Former Australia pacer, Glenn McGrath takes a trip down memory lane as he talks about Sachin Tendulkar’s wicket in the 2003 World Cup final against India in Johannesburg.
Australian captain, Ricky Ponting scored a scintillating hundred in the final. Helped by fifties from Adam Gilchrist and Damien Martyn, Australia posted an almost unscalable total of 359- remember this is 2003, and run chases of this size were not even thinkable.
But if a billion Indians had any hope, it was only because of one man- Sachin Tendulkar, who was in thunderous form throughout the tournament amassing 669 runs in 10 games.
Sachin was up against Australia’s ace bowler, Glenn McGrath. After 3 dots, the right-hander smashed McGrath for a boundary through the mid-wicket region. McGrath followed up with another short ball, and Tendulkar attempted the same shot. However, the ball rose higher than Tendulkar expected, took a top and the bowler himself pouched it- ending Sachin’s innings, and the hopes of a billion.
People of India will never forgive me: Glenn McGrath
Ahead of the second ODI between India and Australia in Sydney, Glenn McGrath remembers the final. McGrath funnily says that several Indians have told him that they will never forgive him for taking Tendulkar’s wicket in the final.
The 50-year-old recalls the kind of frenzied atmosphere in the stadium when the Indian opener picked a boundary of him as there were mostly Indians in the crowd and few Aussie supporters.
Speaking to the broadcaster, Sony, Glenn McGrath said, “I remember that game quite well and I have a lot of people from India coming up say that they’ll never forgive me for the first over. The first two balls were dot balls and Sachin just picked me off the length, hit me straight over mid-on for four. And the crowd was going for India except for a tiny little portion for Aussies.”
The commentator joked that after taking Sachin’s wicket, he was happy, but not a billion people in India. The men in blue lost by a massive 125 runs. The three-time World Cup winner loved to bowl against the best batsman, and opined that the Indian batting maestro is amongst those.
“The noise was amazing and the next ball, just bounced a bit more and Sachin tried to repeat it. The ball went straight up in the air and I took quite a comfortable caught and bowled. I was quite happy but obviously, for billions of Indians, it wasn’t the case. Always enjoyed those challenges against the batsmen who were the best. Sachin was definitely one of those. He was a big key wicket in the Indian team,” Glenn McGrath added.