posted by Aizikhan on (February 3, 2013, 16:16 GMT)

Sachin is a True Master ! and it is Really good to see Tait admitting his mistake , Not officially but still its a Good move.

Posted by realfan on (February 3, 2013, 14:05 GMT)

good that he knows his mistake.... who would ever feel to sledge for such a honest cricketer.....

Posted by InsideHedge on (February 3, 2013, 13:44 GMT)

@featurewriter: With all due respect, the tag of "greatest cricketer" will always belong to Garry Sobers. The title of "best batsman" will belong to Bradman.

You spoil your argument by being the antithesis of hyperbole referring to Tendulkar as "talented". I'd say he's a little more than talented, that talent was fulfilled decades ago.

Posted by gsingh7 on (February 3, 2013, 12:49 GMT)

tendulkar have done more service to game of cricket than all others combined , he did more charity than whole of aus team combined , not to mention sachin is richest cricketer (he built a new 15 mil $ home)ever and have biggest fan following , more than all cricket fans from outside india combined . i bet he regrets sledging the champion batsman. who is this tait nobody again??

Posted by IndiaChampspakchumps on (February 3, 2013, 11:24 GMT)

All cricketers are not only in awe of Tendulkar, but also love and respect him. Tendulkar, apart from being the world's greatest cricketer, is also a wonderful human being. He has done more for charity than any other person in history.

Posted by IndianInnerEdge on (February 3, 2013, 10:50 GMT)

@kiwirocker - C'mon m8 get ur facts right-it was Mohd Zahid, of whom Lara said-he coudnt see the ball....any ways, in about 1977 - 78 was probably the first time that speed was recorded in a competition during the World series cricket, Thommo was quicker that all, that included holding, imran, garner, lilllee et al...he was recorded at about 160ish but the fact that he was bowling slower thannormal after his horrific shoulder injury...i guess Thommo was the quickest of them all , look up some of his speells from 74-75 ashes and 76-against the windies on utube....Just luv that slingshot javelin throw action-if anyone got into the perfect side on position at the time of delivery/ball release - it was thommo...

Posted by Chris_P on (February 3, 2013, 8:12 GMT)

@BobCo. Thommo's speed was before his injury, but both Ian Chappell & Viv Ruichards have both said he bowled far quicker in other tests of that series. That speed of Thommo's was recorded at Perth, at the same time Fredericks was blasting the Aussie bowling for a 71 ball century. Still, it is very very quick & I recokn bowling that quick sort of entitles you to say something to batsmen!

Posted by spiritwithin on (February 3, 2013, 7:52 GMT)

Thomson was faster than Akhtar,Lee,Tait and all,mind u Thomson's speed was measured of the pitch unlike in present times where speed is measured of the hand,so u can add atleast 10km more to Thommo's speed by present bowling measurement standard..@KiwiRocker,Lee and Tait both has clocked 160kmph+,do check the records before commenting

Posted by BobCo on (February 3, 2013, 7:21 GMT)

I think Thommo's 160 was after his shoulder injury too (at the end of WSC); he has always said he was quicker before the injury. Several others have said the same thing about him.

Posted by WolfDwolf on (February 3, 2013, 6:28 GMT)

Kiwi!

Top 5 Fastest Recorded Balls:-

Shoaib Akhtar (Pak) 161.3kmh Shaun Tait (Aus) 161.1kmh Brett Lee (Aust).. 160.8kmh Shaun Tait (Aus) 160.7kmh Jeff Thomson (Aust) 160.1kmh

Posted by Nuxxy on (February 3, 2013, 6:15 GMT)

Jeff Thompson was the first person to be clocked bowling 160. At that was when it reached the batsman.

Posted by Rahul_78 on (February 3, 2013, 5:57 GMT)

Ha,ha,ha,,,! M sure that last comment put a smile on the face of lot of Mumbaikars. In a good way though! :)

Posted by Cricket_equals_Sachin on (February 3, 2013, 3:25 GMT)

he dared to slege god of cricket. Its good he confessed that it was a mistake .

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (February 3, 2013, 3:08 GMT)

Sorry, which four men have clocked more than 160KPH? I do know Shoib Akhtar has done it..Brett Lee came close but there was doubt Shaun Tait ever did due to dodgy speed guns. It is highly likely that those fine West Indian bowlers would have done it if speed guns were around and perhaps Muhammad Zaheer from Pakistan would have done it when Brian Lara could not even see the ball. Talking about Shaun Tait..Who is he?

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