October 21, 2013

Indian cricket

The highs of Sharjah '98 and the lows of Chennai '99

Former India coach and batsman Anshuman Gaekwad, in Cricket Country, shares some of his experiences with Sachin Tendulkar - including the batsman's famous centuries at Sharjah, dealing with his father's death, the agonising defeat against Pakistan in Chennai, and his performances as a captain.

I remember at Sharjah in 1998 we needed to beat Australia in the last qualifying game. I was busy talking to the batsmen and asked them to take the responsibility. I told Tendulkar: "You will have to bat exceptionally well to chase this big total." To which he replied: "I'll do it." And didn't he play a wonderful knock! He single-handedly took India to the final scoring 143. We all were mesmerised by the special hundred. On the way back while getting into the team hotel, I told Tendulkar: "You will have to score in the final as well." He replied confidently: "I'll do it for you." And he kept up his promise. His 134 proved pivotal in the run-chase as India clinched the trophy.

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