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Tendulkar guides India to series lead

The third one-day between India and Australia can be rightly called the ‘Tendulkar match’.

Saturday, May 31, 2022

India v Australia, 3rd ODI 2001-02, Indore.

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When: 31 March, 2001
Where: Indore
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  • Series status: The series was levelled at 1-1 with India winning the 1st ODI while Australia emerging triumphant in the second. The 3rd ODI was a crucial encounter to see who gets their nose ahead in the series.
  • No junior Waugh: Australia’s key opening batsman and experienced campaigner Mark Waugh injured himself during the 2nd ODI and was ruled out the entire series.
  • Opening dilemma: Matthew Hayden was benched for the Indore ODI as a part of Australia’s rotation policy. So, in the absence of Mark Waugh and Hayden, it was a dilemma for the World Champions to find a new opening pair.
  • Out-of-form players: For Australia, it was Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne who were going through the worst phase of their international careers, whereas for India, skipper Ganguly’s lacklustre performance with the willow was a major concern.
  • India-Australia cricket rivalry has been one of the fiercest in recent times. The two major cricketing nations are at their very best when they are pitted against each other on the field. Even the players from both teams have shared some intense and ferocious moments on and off the field.

    It all started during Australia’s 2001-02 tour of India. The subcontinent giants halted the Aussies’ record Test-winning streak and went on to win the series 2-1. Since then, the grudge between the two cricket powers has commenced.

    © Getty Images

    The vehement Test series in 2001 was followed by a 5-ODI series. The hosts continued their winning momentum from the Test series by clinching the first one-day by 60 runs. But Australia bounced back well to avenge their loss with an 8-wicket victory in the Pune ODI.

    With honours shared after two encounters, the drama shifted to the Nehru Stadium in Indore for the crucial 3rd one-day game of the series.

    The atmosphere was good at Indore and the crowd started to build in numbers to have a glimpse of their heroes battling it out in the middle. Steve Waugh won the toss and elected to field first. His decision was based on the fact that there was some early morning moisture available on the track.

    An out-of-form Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly, who opened the innings in the previous two matches, decided to demote himself into the batting order. As a result, an ever dependable Rahul Dravid was sent out to open the batting with Sachin Tendulkar. Both the openers began sensibly as they tamed the Australia pace attack with maturity and good temperament. Dravid, in particular, was very slow in his approach scoring 15 runs off 34 balls whereas Tendulkar kept the scoreboard ticking by hitting the odd boundary at regular intervals.

    With the score reaching 32 runs in the eighth over, Damien Fleming provided the breakthrough by getting Dravid caught behind by Gilchrist.

    The next batsman who came to bat in the middle was VVS Laxman, a cricketer for whom the mighty Australians have plenty of respect and fear. The Hyderabad batsman was in ominous form at that time and was delight to watch while batting.

    Record-breaking partnership:

    Both Tendulkar and Laxman didn’t let the fall of wicket bog down the run-rate as they continued to keep the run flow on by milking easy singles. After getting themselves set, the pair cut loose as they started racking up runs at will.


  • Sachin Tendulkar became the first-ever batsman to complete 10,000 runs in the 50-over format of the game.
  • Tendulkar scored his 28th ODI hundred and his sixth against Australia. He shared the then record of scoring maximum hundreds against Australia along with West Indian Desmond Haynes.
  • The 83 runs scored by Laxman was his then best ever one-day score.
  • Glenn McGrath became the third Australian bowler to pick 200 ODI wickets.
  • The 19 fours smashed by Tendulkar were the maximum fours hit by a batsman against Australia in an innings.
  • The little master, in particular, changed gears quickly after scoring his fifty. The ‘Bombay bomber’ was pulling and cutting the ball brilliantly. He was also pretty innovative that day as he was very subtle in playing the paddle-sweep and late-cut shots off the slow bowlers.

    Laxman too was in sublime touch as he caressed the ball elegantly through the on and off sides for a magnificent half-century, his second in one-dayers. There was puzzled look on skipper Steve Waugh’s face as all his tactics failed that day. Even his part-time bowlers were clobbered for plenty by the unstoppable Tendulkar-Laxman duo.

    The pair went on to share a record partnership of 199 runs for the second wicket, which came off just 178 deliveries. Tendulkar himself in the meantime went on to achieve a couple of personal milestones. The champion batter scored his 28th ODI hundred and in due course, also became the first man to cross 10,000 runs in limited overs cricket.

    The frustrating partnership for Australia was finally broken when Laxman was run out sharply by Symonds on 83 runs. The classy right-hander’s knock came off 88 deliveries with six boundaries to his name.

    India were sitting comfortably at 231-2 at that juncture with more than 12 overs left in the innings. Skipper Ganguly, who dropped himself down the order, came in next to bat but in a space of three deliveries, he too was sent back to the pavilion for a duck.

    © Getty Images

    Losing the momentum:

    With a great start, the hosts were positioned to put a 330 plus total on the board. But the home team started losing the advantage in the death overs.

