Sachin Tendulkar explained why he did not play even a single cover-drive during his innings of 241 not out against Australia in the 2004 Sydney Test.
Sachin Tendulkar has played many memorable knocks in his illustrious career. He has almost every batting record in cricket and was pivotal to India's success in the 90s and 2000s. As rare as it way, there was a time when Tendulkar wasn't able to get going despite timing the ball well. His masterful innings of 241 not out against Australia stands out as one of his most crafty ones keeping in mind a strong of low scores that had followed Tendulkar in the first three Tests.
Tendulkar had scores of 0, 1, 37, 0 and 44 in Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne, and heading into Sydney, the batsman was fiercely dedicated to make it count. Tendulkar explained how he was aware of being mentally strong in order to get runs against a formidable Australian bowling department.
A conversation with his brother ensured Tendulkar concentrate hard on staying at the crease rather than scoring runs. He took up the challenge of not getting out in Sydney and eventually managed to get a solid double century. The striking feature of that knock was the fact that Tendulkar did not play a single cover-drive during his innings, which by the way, Tendulkar clarifies, was not part of his initial plan.
"I had a discussion with my brother. We normally used to discuss the reason behind my dismissal. He told me 'I don't think there's any flaw technically. But mentally there is a flaw in the shot selection. You're pressing he pedal too hard. There's no need to accelerate so much. Which shot is dismissing you, you need to analyse that'. He challenged me to stay not out because he felt no bowler could get me out. So, I accepted it," Sachin told Aakash Chopra on his YouTube channel.
"Not playing the cover drive wasn't part of my plan but the moment I went out to the ground and I saw that the Australians are trying to play with my patience and are bowling all balls outside off. That's when something inside me triggered. 'Ok, you are challenging me by playing with my patience. Let's see who loses it first - me or you 11'. And then I started leaving everything. Even if I'm batting on 150 and you bowl outside off, you get a maiden, but I'm not going to play what you want me to play."
India posted a colossal 705/7 decl. with VVS Laxman also scoring a century. The match was drawn with Simon Katich getting the runs for the home side.