Tendulkar recalls playing 6 maiden overs of 'aggressive' McGrath in Adelaide

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Chennai, Aug 22: Cricket legends Sachin Tendulkar and Glenn McGrath met up at the MRF Pace Foundation on Friday (August 21) and the Indian recalled his battles with the Australian fast bowler.

Tendulkar and McGrath interacted with the trainees of the Pace Foundation in Chennai. Later, talking to reporters, Tendulkar praised McGrath for his focus and aggressiveness while going down memory lane.

Tendulkar (left) and McGrath at MRF Pace Foundation on Friday (August 21)

"Glenn is someone who I felt was extremely focused, aggressive, disciplined and stuck to his plans. I remember in Adelaide we played in 1999. I walked to bat on the 2nd day after tea and I played 6 maiden overs of Glenn. He kept bowling on the off stump and I kept leaving them basically wanting to make him come back to me. He did not come back to me and I did not go to him. We both stuck to our plans," Tendulkar recalled.

"I think a good bowler makes the batsman play," said the batting maestro, who first visited the academy way back in 1987 with the intention to become a fast bowler.

Asked about his visit, Tendulkar said he still recollects how his brother's (Ajit Tendulkar) advice to carry his batting gear along turned his fortune.

'Love bowling quick'

"At that time I was really well in school and scoring runs. Vasu Paranjape who regularly visited Chennai at that time came up with this idea as to why not we send Sachin to Chennai for trials.

"My brother always used to tell me that I should become an all-rounder. I love bowling quick. While packing my bags my brother told me to carry my batting gear for safety. I came with my batting gear also. Trials were announced and numbers were given. I do not remember the number I bowled on a couple of occasions and I was just standing there.

"Vasu Paranjpe, who was standing by asked me to bat against the same bowlers. I said great idea. So, I put the pads on and started batting and Dennis (Lillee) was watching me bat. Then, Dennis walked towards me and said - my friend this is a better option why don't you stick to batting," Tendulkar recollected.

"I almost told him that I am a batsman wanting to become a fast bowler. But I can say my brother had better vision. Before leaving for Chennai, he suggested to me to carry my batting gears. Fast bowling was something that I loved."

'Srinath, fastest bowler from India'

Lauding the contribution of MRF Pace Foundation to Indian cricket, Tendulkar said the academy gave the country some of the finest exponents of fast bowling. "I think in 1989 when Vivek Razdan made his debut along with me in the fourth Test match at Sialkot it was a massive moment for MRF because he was the first MRF trainee to get India cap," he said.

"Those times were incredible. The fastest bowler from India was Javagal Srinath and there were many guys with different strengths. In Zaheer Khan I have found that he has the best reverse swing. Subrato Banerjee swung the new ball beautifully while Vivek Razdan had good outswinger.

"There were so many bowlers from MRF who played for India and in 2007 and 2011 World Cups we had fast bowlers from MRF and even today we see fast bowlers from the MRF Academy playing for India."

He rated Srinath as a complete package and said he was the quickest bowler India has produced.

PTI

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