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Steve Waugh recalls the most disciplined innings in Test Cricket, played by Sachin Tendulkar

"We didn't have answers, he was too good," Steve Waugh, on Sachin Tendulkar.

Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar. (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)

A great inning in Test cricket embodies skill, temperament, and discipline. No, it isn’t always about playing the textbook shots, as contemporary greats like Steve Smith have been able to put that belief behind. It’s about a batsman recognizing his flaws and rectifying them with the willow. Sachin Tendulkar’s unbeaten 241 in 2004 at the Sydney Cricket Ground is a testimony to what’s mentioned above.

The then Australian captain Steve Waugh recalls how Sachin’s unbreakable discipline worked as his shield and no bowler could get through him during that innings. “I had got out a couple of times to balls bowled outside the off-stump.” – Sachin Tendulkar on his performances in Adelaide and Melbourne, in the 2003/04 Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

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This was the point where he recognized his fault. As his first step to rectifying it, he was determined that he won’t play a single cover drive during the Sydney Test. Moreover, the Aussies had identified Sachin’s shortcoming too. The bowlers tried to bowl outside the off-stump consistently to get Tendulkar. So he decided to leave all those deliveries.

We couldn’t get Sachin out

Then came a massive inning in the next Test at the Syndey Cricket Ground, 15 years ago. Waugh, his bowlers, and even the commentators were left stunned as Sachin’s innings displayed immense mental strength.

“To me, it was a show of incredible fortitude, mental strength discipline,” Waugh said recently to the Cricket Network. Sachin drove those balls down the ground, at ease, without plunging towards the off-stump where the balls were pitched. He was unstoppable. At 99, he played his signature flick shot off Simon Katich to get to his hundred. Fans were concerned about his form but Sachin’s comeback was so massive that he was able to leave the past behind.

“He actually followed through and didn’t play a cover-drive although he scored a double hundred,” Waugh said with a gleam on his face.

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