Bangladesh star opener Tamim Iqbal has revealed he was a huge Sachin Tendulkar fan while growing up and hardly missed any of the former India batsman's centuries since the time he started watching cricket. Like any Sachin fan, Tamim holds a special place in his heart for one of the most epic knocks Tendulkar played in his career – the famous Desert Storm innings player in Sharjah in April of 1998.
"This is the best individual innings I have seen in my life. India needed to reach 237 runs in 46 overs to cross New Zealand's net run rate and qualify for the final, and he won the game single-handedly. That made it very special innings," Tamim wrote in ESPNcricinfo's Cricket Monthly.
"Some of the shots he played in that innings were breathtakingly good. I remember he was building partnerships, but it became pretty clear that he had to get India to the final on his own."
The year 1998 is statistically the best of his cricketing career. The India legend scored 1984 runs from 34 ODIs at an average of 65.31, including nine centuries. Add to that, the 647 runs scored across five Tests, Tendulkar scored a total of 2541 runs from 39 matches. Tamim was only 9 years back then but remembers the night crystal clear.
"I think the innings was even more special because it came against a very strong Australian bowling attack. They have a good bowling line-up now but in those days they used to be a stronger attack. It is hard to forget the type of shots he played against the likes of Shane Warne, Damien Fleming and Tom Moody. Tony Greig's commentary to go with it was something else," Tamim added.
"I remember how I was a huge Sanath Jayasuriya fan, but I used to watch almost every match on TV. Needless to say, that innings by Tendulkar was simply unforgettable."