Sachin Tendulkar scored his maiden ODI double century against South Africa in 2010 but fast bowler Dale Steyn claims he had the batsman dismissed close to the magical number. Steyn revealed Tendulkar was batting somewhere around the 190-run mark, when he went up for an LBW shout, but on-field umpire Ian Gould turned it down, saying he wanted to "make it back to the hotel."
"Tendulkar scored the first double hundred in ODI cricket, and it was against us in Gwalior. And I actually remember – I think I got him out lbw when he was about 190-odd. Ian Gould was the umpire, and he gave him not out," the South Africa quick said during the Sky Sports Cricket Podcast with James Anderson.
"And I was like, 'Why, why did you give him not out!? That's so dead.' And he was like, 'Mate, look around – if I gave him out, I won't make it back to the hotel.'"
However, contrary to Steyn's claims, the scorecard from the game shows that the fast bowler bowled 31 balls to Tendulkar without any LBW shout . When Tendulkar was in his 190s, he faced just three deliveries from Steyn, all of which were played with the bat.
Tendulkar went on to become the first man in the history of cricket to score an ODI double, in the second match of the series in Gwalior on February 24. His unbeaten 200 was the bedrock of India's formidable 401/3, a target which South Africa fell short of by 153 runs.
The last of Tendulkar's 51 Test centuries came against South Africa in Capetown, 2011. In that very innings, Tendulkar faced Steyn with his tail-up, calling it "one of the best spells he had faced". Similarly, Steyn explained what it was like bowling to Tendulkar, especially in front of a packed Indian crowd.
"He was so good, and very rarely got out lbw," added Steyn. "And, like Jimmy said, you just didn't want to bowl a bad ball to him. Especially in a place like India. You bowl a bad ball, and he hits you four - he's on nought and he hits you for four in Mumbai (Tendulkar's home town), it feels like the world is closing in on you. He's only on four not out, he may as well have been on 500
"You feel like, 'maybe I could bring the pace down a little bit and really focus on getting the ball in the right place for as long as I possibly can'. You just didn't want to bowl a bad ball. You just hope one will do something off the seam or he's got an off day, and it goes in your favour."