New Delhi: Sachin Tendulkar says he, too, has sledged, but only once, and that as part of team strategy. The batting maestro needled Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath by telling he would go after his bowling and the ploy worked.
"I have never sledged per se merely for the sake of sledging. I did that only once as a part of team strategy. This was at the Kenya Champions Trophy. We were playing Australia." Tendulkar recollects in the book 'SACH' penned by Gautam Bhattacharya.
Tendulkar describes how he irked McGrath with a cheeky line.
"The match was played under overcast conditions. The wicket was also very damp. I had told Sourav before that I would do something to upset McGrath's rhythm. So, in the very first over, I stepped out to him. The first thing I said to him was 'Today I will hit you out of the ground.' He got really angry and started spraying the ball around. This was exactly what we wanted. As on that surface, he may have been very dangerous.
"We did win that match ultimately and I felt very happy. My sledging did work for the team.
"My own experience of sledging came very early on my first tour to Australia. I remember having blocked a delivery and the ball landed near my foot. I tried picking it up when Allan Border shouted from gully, 'Don't touch the ball.' So I stopped immediately."