The year was 2010, the place was Gwalior & the unfortunate opponents were South Africa. The master blaster created history by becoming the first player to score 200 runs in a ODI match. Dale Steyn has now made a sensational claim.
Steyn claims he had the batsman dismissed close to the magical number. Speaking on the Sky Sports Cricket Podcast with James Anderson, Dale Steyn said about the record-breaking ODI in Gwalior, “Tendulkar scored the first double hundred in ODI cricket, and it was against us in Gwalior. And I actually remember – I think I got him out lbw when he was about 190 odd. Ian Gould was the umpire, and he gave him not out”. “And I was like, ‘Why, why did you give him not out!? That’s so dead.’ And he was like, ‘Mate, look around – if I gave him out, I won’t make it back to the hotel.” Sachin Tendulkar eventually went on to score the first double hundred in one-day internationals with his unbeaten 200, powering India to a mammoth 403 for three in the second ODI of the bilateral series.
However, contrary to Steyn’s claims, the scorecard from the game shows that the fast bowler bowled 31 balls to Tendulkar without any LBW shout. When Tendulkar was in his 190s, he faced just three deliveries from Steyn, all of which were played with the bat. The last of Tendulkar’s 51 Test centuries came against South Africa in Capetown, 2011. In that very innings, Tendulkar faced Steyn with his tail-up, calling it “one of the best spells he had faced”. Similarly, Steyn explained what it was like bowling to Tendulkar, especially in front of a packed Indian crowd.
“He was so good, and very rarely got out lbw,” added Steyn. “And, like Jimmy said, you just didn’t want to bowl a bad ball to him. Especially in a place like India. You bowl a bad ball, and he hits you four – he’s on nought and he hits you for four in Mumbai (Tendulkar’s home town), it feels like the world is closing in on you. He’s only on four not out, he may as well have been on 500.