The most agonising moment for Sachin, India

Written by: D Ram Raj
Published: Tuesday, April 17, 2001, 19:30 [IST]
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Bangalore: The day remains vivid in the mind. India had once again grasped defeat from the comfortable hands of victory and that too against arch rivals Pakistan on January 31, 1999 at the M A Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai.

The two sides were playing a Test series after ages and an Indian win was very much on the cards much to the delight of thousands of fans. Sachin Tendulkar was on a song and India was coasting along comfortably towards the victory target on the fourth day.

And 'kaput', Sachin got out, Mongia went out and the Indian innings crumbled to give the Pakistanis an unexpected victory reducing the near packed stadium to a deafening silence. India chasing 271 runs for an outright victory and cruising along fine were bowled out for 258 reducing the entire stadium to a "deafening silence".

Sachin had wielded his bat for a superb 136 to bring India on the verge of victory. The last four wickets fell for the addition of just four runs and India lost a "winning" Test by 12 runs.

But, the most poignant moment of the day was enacted by none other than Sachin Tendulkar. A man not given to express his emotions in public, Sachin it was understood wept inconsolably. And he wept not for the fact that India had lost, he wept for the reason that he had not carried India through to victory.

In fact, when he came out to talk to the media nearly 90 minutes after the match, he was still distraught and the pain visibly showed on his face. Sachin for once could hardly speak and only expressed "disappointment" that India had lost a close match.

It was one of the rare days when even a Sachin century had not fetched India a victory. That indeed was Sachin for you, a cricketer truly committed for the cause of the game and the cause of the country.

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