"It was Sachin's day, he was confident and he was letting me know," recalls Glenn McGrath
Sachin Tendulkar isn't known for exchanging verbal volleys with fast bowlers. He belongs to that rare air of superstar, who was more interested in letting his game do all the talking for him. But that doesn't mean that Sachin has never sledged anyone. There was a time when he went after arguably the best fast bowler of his generation.
In an exclusive chat with Sportskeeda, Glenn McGrath spoke about the time when Sachin sledged him during the 2000 Champions Trophy. The legendary Australian fast bowler also spoke about just how difficult it is to bowl to Virat Kohli and what he would have done if he hadn't become a cricketer.
Here are a few excerpts from the interview:
On Sachin Tendulkar sledging you?
Champions Trophy 2000, I bowled a short ball to Sachin, he pulled me. It went straight up in the air, I thought the keeper was going to catch it and there was a bit of a breeze and it drifted back and I thought third man was going to run in and catch it and it kept going and it went for six. And then Sachin just smashed me everywhere and he was the one having a bit of a chat. He was getting stuck into me, sledging me and it was a little bit unusual. That hadn't really happened before. It was Sachin's day, he was confident and he was letting me know.
If the 2001 Kolkata Test was to be played again?
Australia had just won 16 Tests in a row, we were on top. We had four wickets, Sachin had just got out the night before and we were very confident. But then VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid came out and had different ideas. If it played again, I would like to think that we would have bowled a little bit better but the way they batted was incredible. I am not sure they can bat that well again together on that same day. It was just their day and it was an exceptional innings from both of them.
What will be your plan for Virat Kohli?
It is tough. You just have to get enough balls in the right area and have the field set so that there is no easy runs, just keep the pressure on him the whole time. There is no obvious weakness there. It is just about building pressure, not allowing him to score runs and hope he makes a mistake.
One Indian batsman you hated bowling to?
There was no one I hated bowling against. Batsmen on their day can do well. Sachin, when he was on fire was as tough as anyone to bowl to. Dravid, tough to get through that defence and VVS Laxman, he was just such a quality player and did so well against Australia. So they are three guys who could be pretty tough.
Three batsmen you would like to have as your hat-trick victims?
I was lucky enough to get a hat-trick, which was Sherwin Campbell, Brian Lara and Jimmy Adams so I am happy with those three. I will stick with those.
One of the best sledges or banter you remember?
There is not too many that really come to mind, you can have a bit of fun out there. It is not about being personal. It is about getting in the batsmen's mind and have a bit of fun and have a laugh about it afterwards.
If not for cricket...
I am not sure. I did quite a few things after I left school. From carpentry to working on a cotton farm to working in a bank to doing quite a few different things. But cricket was what I loved, I just went out there, enjoyed myself and had some fun. What I would have done if I didn't play cricket, who knows.
Not too many regrets. I was happy with my career, how it went. It would have been nice to score a hundred, one day but I think that might be asking a little bit too much.