Bengaluru, April 23: Former Indian cricket captain Sachin Tendulkar will complete 42 tomorrow. The Mumbaikar, who played 24 years for India, though hung up his boots in 2013 but he still rules hearts of millions, in India and abroad.
Oneindia pays tribute to the champion batsman who has scored over 34,000 international runs with 100 international hundreds on the eve of his 43rd birthday by reviving the memory of a dashing 134 which he had scored against a formidable Australian side on his birthday 17 years ago in Sharjah.
It was the final of the triangular Coca Cola Cup. Two days ago, Tendulkar smashed 143 off 131 balls against Australia to help India peep New Zealand to make the final although couldn't see his team win.
In the final, Indian skipper Azharuddin won the toss and elected to field. A couple of 70s from captain Steve Waugh and Darren Lehmann and 45 from opener Adam Gilchrist saw Australia post 272 for 9 in 50 overs. Certainly a competitive score in those days and specially when it is against an Australian bowling attack even though it did not have the likes of Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie in its ranks.
Tendulkar, who was in a good form against the Australians, lost his opening partner Sourav Ganguly with the score at 39 but put up a terrific 89-run partnership with wicketkeeper-batsman Nayan Mongia for the second wicket. Mongia had contributed just 28 runs in that partnership.
Tendulkar's devastating batting was felt the most by Shane Warne who had latter even admitted of having nightmare in his sleeps about the former charging at him.
The 25-year-old batsman continued to slaughter the opposition even after Mongia departed and put on a decisive 120 runs for the third wicket with his captain Mohammad Azharuddin. He fell to a dubious umpiring decision as the ball that had hit his pad was seen clearly going outside the off-stump. The Australians, however, were happy to see the back of Tendulkar although the match had already gone out of their hands by then.
The 'Desert Storm' was perhaps the best birthday of its hero that India has celebrated till date.