Former Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar has been part of some of the most enthralling and famous encounters during his 24-year career. It would be unfair to discount Sachin Tendulkar’s contributions in the 2001 home series against Australia even though VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid had chief roles to play in the hosts’ remarkable turnaround that eventually resulted in a series victory. The 47-year old has labelled it as the best series of his life.
The first Test entailed Australia beating India convincingly by ten wickets and looked on course for their first series victory in the nation since 1969. However, the Eden Gardens in Kolkata became the breeding ground of India’s comeback. They bounced back from an enforced follow-on in the venue to record one of the most famous Test victories in history. Harbhajan Singh’s six-wicket haul in the fourth innings was as significant as the partnership between Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman.
The men in blue picked up a narrow victory in Chennai in the third Test to win the series 2-1 from being 0-1. Sachin Tendulkar, who starred in all three Tests, made 304 runs at 50.67 with one century and two fifties. Australia found itself winless in India until 2004 when vice-captain Adam Gilchrist made the Baggy Green win two Tests to record a 2-1 series victory.
“It was reported that Steve Waugh had said that this is his final frontier” : Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar opened up on the then Australian captain Steve Waugh’s comments, calling India a final frontier. Hence, the series became critical to both sides. The 200-Test veteran highlighted that it was from the second innings of the second Test, they began picking up steam, winning that particular one, third Test and subsequently the series after losing the first by ten wickets. Hence, Tendulkar did not have doubts about that series being the best of his life.
“It was reported that Steve Waugh had said that this is his final frontier. So the series became even more important for Australians as well as us. In the first Test match, they beat us convincingly by 10 wickets. And from the second Test match, second innings onwards, we started picking up in grand style. And in the third Test match also, we won. We won the series 2-1. Without any doubt, I have to say that was the best series of my life,” Tendulkar told ABC Australia.