Sachin only person who played us well in South Afirca, says Allan Donald

Written by Sumit Seth

Legendary South Africa pacer Allan Donald heaped rich praise on Sachin Tendulkar, highlighting what made him stand out from the rest of the touring batters in Test cricket in South Africa. Donald explained why Tendulkar found success in South Africa when most of the touring batters found it hard to deal with the pace and bounce that the Kookaburra ball got in the Rainbow Nation.

Tendulkar scored 1161 of his 15,921 Test runs in South Africa. Tendulkar hit 5 hundreds over 19 years in Tests played in South Africa and averaged 5. Tendulkar and Walter Hammond of England (1927-1939) are the only two visiting Test batters with more than 1000 runs in South Africa. Hammond had scored 1447 runs in 15 matches at an average of 62.91.

“The only person I know who played us well was Tendulkar, who triggered (had a trigger movement) while batting in South Africa rather than stand on the middle stump. He pressed forward and left the ball amazingly well,” Donald told news agency PTI.

“It’s not an easy place to combat. We see that daily in South Africa, the ball does nip around more than it does in Australia or England. If your footwork isn’t 100 percent then you are in trouble,” he added.

Tendulkar’s first century in South Africa came during the second Test of the 1992-93 tour at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. On November 27, 1992, he crafted a resilient 111 runs, showcasing his ability to adapt and excel against a potent South African attack. This innings was particularly special as it made him the youngest cricketer at the time, at 19 years and 217 days old, to surpass 1,000 runs in Test cricket.

Tendulkar highest total in South Africa was an impressive 169 runs at Newlands, Cape Town, on January 2, 1997. On November 3, 2001, Tendulkar’s 155 at Goodyear Park in Bloemfontein was a highlight of the series. His innings, marked by a strike rate of 85 and embellished with 23 fours and a six, was a masterclass in aggressive batting, although it wasn’t enough to secure victory for India.

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Sumit Seth