Ajay Jadeja has recalled the aftermath of Henry Olonga scalping Sachin Tendulkar's wicket in a cup game in 1998, stating it severely impacted the batting great and made him more upset than ever before. The then-skipper went on to elaborate upon Sachin's reaction and how he set out for revenge.
Sachin Tendulkar had many interesting duels throughout his career against some of the greatest bowlers to have graced the game. However, perhaps none remains as talked about still as his face-off against Henry Olonga at the Coca-Cola Cup in 1998. According to the then Indian skipper Ajay Jadeja, the battle was also one of the most significant in the little master's career since it transformed him as a player.
Essentially a tri-series involving India, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka, the former two were set to meet in the final group stage game. Even though the Men in Blue were the favourites, the African outfit was no slouch boasting the likes of Andy and Grant Flower, Heath Streak and Alistair Campbell in their ranks. Setting a rather low target of 206, young upstart Henry Olonga took the new ball against a dominant Sachin Tendulkar. However, the pacer sprung a surprise on the veteran with a searing bouncer in his third over, completely catching Tendulkar off guard as he simply lobbed a ball straight into gully's hands. Olonga went on to finish with a four-wicket haul, managing to also get the better of Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and Jadeja.
The former skipper has revealed the manner of dismissal really got to the legend, especially as India ended up getting bowled out and losing by 13-runs.
“That ball really changed this man. We were blessed to play with him, spent enough time around him. He was not an egoistic man, but he had a pride about his game. And when he got out like that, the next couple of days, he didn't sleep. The whole night, he was so upset, I have never seen him that upset. It was not just the ego getting out. We also ended up losing that game,” Jadeja recalled on a Sony Network Broadcast.
However, it was what happened in the final of the tournament two days after that that propelled the tale to its present status. Chasing 197 this time, Tendulkar made his intentions against Olonga clear early on as he slashed hard at every ball from the Zimbabwean. After failing to connect a few shots initially, Sachin hit a four and a six in Olonga's second over before allowing his rage to completely take over en route to a memorable 124 off just 92 deliveries. Olonga conceded 50 runs in just six overs as India ran out clear winners by 10 wickets.
“The man had to wait for the two days and in the final, man, the turnaround that you saw. That changed him,” concluded Jadeja.