Sachin Tendulkar played a brilliant knock of 134 in the finals to win it for India © AFP
Sachin Tendulkar played a brilliant knock of 134 in the finals to win it for India © AFP

On the occasion of book launch of ‘Eleven gods and a Billion Indians’, Sachin Tendulkar shared stories about his journey in Indian cricket. He spoke about the 1998 tri series against Australia and New Zealand in Sharjah. It was April 22 when India needed to chase down a certain target to qualify for the final.

Australia had posted 284 for seven in 50 overs and India needed 254 in 50 overs to qualify on net run rate. However, the game was interrupted for 25 mins due to desert storm and the revised target now was 277 in 46 and the revised target to qualify became 237 in 46 overs.  Talking on that Tendulkar said he was determined to win the match.

“Something that was going on my mind was we need to win against Australia because if we qualify for the finals and beat them in the earlier game you would get them to think.”

India did manage to qualify for the final but failed to win the match. However, Tendulkar’s innings of 143 off 131 balls defined him as the best batsman of that era. He smashed 9 fours and 5 sixes and help India qualify. On that Sachin talked about the post match recovery which wasn’t given much importance in those days.

“I woke up in the morning feeling really stiff and I went and had lunch and immediately in the evening there was an official dinner so there was no time for recovery as such. By the time I realised the next day we were going to the ground.”

The final was scheduled on Arpil 24, which was Tendulkar’s birthday. Australia had posted a target of 272 batting first. It was Tendulkar again who did it for India with his brilliant knock of 134 as India won by six wickets. Talking on that he revealed that he was not comfortable in the start and was unable to middle the ball.

“I went out to bat in the vevening. I felt that mentally I was not quite there. I tried to focus and I knew it was about spending as much time as possible there. It took about 5-6 overs until then I wasn’t happy with the way I was moving. Eventually confidence is all about which part of the bat you are hitting the ball and I wasn’t finding the middle of the bat. So I waited for my turn and eventually I played a couple of big shots which went for 2 sixes in a row. From there on I started rolling the way I wanted and ended up winning.”

He later admitted that Australians were by far the bet side in the World and beating them was a big moment at that time.

“Australians traveled all across the globe and trashed everyone. They were by far the best side in the World and go to out and chase 272 was a big task and to able to do that was an incredible feeling”