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That day at the WACA
Over the years, many Indian batsmen have gone into alien territories and stamped their authority with some really fine knocks. Mohammed Azharuddin had done that with a blistering century at Cape Town when he had the likes of Allan Donald and Lance Klusener run for cover. Much before that, we also had the little known Praveen Amre do it at Kingsmead in Durban in his debut Test.
It is not very often that a cricketer from the sub-continent goes to the fastest wicket in the world and scores one of the finest hundreds in the history of the game. And this is where the WACA WACA of the 18-year old Sachin Tendulkar simply stands out. His knock at the fastest track in the world (at least then it was and those who saw the knock will certainly vouch for it) was a majestic one.
Sachin's 115 had class written all over it and for those who had woken up early in the morning to tune into the radio sets (Remember cable networks were still in nascent stage in India then) and heard the commentary would have misunderstood this knock for the famous Haynes-Greenidge partnerships over the years. Cheers from the stands, which deceive your ears.
India were already down 3-0 and had escaped the prospect of a whitewash thanks to a fighting performance at their favourite venue, SCG. Do not go by the scoreline of the series. It may look one-sided but it was nowhere near being one. India had lost the first and second Tests to poor second innings', could have won the third Test but for Aussie lower order resilience and lost the fourth Test by just 38 runs.
With luck virtually deserting them, the Indian bowlers still did well to restrict the Aussies to 346 in their first essay. It was late into day 2 when Sachin had come in to bat at the WACA in the final Test of the 5-match series. He held his ground even as wickets kept falling at the other end. Early on day three, India were soon down to 159 for 8 before the little master started to unleash some of the finest shots the cricket textbook has.