CT 2000 Flashback: When Sachin Tendulkar sledged Glenn McGrath and smashed him all round Nairobi

Tendulkar scored only 38 on that day but the start provided by him set the tone for the rest of the match.

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Sachin Tendulkar of India
Sachin Tendulkar of India hits a six off the bowling of Glenn McGrath of Australia during the ICC Knockout Tournament. (Photo by Tom Shaw/ALLSPORT)

Sledging and Sachin Tendulkar doesn’t go hand in hand so before I start off writing this piece I must clear out that it was one of those rarest of rare occasions when the ‘God of Cricket” sledged back his opponents. The year was 2000 and it was the 2nd edition of the Champions Trophy then named as the Knock Out Trophy. India had played exceptional cricket in the group stage and was scheduled to play Australia in the 1st Quarter-final of the tournament.

The beginning

Tendulkar walked out in the middle with his regular partner Sourav Ganguly and looked to set a good platform for the Men in Blue. The Aussie pace duo of an experienced Glenn McCgrath and a young Brett Lee bowled 4 good overs up front and didn’t allow the experienced duo of Sachin and Ganguly to get going.

The Tendulkar onslaught

The “Master Blaster” pressed on the accelerator in the 4th over when he came dancing down the track and smashed Glenn McCgrath for a huge six back over his head. He executed another identical shot in the next delivery which went for a four. McCgrath looked bemused at the sudden onslaught of the Master and was left searching for answers.

The best shot of the innings came in the 2nd delivery of the 7th over as Tendulkar shuffled across his stumps and hooked McCgrath straight over the long leg boundary. It was an exceptional pickup shot and the then commentator Harsha Bhogle rightly said that the ball would have gone outside Nairobi. He was not done yet and caressed the 4th delivery of the 11th over for a spanking boundary through the cover region.

His next boundary of Brett Lee was another trademark shot as Tendulkar executed a terrific off drive to perfection. He raced off to run a ball 38 and looked in ominous touch before Brett Lee removed in that same over by inducing a false shot from his blade. He went for an expansive slash and ended up giving a simple catch to the slip fielder. Though he only made 38 but it was enough to set the tone for the Men in Blue.

When Tendulkar fans were shocked to see him sledge

It was arguably for the very first time Tendulkar sledged back to his opponents. The Australians are generally very talkative on the field and tend to get on to their opponents nerves. But unlike other cricketers, they were not able to scalp out Sachin by sledging him. Instead, the Master replied him back with both his mouth and the bat.

He replied back to McCgrath’s sledge with the cuss word F*** Y** and McCgrath was holding his ears as if he hadn’t heard anything. It was not a sight which you will often see but it was definitely a moment when Tendulkar gave the Aussies a taste of their own medicine.

Eventual outcome of the match

Courtesy a Tendulkar special up front and a sensational innings from the blade of debutant Yuvraj Singh India reached a competitive total of 265 in their allotted 20 overs. The Indian bowlers were exceptional up front and bowled in the perfect areas to reap the rewards. The mighty Aussies could only master 245, in the end, handing India comprehensive victory by 20 runs in the end. They went on to beat South Africa in the Semi-final but couldn’t topple the Kiwis in the final despite centuries from Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly.

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