Former Indian cricket captain Sachin Tendulkar celebrated his 47th birthday on Friday. The batting maestro is arguably the greatest batsman to have played the sport. Over the years, Sachin Tendulkar had played several blistering knocks.
Sachin Tendulkar’s ‘Desert Storm’ knocks could still give many Indian cricket fans a huge smile. In the blazing month of April, Sachin Tendulkar played two of the most prolific knocks of his career within a span of 48 hours to first help India qualify for the finals of the tri-series and then thump Australia in the finals of the tri-series, which also involved New Zealand. Such was the impact and quality of these knocks that people still cherish it even after 22 years.
In an interview with ESPNcricinfo, Sachin Tendulkar relived his staggering knocks himself. Sachin Tendulkar said Sharjah in April was extremely hot and unrelenting. He said he remembers going back to the dressing room and asking for a bucket of ice and dipping his feet in because it was bad out there. It was so hot that he could feel the heat steaming through his shoes.
He added that he could feel the soles of his feet become soft and tender due to the friction, as he had run quite a bit. It was physically draining to bat for long hours, and with little recovery time between games, it was a stern test of a player's skill, both physical and mental.
Sachin Tendulkar also said that he had never seen a sandstorm in his life. It was like being in a Hollywood movie. He added that he was all set to grab hold of Adam Gilchrist, who was next to him. He said he thought if he is going to be blown away, he should at least get hold of someone who is 80-90 kgs in weight. He also mentioned that he did not know how to react to it and added that players were lying flat on the ground.
Sachin Tendulkar further said that they were told the target they needed to qualify for the final vis-a-vis what they needed to get to win the game. He added that in his mind, he was thinking of winning the game and not just qualifying, because beating Australia in the match and then meeting them in the final would have given India the psychological advantage.
Tendulkar said that he was extremely tired before the final and had lost a lot of fluid, needing more time to get himself rehydrated and allow his body and mind to recover. He added that when he got up in the morning, his body was stiff, back was tight and he was even finding it difficult to walk to the bathroom. Tendulkar also mentioned how the then Australian ODI captain Steve Waugh saying that Australia had lost to him and not India, which was quite a statement on a day which also happened to be his 25th birthday. He added that there could have been no better birthday present.