When Sachin made Caddick payback for his words
Sachin Tendulkar was the top scorer in each of India’s first four games at the 2003 CWC.
Many legendary bowlers would agree it was not the best practice to sledge Sachin Tendulkar before bowling to him given the kind of experiences they had after that. Several bowlers faced the wrath of Tendulkar whenever they tried to get under his skin with words. He always replied to them with the bat instead of words making sure that bowlers knew exactly how he answered those sledging attempts. Once, England pacer Andy Caddick decided to take a dig at master-blaster ahead of a big game.
Heading into the 2003 World Cup, India experimented with Sachin Tendulkar’s batting position by pushing him down to No.4 and it produced mixed results. However, the batsman opened straightaway in the CWC and was consistent. He was the top scorer for India in each of their first four games and won the Man of the Match awards against Zimbabwe and Namibia ahead of the crucial game against England. Both the teams won three of their first four matches and were set to face at the Kingsmead in Durban.
India were scheduled to face arch-rivals Pakistan in the 6th in last group game while England would face Australians who were undefeated. Understanding the effect of winning the game, Caddick decided to poke at the inform Sachin Tendulkar. In the pre-match press-conference, Caddick was quoted as saying that he and his team would prefer to fancy their chances with the new ball if Sachin opens the innings more than if batting in the middle-order like he did in the NatWest series in the previous year.
“Sachin Tendulkar is easily one of the best batsmen but he is only human and he does make mistakes. If India has Tendulkar, we have a world-class batsman in (Michael) Vaughan. With Jamie (Anderson), Andy (Flintoff) and Craig (White) bowling well we are in for an interesting encounter. I’m sure if he opens, the guys will be more than happy,” said Caddick.
Sachin and Caddick faced off in the first over of the game as the Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly won the toss and elected to bat first. Tendulkar glanced the 2nd ball he faced from Caddick a boundary and made his intentions clear with an uncharacteristic hook down to the fine leg region in the 4th over. India decided to go hard against the England pacers when Virender Sehwag took James Anderson for 16 runs in the 8th over with the help of three fours.
In the next over, Sachin punched a full-length delivery to square leg fence and followed it by a well-timed pull that sent the ball out of the Kingsmead. Sehwag’s dismissal in next over didn’t stop the Tendulkar assault as he smashed the experienced English pacer to three fours in space of four deliveries in the 11th over. Caddick’s 6-over spell with the new ball cost him 47 runs as Tendulkar scored 36 runs off 19 balls against him with seven fours.
India finished off with 250/9 in their 50 overs as Caddick took three wickets in the final four balls of the innings. He finished off with the figures of 3/69 from his 10 overs while Flintoff conceded just 15 from his 10. The all-rounder scored a 73-ball 64 in the chase but Ashish Nehra’s 6/23 handed India a comfortable 82-run win and a place in the Super Six round.
Courtesy : Cricktracker