Batting great Sachin Tendulkar played many majestic knocks for Team India and the 'Desert Storm' innings is surely one of them. Tendulkar slammed 143 runs off 131 balls with nine fours and four sixes and produce his won 'Desert Storm' in Sharjah against Australia on April 22, 1998.
The stakes were high for the match as the place in final of the tri-series was to be decided after the game. New Zealand were the third team in the triangular series played in Sharjah.
Australia put 284/7 while batting first and the desert storm strikes during second innings and the revised target of 277 in 46 overs was given to India. To reach the final, India needed to get past 237 to pip New Zealand on Net Run Rate.
Tendulkar recalled the memory of that innings and revealed that he was upset after the match was shortened to 46 overs and only 9 runs were deducted in the revised target.
“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’.
The storm didn't stop during India's batting as it was Tendulkar who changed himself into it and slammed the likes of Shane Warne, Damien Fleming and Michael Kasprowicz. But unfortunately, India lost the match by 26 runs. However, Tendulkar's 'desert storm' innings guided India to finals of the tournament as India got past 237 to qualify on NRR.
Sachin also talked about how he was ready to forget social distancing and ready to hold Adam Gilchrist when the desert storm strikes at Sharjah.
“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.