Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath recalled his fiercest battles with Sachin Tendulkar and concluded that their rivalry ended 50-50 between them. He, however, has an interesting anecdote, where the Indian was furious after he was given out after the ball had hit his shoulders in 1999.
“Was it LBW? Probably, it should have been an SBW – Shoulder Before Wicket,” McGrath said, recalling the incident in Adelaide Oval when Sachin walked off the pitch clearly unhappy at the decision by umpire Daryl Harper.
“I had some great battles with Sachin. I spend a lot of time in India now for coaching etc and that’s like a second home for me. I have a lot of friends there but people there tell me we have still not forgiven you for getting Sachin out in 2003 World Cup final,” he said.
“It was a big match and Sachin opened the innings in Johannesburg, South Africa. Almost 90 per cent, or probably 95 per cent crowd were supporting India, because South Africans either support South Africa or whoever is playing against Australia.”
“Sachin came for batting and the first three balls, I kept pretty tight and he didn’t score any runs. The fourth ball, he went for a pull shot, hit me over to mid-off for four runs.
“The crowd was cheering and I’m sure people watching the match India must have been pretty happy too. The next ball was a very similar delivery, just bounced a little more, he went to play that pull shot again but he hit it straight up in the air and it came straight to my hands for a comfortable caught and bowled. I was pretty happy with that, but obviously Indian fans were not happy with that.”
He recalled another game in the Champions Trophy in Kenya where Sachin opened the innings again.
“I bowled to him, he pulled it and it went straight up in the air. I thought I had got him out and the wicketkeeper would get an easy catch. But there was a breeze there and the ball kept drifting further and further away from the wicketkeeper and then I thought the third-man is going to take it who was ready to catch it and then he started going back and back and the ball finally fell out of the fence for a six.
“I was not very impressed and then I could hear someone saying a few words to me and I turned around and it was Sachin sledging me. That was very unusual and had not happened before,” McGrath told an amused audience.