    The second one-dayer’s centurion Hemang Badani scored a fast-paced 23 runs before being run out. In the 46th over, Tendulkar was sent back too, after McGrath got him caught by Fleming for a splendid 139 runs. The master blaster’s knock was crafted with 19 gorgeous strokes to the boundary rope and it came off 125 balls.


  • Despite the win at Indore, India went on to lose the ODI series 2-3 to Australia.
  • The second-wicket partnership of 199 runs between Tendulkar and VVS Laxman is India's best for the particular wicket against Australia in all matches.
  • Tendulkar extended his own world record tally of most Man of the Match awards to 38 after this match.
  • India's total of 299-8 was the highest score by any side at the Nehru Stadium, Indore.
  • Zaheer Khan's embarrassing figures of 6-0-51-0 are the most expensive by an Indian bowler in a six-over spell against Australia.
  • Dinesh Mongia (4), Vijay Dahiya (1) and Ajit Agarkar (0) were folded in quick succession by McGrath and Ian Harvey. Zaheer Khan (7) and Harbhajan Singh (9) did hit some lusty blows in the end and remained unbeaten.

    India managed to put on a formidable total of 299-8 from their 50 overs. Every Aussie bowler except for Damien Fleming was punished severely, thanks to the full throttle attack by Tendulkar.

    Fleming was the only seamer that kept Sachin in check that day. He finished with economical figures of 2-34 from ten overs. McGrath scalped three wickets and became the third Australian to reach 200 ODI wickets.


    Sachin Tendulkar:

    © Getty Images

    Sachin Tendulkar:
    The master-class cricketer once again showed everyone why he is the best in the business. Tendulkar put on show immense class and calibre during his knock of 139 runs against the Australians. 

    His innings was instrumental in helping India post an imposing and match-winning total of 299 runs on the board. The little champion created and broke several records during his knock and made the Indore ODI a special game to remember.

    Sachin went on to pick up the Man of the Match award to increase his MOM tally to 38.

    Steady start:

    Australia didn’t have the regular opening pair of the series in Mark Waugh and Matthew Hayden. The pivotal and experienced junior Waugh was ruled out of the entire series with injury after the second ODI whereas Hayden was benched courtesy Australia’s player rotation policy.

    So, a new batting pair in Adam Gilchrist and Damien Martyn came out to open the innings with a tough job of chasing down a target of 300 runs. With the pitch starting to crumble and having uneven bounce in it, the task got even tougher for the World Champions to win the game.

    Gilchrist and Martyn began well by sharing a 46-run stand at a steady pace. The latter looked pretty good for his 19 runs and was very consistent in rotating the strike.

    Gilchrist, on the other hand, was in cracking form as he punished the Indian frontline bowlers for some wayward deliveries. The southpaw displayed immense power-hitting by clobbering the hosts’ bowling attack to all parts of the ground.

    Zaheer Khan found himself in the heat of the things as ‘Gilly’ battered the pacer for 22 runs in a single over, with the sequence reading as 4,0,6,4,4,4. The wicketkeeper-batsman was dropped twice during his innings by Ganguly and Dahiya respectively, and the Australian made the hosts pay with a demolishing knock of 63 runs, his 18th ODI fifty.

    Gilchrist and Ponting shared a 56-run stand for the second wicket before the former was caught at mid wicket by Ganguly off Harbhajan.

    Collapsing Kangaroos:

    The return to the pavilion of the swashbuckling left-hander sparked a collapse for the Australians. Ponting’s poor form on the tour continued as he was dismissed by Agarakar in the 20th over.

    Michael ‘Terminator’ Bevan failed to do his rescue act this time around as Harbhajan ran through his defences to rattle the stumps. Steve Waugh needed some support from his fellow team-mates in the middle order, but Lehmann and Harvey failed to apply themselves and threw away their wickets cheaply for a run each.

    Symonds (5) was unfortunate to be given out caught behind off Agarkar’s bowling. The ball clearly hit the pad on its way to the keeper and the bat was too far away from the ball. Ganguly then got rid of his opposite number Steve Waugh having him caught by Tendulkar for 23 runs. The Australian tail end didn’t show any resistance as Warne (18) and Damien Fleming (9) were rattled quickly by the Indian bowlers.

    The visitors stumbled and were bowled out for a dismal total of 181 runs. Bowling spells of Harbhajan (3-37), Agarkar (3-38) and Srinath (2-34) were too hot to handle for the Kangaroos as they were bundled out in the 36th over.

    With the emphatic 118-run victory, India got their nose ahead in the series with a crucial 2-1 lead.

    But the day belonged to little master Sachin Tendulkar who single-handedly destroyed the Aussie attack with a magnificent century and by creating several records during the 3rd ODI. The Mumbai batsman was an obvious choice for the Man of the Match award.

    Tendulkar was pretty happy with his achievements that day and in the post-match press conference he said, “A hundred is a hundred, every one of them makes you happy. But this one is extra special simply because it helped India win.”

    Relive the magic

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    - Rohan Tawde