Former Australia skipper Steve Waugh recalled Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar's fantastic hundreds in the Coca Cola Cup at Sharjah in 1998, also popularly known as the 'Desert Storm'.
Waugh revealed that Tendulkar was playing at a different level altogether and the Aussies had no clue how to get him out.
Chasing 276 runs to win in a rain-reduced match, Sachin Tendulkar scored 143 runs off just 131 balls, which included nine fours and five sixes. Although the Men in Blue lost the game by 26 runs, the Little Master's heroic innings ensured that his side qualified for the final.
In the final a few days later, Team India needed 273 runs to win the Coca Cola Cup. Just when Australia thought lightning couldn't strike twice, Sachin Tendulkar dished out another masterclass, this time scoring 134 runs off just 131 balls, which helped the Men in Blue win by six wickets.
Speaking to cricket.com.au, Steve Waugh explained how helpless the Aussies felt in front of Sachin Tendulkar's brilliant batting at Sharjah.
"Back-to-back one-day innings in Sharjah, where he got 142 one day. I was the captain and Allan Border was the coach and we had a team meeting after the game. He said, 'Don't worry about that, he can't do that again.' The next day he got a 143 not out. He was playing at a different level and we couldn't really compete. We just didn't know how to get him out," remembered Steve Waugh.
Sachin Tendulkar kept batting day after day: Steve Waugh
Steve Waugh also spoke about how much Sachin Tendulkar loved batting. The Master Blaster used to show amazing concentration and dominate opposition bowlers when he was in the zone. He never let the bowlers settle into a rhythm and always set the tone for his innings.
Waugh also praised Tendulkar's ability to pick up quick singles and put pressure on the fielders. The 55-year-old said that Tendulkar's constant search for runs always used to keep the opposition on their toes.
"He loved batting. He kept batting day after day, scoring runs after runs and had amazing concentration and incredible placement of the ball. And what was under everything was his running between the wickets. He was a quick runner between the wickets and really put pressure on the fieldsmen. He always put the pressure back on the bowlers and he tried to dictate terms," Steve Waugh explained.
Sachin Tendulkar has been generally regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time. His records across all three formats just prove how effective and impactful he was for the Men in Blue, especially when the chips were down.
He single-handedly pulled the Indian team out of many tough situations and was a great ambassador for the game.Published 05 Jan 2021, 16:54 IST