A performance widely considered to be the ‘Little Master’s’ greatest one-day showing.
On 22 April 1998 Sachin Tendulkar proved why he was being billed as the greatest batsman to ever grace the game, as he scored 143 against Australia in a one-day match India eventually lost.
Tendulkar walked to the middle alongside Sourav Ganguly with his team needing to reach a revised target of 276 off 46 overs, after a century form Michael Bevan had helped the Australians to 284.
In a knock that came to be known as the ‘sandstorm innings,’ due to play being interrupted for about half-an-hour at Sharjah after a sandstorm descended on the ground, the Indian batsman gave a performance worthy of winning any match.
After 28 overs the home side had been reduced to 138-4 when Ajay Jadeja was sent packing.
VVS Laxman joined Tendulkar at the crease and the ‘Little Master’ proceeded to smash the Aussies attack to all areas of the pitch – hitting nine four and five sixes on his way to 143 off 131 balls.
His efforts led commentator Ravi Shastri to describe it as; “the best innings he has ever played.”
The batsman was unforgiving as a bowling attack that included Tom Moody and Shane Warne could not control the Indian.
Whilst others fell around him Tendulkar stood firm as he racked up a strike rate of 109.16 and edged India ever closer to what appeared to be an unassailable target.
As it was, when Damian Fleming had the opener caught behind by Adam Gilchrist with the hosts on 242 it signaled the end of the Indian march.
The Aussies were clearly relieved to see Tendulkar walking back to the pavilion but despite being on the losing side 15 years ago, everything about his batting was an example of a winner.