Calculations went for toss, was upset: Sachin Tendulkar reveals dressing room talk during ‘desert storm’ match against Australia
Sachin Tendulkar is known for keeping his emotions under control. No matter how big the stage is, how huge the amount of pressure is or how fierce the oppositions are, Sachin always let his bat do the talking with an intense yet calm look on his face. But there were times when even he felt agitated, let his emotions flow, for all the Godly prowess, he was human after all. The 1998 desert storm match in the Coca Cola Cup against Australia at Sharjah was one such incident where emotions got the better of Sachin on a few occasions.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if April 22, 1998 is renamed as ‘Sachin Tendulkar desert storm day’. It may not have been made official yet but majority of cricket fans around the globe remember it by the same name. Such was the greatness of that innings that even a literal sand storm – known as desert storm in Sharjah – appeared pale in front of Sachin’s strokeplay.
Sachin’s bat, was however, not the only thing making all the noise in that match. He had even lost his cool and shouted at his partner for failing to convert the singles into doubles. But his emotions were high too and it were at its peak when play had to be stopped because of a desert storm during India’s chase.
India were 143/4 in 31 overs, chasing 285 for victory and 254 for a spot in the final with the same opposition a night later. New Zealand were the other team in the tri-series and India had a chance of beating them on net run rate even if they finished second on that match against Australia.
But Sachin wanted to reach the finals by winning that match and the desert storm didn’t do him any good. When play was resumed, 4 overs were lost but only 9 runs were deducted from India’s target, which Sachin felt was unfair.
“We went inside the dressing room thinking of the new revised target, what it would be. Eventually (when play resumed) we had 46 overs but if I’m not mistaking only 8-9 runs were deducted from the target so I was quite upset. When we plan a chase we do it according to the full quota of overs and suddenly 4 overs are taken out and only 9-10 runs are deducted… That is where your calculations go for a toss,” Sachin said recalling the desert storm match in Star Sports show ‘Cricket Connected’.
In the end, India finished with 250 for 5 in 46 overs, losing the match by 26 runs (due to the revised target) but qualified for the finals on net run rate. They required 237 in 46 overs to overtake New Zealand.
Sachin scored 143 off 131 balls with nine fours and five sixes taking Damien Fleming, Michael Kasprowicz, Shane Warne and Tom Moody to the cleaners.
Sachin also recalled how he felt when the desert storm first arrived. “This was my first ever experience. I had never seen a desert storm like that. When I saw that, the first thought was that I was gonna get blown away by this. Adam Gilchrist was standing right behind me. The storm was so strong that I decided to forget about all social distancing and was ready to hold on to him because if the storm blows me away then at least there will be an 80-90 kilos Adam Gilchrist with me, so I was thinking literally like that, that’s when the umpires decided to leave the field,” Sachin said.
Sachin scored another hundred in the final against Australia at the same venue a night later to lead India to the Coca Cola Cup title.