Former Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar has revealed that he had not planned beforehand that he would not play the cover drive during his unbeaten 241-run knock against Australia in Sydney. He made this revelation during a candid chat with Aakash Chopra about his cricketing career, in a video shared on the latter's YouTube channel.
Aakash Chopra asked Sachin Tendulkar how the latter managed not to play the cover drive even after he got set. The Mumbaikar responded that it was a long story while talking about the excellent form he was in before the Australia Test series, including the warm-up game.
"It is a long story. Because before going to Australia I was in very good form. Here only in India, we had played against New Zealand and Australia and I had scored runs in that series. Even after going to Australia, I remember that I had scored runs in the first side game."
Sachin Tendulkar recalled having got a poor decision in his maiden innings of the Test series at Brisbane. He had been given out LBW when the ball was clearly too high to be hitting the stumps.
"I got a slightly wrong decision in Brisbane, so I was a little hurt because such an important series had started with a wrong decision. The first innings and Test match is so critical and I wanted to make a big statement there."
The highest run-scorer in international cricket mentioned that he batted well in Adelaide in the next Test match, including an important partnership in the second innings with Rahul Dravid that won India a historic Test match.
"After that in Adelaide, I was batting well and in the 2nd innings I had scored around 38 runs and had a partnership with Rahul and we ended up winning that match which was a beautiful game."
Sachin Tendulkar recollected having scored almost a half-century in the second innings of the third Test at Melbourne, which was a match India lost despite Virender Sehwag's belligerent knock.
"In the second innings at Melbourne, I had scored 40-odd. So I was batting well but as they say when I was reaching the top gear, things were not working out."
Sachin Tendulkar on his unbeaten 241 at Sydney
Sachin Tendulkar shared that he had a discussion with his brother Ajit before the Sydney Test, during which the latter pointed out to the Master Blaster that his shot selection was not right.
"So I remember even now that I had a discussion with my brother, which we do after every match or dismissal about why I got dismissed. He said that he didn't think there was a technical flaw but there is a mental flaw of shot selections."
Sachin Tendulkar recalled that his brother told him to analyse which particular shot was leading to his downfall and challenged him to remain unbeaten in that Test match.
"Because I was pressing the pedal too hard, it was not required to accelerate that much. He asked me to analyse which shot was dismissing me and he challenged me to remain not out in that Test match because he felt no bowler can get me out."
Sachin Tendulkar revealed that it was not a preconceived plan to not play the cover drive. He said that he decided to forego the shot after realising that the Australians were trying to play with his patience by bowling wide outside his off-stump.
"And it was not a plan not to play the cover drive. But just when I went and stood at the ground and saw that Australians are trying to play with my patience by bowling all deliveries outside the off-stump, then something triggered in me and I wanted to show them whether I alone lose my patience or the 11 Australians lose theirs."
The 47-year-old highlighted that he had made up his mind to not fall into the Aussie trap at least in that match, even after he was well set.
"And then I started leaving everything even if I was batting on 150 as I was not going to play what they wanted me to play, at least in that match."
Sachin Tendulkar shared that although he had the temptation to go for the cover drive a few times, his mind restricted him from doing so.
"I was tempted sometimes to play that shot but once I had blocked it in my mind, there was no question of me playing that."
Sachin Tendulkar had played an unbeaten 241-run knock in the Sydney Test against Australia in January 2004. He was involved in a 353-run partnership with VVS Laxman for the 4th wicket as India declared their first innings at a mammoth score of 705 runs for the loss of seven wickets.
Published 19 Sep 2020, 14:06 IST