Reminiscing about Sachin Tendulkar’s record-breaking ODI double hundred in Gwalior, Dale Steyn quipped that Ian Gould did not give the ‘Master Blaster’ out because the umpire feared the home crowd.
Tendulkar got to the landmark in 2010 in the final ODI of a bilateral series. India scored a humongous 401/3 following Sachin’s heroics and skipper MS Dhoni’s cameo towards the end of the innings.
“Tendulkar scored a lot of runs against us. He got the first double hundred in ODI cricket, and it was against us in Gwalior,” Steyn said in a Sky Sports Cricket Podcast that also featured James Anderson and former England cricketers Rob Key and Nasser Hussain.
“And I remember – I think I got him out lbw when he was about 190-odd. Ian Gould was the umpire, and he gave him not out. And I was like, ‘Why, why did you give him not out? That’s so dead.’ And he was like: ‘Mate, look around – if I gave him out, I won’t make it back to the hotel’,” Steyn added with a laugh.
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The Proteas legend further spoke about the demi God-like status Tendulkar enjoys in his country.
“When he came in, you had to up your focus and hit the top of off stump. Especially in India, if you could maybe bring the ball back in, he could get out LBW but he was so good, he rarely got out that way. If you bowl a bad ball to him and he hits you for four from nought especially in India, it feels like the world is closing in on you. He might just 4, not out but he might as well be batting on 500. You don’t want to bowl a bad ball and just hope; because he’s got it covered, has every shot in the book,” Steyn said.
Earlier, England seamer James Anderson spoke about the need to remain focussed when bowling to Tendulkar.
“I don’t really remember having a specific game plan against Tendulkar. I just remember that once he came in I went in my mind: ‘I CANNOT bowl a bad ball here.’ He is that good a player and so key for India,” Anderson said.
“Particularly in India, when you got him out, the whole atmosphere in the ground changed. He was such a big wicket, you just focus so much on bowling your best ball. Top of off stump, and hope he misses a straight one. In England, he might nick the odd one, but I generally tried to get him LBW early. I got success against him but he scored against us quite a lot too.”