SK Flashback: Sachin Tendulkar murders Andrew Caddick twice in the 2003 World Cup
Within a matter of minutes, the Little Master dished out such punishment to Caddick that it would be remembered for years to come.
26th February 2003. On the bouncy wicket at Kingsmead, Durban, the tall English fast bowlers were gearing up to take on two short but explosive Indian batsmen. The salt and pepper haired Andrew Caddick was to lead the English bowling attack, but little did he know the belligerent mood that Sachin Tendulkar was in that day.
The pitch showed signs of bounce and carry which might have caused the English pace battery to feel tempted to dish out some bouncers to Sachin and his partner Virender Sehwag. If Tendulkar was in fine nick, Sehwag was aggression personified. While the Master Blaster had scored consistently and heavily as an opener until this match, Viru had made it a point to score at least one boundary no matter what position he batted and what the state of the game was.
England begin well
England began well, and it seemed that the Indian batsmen were a little cautious after their stern thrashing at the hands of the Aussies. They clearly did not want to take the England team lightly. A young James Anderson shared the new ball with Caddick and in six overs, the Indian openers watchfully guided the score to 26, with the senior statesman warming up with a few hits to the fence.
A short, wayward ball from Caddick was dispatched to the fine leg boundary even though Sachin lost his footing and tumbled to the ground.
When the seventh over began, it suddenly felt as if the channel had been changed and a different match was being telecast. Sehwag started the run riot by tearing into Anderson. He summarily dispatched the young pacer to all parts of the ground, picking up three boundaries in the process. Tendulkar, meanwhile, who was watching from the other end, was itching to get in on the action.
The good work is undone
When Caddick came on for the eighth over, the Master Blaster gave his partner at the other end a lesson in how to demolish a bowler. The second ball came drifting into Tendulkar’s pads only to be met by a swift flick of the blade. The ball raced away past the square-leg fielder. What followed next was nothing short of legendary. Adjusting his length, the bowler dug it in short but the master that Sachin was, he already knew what was coming.
The pocket-sized Tendulkar unleashed a perfect pull shot and the ball vanished like a rocket onto the roof of the stands and out of the stadium. Only Tendulkar could have played a shot like that. Even if every single batsman in the world knew what was coming, they wouldn’t have been able to produce anything like it.
That one delivery must have given poor Caddick sleepless nights. If he thought the worst was over, though, it wasn't. The master stroke maker tapped the ball for a single so Sehwag could come on and have a crack too. The eighth over went for 16 runs.
Captain Nasser Hussain had the right idea as he took off Anderson and brought in Flintoff, which resulted in Sehwag’s wicket. For some unknown and probably irrational reason, though, he persisted with Caddick for one more over. Cricket was all the more blessed for that decision.
A punishment to remember
The bowler must have understandably been terrified for he began with a wide. After running a couple to get the blood flowing, Tendulkar unleashed a pair of beautiful drives that went to the boundary. Exquisite shots that would leave any connoisseur filled with delight. There was to be no respite.
After having missed out on the penultimate ball, it seemed the Mumbaikar was almost displeased with himself as he dismissed the final delivery from his presence with a vicious cross batted slog. The ball obeyed. In just two very eventful Caddick overs, 31 runs were scored.
England’s bowling spearhead was made to look like a schoolboy. His figures, which read four overs for 16, now read six overs for 47.
Even though Caddick came back to bowl at the death and picked up three wickets (and a run out) in his last four balls, it was little consolation. The battle and the war had been lost in a matter of minutes earlier in the day.