Legendary India cricketer Sachin Tendulkar recalled his Test centuries in Australia in 1991-92 as an 18-year-old, in the process giving out vital tips on how to conquer conditions down under.
Tendulkar had made 148 in Sydney, just his third Test in Australia, and followed it up with a 114 in Perth, one of the fastest pitches in world cricket then against the likes of Craig McDermott, Merv Hughes, Mike Whitney and Paul Reiffel.
“They were top-class bowlers and I had grown up watching them. From being a ball boy in 1987-88, suddenly in 1991-92, I was playing against them. I knew that once I was out there competing, no one was going to look at my age,” Tendulkar said in a video on his YouTube channel.
“They were going to do all possible things to get me out, to send me back to the dressing room. And I was ready to face those challenges. That particular tour changed me as a player. It taught me a little. Not just technically, but mentally… how to approach a big game.”
Tendulkar explained that a batsman has to look for scoring opportunities in Australia and use the pace and bounce to his advantage.
“People talk about steep bounce and pace. Steep bounce and pace mean that the good length area for the bowler becomes small. It becomes that much tougher for the bowler to find that ideal spot. So if the batter goes out to bat with a positive approach… looking to score runs than just keep blocking, there are many scoring opportunities," he said.
“I looked at it that way. Early on it was about getting on top of the ball, but as time went by, my thinking evolved. I thought why do you always have to get on top off the ball. When there is no third man, you can get under the ball and use their pace. If they falter on the shorter side, I would go over slips, or gully, and even if I don’t get it right because of the pace and bounce, it was going to carry."
Tendulkar played 20 Tests in Australia for 1809 runs at an average of 53.20 including six centuries.