MUMBAI: Recalling his glorious exploits in arid Sharjah, especially his famous “Desert Storm” knock of 143 against Australia to help India romp into the final of a tri-nation ODI event in the late 1990s, cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar described how physically tough it was.
“Given the conditions in the month of April – the temperatures are really high and you can feel the heat going through your shoes and socks – and the first thing you want to do is to put your feet in the ice bucket,” he recalled on Thursday.
“In my case, that was one experience which I remember how tough it was to stay there and play the best team in the world – Australia was number one at that stage – and to beat them so convincingly was extremely satisfying,” said Tendulkar at a promotional event.
Tendulkar, the face of the IDBI Life Insurance Mumbai Half Marathon scheduled on August 20, spoke in front of a few participating runners who also shared their experience.
In the Coca-Cola Cup, riding on Tendulkar’s masterly knock India defeated Australia to storm into the finals on April 22, 1998.
On April 24, in the final, it was again a Tendulkar show as he cracked 134 to help India defeat Australia and clinch the Cup. New Zealand was the third team in the competition.
The Australian attack was one of the best in the world, which comprised the likes of Damien Fleming, Michel Kasprowicz, Steve Waugh and ace spinner Shane Warne.
Remembering the two matches, Tendulkar said, “My 48 hours’ experience was the Sharjah matches, which I played in 1998. Those days we used to play in Sharjah and drive all the way back to Dubai. By the time we got back to the hotel, unpacked and settled down, it was 2 AM or so when I went to sleep. And the next day was for recovery and the following day was the final. It was not so easy,” he said.
Tendulkar also spoke on the importance of fitness and how he prepared for the 2011 World Cup, won at home by India, in spite of injuries.
The batting maestro also donated 100 pairs of shoes to the runners.