Legendary Sachin Tendulkar’s stunning double century against Australia in the Sydney Test during the 2003-04 series is still fresh in every cricket fan’s mind. The former India batsman had entered the fourth and last game of the series after scoring 0, 1, 37, 0 and 44 in his five Test innings on the tour.
But he showed remarkable composure and patience to play one of his finest knocks. He batted more than 10 hours to put India in the driver’s seat. But that was not the only remarkable thing about the knock. Tendulkar had not played a single cover driver during the knock – a shot that made him one of the most attractive batsmen in the world but brought about his downfall in the series. The knock is more than enough to show how tough the Australian pitches were.
India’s dismal record Down Under is another proof that adapting to Australian pitches is a tough task for the Indian men. However, the legendary batsman believes the Australian cricket pitches have changed and are becoming more like the ones in the Indian subcontinent.
“The surfaces, I find, have changed, because they are looking for more drop-in pitches. I remember watching one of the games, Australia was bowling and on day one the ball went two bounces to the ’keeper,” he told Sportstar.
Tendulkar further spoke about the WACA pitch in Perth. WACA was famous for generating bounce that used to terrorise even the best in business. But while Perth will host the second Test, the venue will be the multi-purpose Optus stadium.
“It’s the hardness of the surface, pace and bounce. Things have changed dramatically, though. When I played there in the 1990s, there were not many high-scoring games in Perth,” recalled Tendulkar.
“Sometimes 500 would be scored in both innings put together. But if you see in the last decade or so, Perth has been a happy hunting ground for the batters. They score there in hundreds. Last time England played Australia, close to 1,300 runs were scored in just three innings,” he added.
Meanwhile, India beat Australia by 31 runs in the first Test at Adelaide to take the lead in the Border-Gavaskar series. The win was India’s sixth win in Australia on 12 tours. It was also the first time India won the first game of a Test series in Australia. With momentum on their side, India will be looking to take an unassailable lead in Perth and retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy.