Sachin Tendulkar is often regarded as the greatest batsman to ever play the game of cricket. Almost every batting record in international cricket has Tendulkar's name in the list. He is the highest run-getter in both ODIs and Tests with the most number of centuries in both formats, which complied to 100. During his illustrious career, Sachin dominated almost every bowler, but his battles with some of them were enjoyed by fans all over the world.
Dale Steyn and James Anderson were two top arch-nemesis of Sachin after 2006 till the time of his retirement. Both of them got him out on several occasions but Tendulkar somehow found a way to get back to them. (Also Read | Sachin Tendulkar would have scored 1.30 lakh runs in today's era, says Shoaib Akhtar)
Recently, Steyn and Anderson talked about difficult was it bowl to Tendulkar, especially in Indian conditions. Anderson said he didn't have a specific plan against Master Blaster as he just avoided to bowl any bad ball to him.
“I don’t remember having a specific game plan against Sachin Tendulkar. Once he came on, I would just think that I cannot bowl a bad ball here, he was that kind of player. He was a key for India as well. If you get him out in India, the whole atmosphere, in the ground changes. He was such a big wicket,” Anderson told Star Sports in a podcast
“You just try on bowling your best ball, top of off-stump, the whole time and hope he miss a straight one. In England, he might knick the odd one, but generally, I’d try and get him out LBW early. I had some success against him, but he had success against me as well. He got runs against us quite a lot,” he added.
Steyn also emphasized on Tendulkar's ability to tackle the swing the bowling and how his plans failed sometimes against him.
“When he came in, you had to up your focus and think on how you are going to hold that length and try and hit the top of off stump. Especially in India, if you could just get the ball to get back in, you could get him out LBW. But he was so good, he rarely got out that way,” he said. (Also Read | Steyn claims Gould was scared to give Sachin Tendulkar out in 190s during historic 200-run knock)
Like Anderson, Steyn also claimed that Tendulkar used to punish the bad ball for a boundary. He also talked about the crowd factor in India while bowling against Tendulkar.
“You never want to bowl a bad ball to him. If you bowl a bad ball to him and he hits you for four, especially in India, it feels like the world is closing in on you. He might just be on 4* but he might as well be batting on 500,” he said.
“You don’t want to bowl a bad ball and you would think to just bring the pace down a little bit, and bowl at the right place for as long as you possibly could. And then you just hope; because he’s got it covered, he has every shot in the book. You just hope that one ball would do something off the seam or he’s got an off day and it goes in your favour,” Steyn said.