Calcutta: Sachin Tendulkar feels he would have “gladly traded” his knock of 175 against Australia in 2009 for an Indian victory even though he “certainly” rates it as one of the very best in his ODI career.
Chasing 351 in the fifth of the seven-match ODI series at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, Tendulkar fell awfully close to pulling off an unlikely win with a superb innings.
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“It was certainly one of my best innings, but I would have gladly traded those 175 runs for a victory,” Tendulkar wrote in BCCI’s official website.
The Master scored 175 off 141 balls and smashed 19 fours and four sixes as India lost by three runs. Tendulkar completed 17,000 runs in ODIs during the course of that innings.
“It was one of those days when nothing seemed to be out of place. I was able to execute my strokes well. Our middle-order failed, but Suresh Raina batted fluently. We had a good partnership of 137. Suresh was caught behind at 299 in the 43rd over.
“Harbhajan Singh fell soon after, to make it 300/6, but I believed we were very much in control. It was a question of hanging in there, running well and ensuring that bad balls were dealt with harshly,” he wrote.
“We were only 19 away when I tried to lift (Clint) McKay over short fine-leg, only to be caught by (Nathan) Hauritz. It was a huge disappointment. The lower-order tried hard, but more wickets fell, and we fell short by three runs.”
Tendulkar mentioned about the comparisons made between that knock and his back-to-back hundreds against the same opponent in Sharjah back in 1998.
“I have been asked on a few occasions to compare the 175 with the back-to-back hundreds against the same team at Sharjah in 1998. I don’t think a comparison can be made. The expectations were way higher at the final stages of the tri-series in Sharjah.
“The Hyderabad hundred was scored in the middle of a bilateral series, and hence the circumstances were very different, physically and even mentally.”
The series was tied 2-2 going into the fifth ODI.
“The seven-match series against Australia was even when we took the field for the crucial fifth game at Hyderabad. The winner would take a 3-2 lead, and the loser would be under tremendous pressure before the last two matches,” Tendulkar wrote.
The stadium in Uppal, which was back then a newly-built one, came in for praise from Tendulkar.
“I had pleasant memories of the Lal Bahadur Stadium in Hyderabad. It was the venue where I had scored 186 against New Zealand in 1999-00. The new Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium has a much better facility.”