Batting legend Sachin Tendulkar has recalled his rivalry with Glenn McGrath of Australia and how he countered their strategy of ‘ frustrating’ him during the Adelaide Test in 1999.
Tendulkar said Australia tested his resolve by bowling outside off to ensure he leaves as many deliveries as possible and chase the odd one to force a mistake.
“In 1999, in our first match at Adelaide… the first innings there was hardly 40 minutes to go in the day’s play. Glenn McGrath comes and bowls five or six maiden overs to me,” Tendulkar told Star Sports. “That was their strategy… ‘let’s frustrate Sachin. 70 per cent of the ball should go to (wicket-keeper) Adam Gilchrist and 10 per cent close to his bat. If he plays or chases deliveries outside the off-stump we have succeeded”.
However, the Indian was equal to the task, obliging them. And also countered their mental game by sledging the legendary McGrath “So I kept leaving as many deliveries as possible. There were some good deliveries where I was beaten as well. But I said ‘well bowled and now go back and bowl again as I am still here’,” he recalled.
Once the Australians had their fill, Tendulkar took charge the next morning.
“I remember hitting him (McGrath) for a few boundaries the next morning because it was a fresh day and we both were at the same level. They had a strategy but I knew their strategy was to frustrate me. I thought this evening I am patient but tomorrow morning I am gonna play the way I want. You won’t control how I want to play but I would control where you are going to bowl,” the 47-year-old said.
Tendulkar retired following a record 200th Test in 2013 as the most prolific run-getter and century maker in cricket’s history.