“I should’ve gone and faced the world”: This is the biggest regret of Sachin Tendulkar’s international career

Gurpreet Singh
|Published 14/03/2023

A decade into his international career which began in the year 1989 as a 16-year-old, Sachin Tendulkar had already emerged to be an outstanding match-winner for team India with the bat, having already smashed 17 Test centuries and 19 half centuries until the Pakistan tour of India in 1998/99.

Such were the high standards that he had set for himself that not only would he assume the responsibility to win the matches for his side, but would have the tendency to own the responsibility for the team’s loss whenever he would fail to deliver.

However, much to everyone’s surprise, the one particular defeat suffered by team India at the hands of Pakistan during the home Test series in 1998/99 had left the ‘Master Blaster’ absolutely inconsolable. What’s surprising is that Tendulkar had in fact scored a fine century during the fourth innings of that very Test.

The biggest regret of Sachin Tendulkar’s international career

It was the first Test match of Pakistan’s tour to India in 1998/99, at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. The match was a special one. Not only because of the fierce manner in which both the teams had contested, but also because the arch-rivals were taking on each other after a nine-year gap.

Chasing the target of 271 runs, team India’s batting line-up has crumbled, with Tendulkar the lone man standing at one end. However, the champion batter that he was, the ‘Master Blaster’ never lost hope and found the able assistance of Nayan Mongia (52) who had arrived at No.7 in the order.

Having smashed one of the finest century before an able Pakistani bowling attack during the fourth innings, Tendulkar lost his wicket at the individual score of 136 (273), with India requiring another 17 runs with three wickets in the bank. The tail enders could add mere four runs to the total, and India eventually lost the match by 12 runs.

Tendulkar adjudged ‘Player of the Match’; does not turn up to collect the award

Years later during an interaction with the media, Tendulkar would admit he had been weeping like a baby in the dressing room after failing to finish the match. Such overwhelming was the loss for him that he would not even turn up to collect the ‘Player of the Match’ award.

During an interaction with ‘India Today‘ a few years ago, Tendulkar was asked about the one biggest regret he has had in his illustrious international career.

Referring to the above mentioned Test match, Tendulkar had remarked, “We had four wickets in hand and needed 17 runs and we lost that game, which was a huge disappointment. In the dressing room I was crying like a baby, as that feeling wasn’t a great one, and I didn’t to out to receive my ‘Man of the Match’ award. That is one regret. I should have controlled my emotions and should have gone and faced the world and taken that award. That is one thing I would like to change.”

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Gurpreet Singh

Gurpreet Singh

Even before persuing his post-graduate diploma in English journalism from IIMC, Gurpreet was certain that Cricket had to be the driving force to keep him sane and optimistic in all life-related matters. Hailing from Ranchi and having represented Jharkhand at the Under-14 level, he believes that the more you keep digging in while understanding the nitty-gritty of a sport, the more humble you become with the realisation that you hardly know anything!

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