Hyderabad: If one thing that Hyderabadis relish after biryani is telling tales about Sachin Tendulkar's scintillating 175 against Australia here in 2009, when the master blaster's "magical" knock left everyone spellbound.
It wasn't a pleasant going for the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side as Aussies were in good form in the seven match series, but India's favourite son, Sachin, struck a belligerent 175 at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Uppal on November 5, even as India lost the rubber by three runs chasing a mammoth 351.
India lost the game but Sachin's valiant effort has left the city still in awe of the batting maestro. After that match, Tendulkar had said he would have "gladly traded" his 175 for an Indian victory.
It has been five years since the match but chief curator YL Chandrashekhar still gets emotional recalling the knock. "Uppal is a high-scoring ground but Sachin was possessed that day. I mean chasing 351, Sachin just played a lone hand in the reply but disappointingly India fell short by just three runs. But the city crowd saw the magic of Tendulkar and we were spell bound," said Chandrashekhar, who has won the award for the best pitch and curator during IPL 7.
Barring four batsmen, that included a fighting 59 from Suresh Raina, every Indian had a single digit score and Tendulkar it was, who held the nation's hopes once again on his broad shoulders. Even though India lost the series 4-2 but Indian fans only remember the little master's innings from that series.
"No matter how batting friendly a wicket is but hitting 175 in just 141 runs is no mean feat against an Aussie bowling that comprised Ben Hilfenhaus, Doug Bollinger, Clint McKay and Shane Watson. We will have many good performances on this wonderful ground but Sachin's knock will always remain special," said Chandrashekhar.
The maestro finally fell to McKay in the 48th over before India ended at 347 all out in 49.4 overs, leaving the crowd stunned.
"Imagine 30,000 thousand people and pin drop silence. That was the power of Tendulkar. He not only single handedly won matches for India but also single-handedly brought a smile to billions of Indians with one stroke of his bat. He failed to take India to a win that day but still got the man of the match award. And to us, he will always be the player of every match," said Chandrashekhar.
So even when centuries continue to adorn the Uppal Stadium with Mahela Jayawardene's recent 118-run knock also added to the list, the Tendulkar blitz on that memorable Thursday continues to remain fresh in every Hyderabadi's mind.
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