Sachin Tendulkar, Sharjah, India vs Australia, Coca Cola Cup – If you had to accumulate all these into one or maybe two words keeping their essence intact then you perhaps won’t find anything better than ‘Desert Storm’. On April 22, 1998 at Sharjah the desert storm came twice – First time literally, forcing the Australian fielders and India batsmen to rush to the dressing room and secondly from Sachin Tendulkar’s bat. Still regarded as one of Tendulkar’s best knocks by many, albeit in a losing cause, the 143-run innings against Australia is part of cricketing history.
And like many things in history, Sachin’s innings that night which took India to the final of the tri-series based on net run rate, has a lot of stories attached to it, some revolving around Tendulkar’s tactics of taking the attack to the Australians, some about his mindset, some on the talks in the Indian dressing room during the break. But one fact remained common – The way Sachin decimated the Australian attack comprising Damien Fleming, Michael Kapsprowicz, Shane Warne and Tom Moody.
Sachin’s knock may have been the finest he had played but that didn’t guarantee him a hero’s welcome when he returned home. He, in fact received a mouthful from his brother Ajit Tendulkar.
22 years since that fateful day in Sharjah, Sachin narrated how his screams at teammate VVS Laxman during the chase did not go down well with his brother.
India were chasing 285 for victory but the stoppage in play caused by the desert storm meant India received a revised target of 276 with 4 overs less. Sachin was batting with a young Laxman when all this took place and the little master revealed how the desperation of winning the match and take India to the finals had even got to him.
“I remember that a couple of times by emotions came out and I ended up shouting at Laxman ‘Run two, it’s my call why aren’t you running?” Sachin said on Star Sports show Cricket Connected.