1999 World Cup in England was not the most memorable tournament for the Indian cricket fans. India ended up at the last position in the Super Six stage and bowed out of the competition unceremoniously. For Sachin Tendulkar, it was an emotional roller-coaster ride. He experienced the saddening demise of his father and returned to represent the nation amidst the tragedy. While he was largely silent with the bat, his century against Kenya was a standout.
India began with a loss against South Africa in their opening encounter of the World Cup. Tendulkar contributed 28 as India ended up scoring 253/5. South Africa pocketed the game with four wickets in hand. On the eve of their second match versus Zimbabwe, Tendulkar received the tragic news of his father passing away. He flew back to India for performing the final rites.
Meanwhile, India slumped to their second successive defeat with a three-run loss against Zimbabwe. India needed to win all three remaining matches to secure an entry to the Super Six stage. Putting his personal loss aside, Tendulkar made himself available for the next game versus Kenya at Bristol.
Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin won the toss and chose to bat first. India lost both openers by 21st over. Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid handled the innings from then onwards. The master blaster began cautiously and started changing gears once he felt confident. He finished with a blazing 140 not out from 101 balls. India’s total of 329/2 was too much for Kenya.
This proved to be Tendulkar’s zenith in the ‘99 World Cup. His highest score in the next five innings was 45 which was against Pakistan at Manchester. Glenn McGrath dismissed the Indian legend for a duck in one of the Super Six matches. This was Sachin’s first such dismissal in the World Cup.
With a loss against New Zealand, India’s World Cup campaign ended in the Super Six stage. In seven matches, Sachin accumulated 253 runs at 42.16 average.