India and Australia have always given us some thrilling moments on the cricket field. There have been many match-winning performances with the bat and some really great bowling spells in the matches between the two teams. But one performance that truly enthralled everybody was Sachin Tendulkar’s masterful innings of 175 against the Kangaroos in Hyderabad.
If you were a 90s born, you would know that for the better part of that decade, Tendulkar was the lone man who waged a battle against most of the teams. On November 5, 2009, the match between India and Australia offered a heartbreaking throwback to the days when Tendulkar’s amazing individual performance outclassed the rest of the Indian batting line-up only for his dismissal to signal doom for the Men in Blue.
Ricky Ponting won the toss and decided to bat first. The opening pair of Shane Watson and Shaun Marsh put up a strong 145-run stand for the first wicket, with Watson decimating the Indian bowlers for sensational innings of 93. Marsh top-scored with a beautiful inning of 112 while Cameron White played a crucial knock of 57 off just 33 balls. By the end of their innings, the Kangaroos had piled on 350 runs on the scoreboard for the loss of four wickets.
The Indian team had to be at their best to chase that mammoth total against such a destructive bowling line-up.
India started their inning on a positive note as the opening pair of Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar started going after the Australian bowling attack. They scored a total of 66 runs in the first 9 overs. But then Sehwag top-edged one of the deliveries of Ben Hilfenhaus to Doug Bollinger for a 30-ball 38. At that time, Sachin was on 24 off 25 balls. No one knew, that an ‘east wind’ is preparing to sweep them off.
Indian team was in deep trouble when they lost the wickets of Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, and MS Dhoni in quick succession. In the middle of this debacle, Tendulkar was batting like he was playing on some other pitch, which is much flatter. Having settled in, there was simply no stopping the master blaster. Bollinger was pulled to the square leg boundary and slashed past point for the same result off successive deliveries. Even Hilfenhaus was getting annihilated by the Little Master.
Clint McKay and Shane Watson were also facing the wrath of the legendary Indian batsman. He reached his half-century off just 47 balls.
Soon after the landmark was reached, McKay was smashed over mid-on. Watson went for a towering six over midwicket and then driven past cover for four. He took a particular liking towards Nathan Hauritz as he sent the ball over the boundary line for 2 huge sixes and moved into the 90s.
In the time it took the next 3 batsmen to score 23 among Gambhir, Yuvraj, and Dhoni, Tendulkar with the help of his amazing strokeplay moved on to the score of 95. The master blaster needed some support and it came in the form of Suresh Raina. Soon, the master blaster created history and completed his century off just 81 balls; but Tendulkar’s work was not yet over. He accelerated his innings even more and started the destruction by sending a ball from Adam Voges straight into the stands. In the next over, Hilfenhaus was treated the same way.
David Hussey was brought into the attack to pick up a wicket but soon was whacked over the covers to bring up his 150. That was the time when everyone thought that the Men in Blue is going to create a history that time and Sachin will once again take the weight of Indian team on his shoulders.
At the other end, Suresh Raina was giving him the much-needed support and played a superb knock of 59. Both the players took the score to 299. But, Raina’s inning came to an end at the score 59. But no one felt that there is a problem in the chase because Sachin was still out there. The new batsman to come to the crease was Ravindra Jadeja, who became a good ally for the legendary batsman. Running singles and doubles and finding the occasional boundaries.
However, the whole stadium was stunned into silence when Sachin tried to play a paddle scoop off Clint McKay went straight into the hands of Nathan Hauritz. Australia knew that they have won the match and celebrated like the match is already over. The Indian team was disheartened, the fans were disheartened but most importantly even after such an amazing inning, the man himself was disheartened that he could not make his team win the match.
Tendulkar played a mesmerizing inning of 175 off just 143 balls, in which he hit 19 boundaries and four sixes. After the dismissal of the master blaster, the whole team fell like a pack of cards. Tendulkar lost his wicket at the score of 332 and India needed 18 runs to win in 17 balls.
With India needed 5 runs off last 3 balls with 1 wicket in hand, the Men in Blue lost their last wicket on 347 and they lost the match by 3 runs.
The icon of Indian cricket did everything he could for his team to lay a foundation for the victory. This is one of the examples when Tendulkar took the bowlers head on and showed the world why he was considered ‘the greatest of all time’. This inning and this match became a great moment in the history of the rivalry between in India & Australia.
In a matter of 6 days, India will be traveling to Australia for another tiring tour. A three-match T20I series, a four-match Test series, and a three-match ODI series will test the Indian players and their capabilities. Some great moments will be created this time too, some great innings will be played like before while some great spells will be bowled Down Under to make it all worth it.
THIS IS AUSTRALIA vs INDIA and we are all set to have an absolute roller-coaster ride.
About the Author
Sports Journalist by profession, a Cricket Fanatic by passion. Aayush Sharma has been following the game of cricket since childhood and considers Sachin Tendulkar as his idol. When in free time, he loves to read books or go out and play some gully cricket with friends. For him, Tennis ace Roger Federer and F1 Legend Michael Schumacher are the only sportspersons that reach the level of Tendulkar