'Go back and bowl again as I am still here' - Sachin Tendulkar recalls his duel with Glenn McGrath in 1999 Adelaide Test

It was Sachin who had won the duel then though India lost the Test match later.

Glenn McGrath and Sachin Tendulkar
Glenn McGrath and Sachin Tendulkar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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Sachin Tendulkar vs Glenn McGrath used to be one of the mouth watering contests on the field. Both of them were the top players in their respective fields and they have played crucial roles in many victories for their teams. Whenever India faced Australia, the contest would be decided over who won the battle between these two cricketers.

While both of them had their share of victories, Sachin recently recalled the duel with the Aussie pacer when he frustrated him with his tight bowling. The incident dates back to 1999 Adelaide Test during India’s tour down under. Australia had already posted a daunting total of 441 runs in the first innings and it was time for the visitors’ response.

But India lost both their openers with only nine runs on the board and at 90/3, Sachin Tendulkar walked in to bat. McGrath was in the middle of a brilliant spell with less than an hour to go for stumps and this is when the hosts and the bowler decided to frustrate the little master with a consistent line and length.

“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. 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,” he told Star Sports during a chat.

How Sachin Tendulkar won the small battle against McGrath?

However, Sachin Tendulkar understood the plan and he kept his calm. While he kept leaving the outside the off-stump deliveries, at times the batsman was beaten as well. But he was in the middle at stumps and then went on to make the statement the next morning slamming Glenn McGrath for a plethora of fours. He scored 61 runs during 181-minute stay at the crease before getting out.

“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’. I remember hitting him 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,” Sachin Tendulkar further added remembering the incident.

While the master won the small battle against the Australian fast bowler, India couldn’t match Australia in the game, In response to the hosts’ 441, they were bundled out for just 285 runs after which Australia piled on 239 runs more in the second innings to set a target of 396 runs. However, the tourists crumbled under pressure in the second essay mustering only 110 runs losing the Test match by a mammoth 285 runs.