Celebrating Sachin- A Look at The Master Blaster’s Best Knocks
Sachin Tendulkar announced himself to the world of cricket 30 years ago, today.
On 15 November 1989, Sachin Tendulkar walked on to the field in Karachi as a 16-year-old upstart with a lot of potential. He showed glimpses of that potential in his very first game, as he scored two-half centuries against Pakistan. What he did in the sport after that day is remarkable and almost impossible to match.
Over a 24-year long playing career, Sachin carried some dismal Indian teams to unlikely wins and was also a part of a World Cup winning squad. He set batting records in almost every format of the game and left an indelible mark on the sport.
Here’s a look at five of Tendulkar’s most memorable knocks.
119* vs England at Old Trafford, 1990
This is the century that indicated that all the record books will soon feature the name ‘Sachin Tendulkar’. In the second innings, India had to chase a massive total of 407 runs. By the time India scored 183 runs, they had lost 6 wickets, mainly all their top batsmen.
The responsibility of putting in a respectable chase fell on the 17-year-old Tendulkar, who played brilliantly in the face of pressure. He played well beyond his years and scored 119* runs to stretch India out to a draw. He became the youngest Test centurion in the world, truly announcing his arrival as the next big thing in cricket.
143 and 134 vs Australia at Sharjah, 1998
Arguably two of the most memorable knocks of Sachin’s career. The ‘Desert Storm’ that hit Australia in the 1997/98 Coca Cola Cup immortalised Sachin.
Sachin first scored a valiant 143 in the final league match before the finals. Sachin’s runs didn’t give India the victory, but did raise India’s run rate enough for them to qualify to the finals instead of New Zealand.
In the finals, India was widely expected to lose, as they had already lost to the Australians twice. However, in the middle of a dust storm, the diminutive Sachin Tendulkar ran the show and scored a thumping 134 to successfully chase down the target of 273 set by the Australians.
98 vs Pakistan at Centurion, 2003
Sachin scored a 100 centuries in his 24-year long career, but sometimes the best knocks aren’t necessarily the ones where a player reaches a century. What Sachin Tendulkar did against Pakistan in the 2003 World Cup is testament to his ability to respond in high-pressure situations.
After having lost both Virender Sehwag and Sourav Ganguly in consecutive balls in the fifth over, Sachin had to lead the Indian batting attack against Pakistan. Sachin blasted a quick 98 in just 75 balls before letting his wicket fall too. However, he set the team up well for the chase, which they completed with 26 balls to spare.
241* vs Australia at Sydney, 2004
Not even a year after India’s heartbreaking loss to Australia in the 2003 World Cup final, India was touring the Aussies in a test series and had reached the climactic fourth test. The series was drawn at 1-1, and this was India’s chance at redemption.
With India batting first, the pressure fell on an out-of-form Sachin. However, he had decided that he would do everything he can to blow the Aussies out. Despite his poor scores heading into the game, he destroyed Australia with a mammoth unbeaten 241 which saw India raise a total of 707.
Sachin played over 400 balls in a masterful innings where he broke the Australian bowling attack down. He scored 33 boundaries in this innings, but Australia would manage to hold on for a draw by the end of the game.
200 vs South Africa at Gwalior, 2010
The best individual batting performance of Sachin’s career came in its twilight. While many cricketers came close to getting a 200, no one was able to crack the score. Saeed Anwar had 194, Viv Richards had 189, MS Dhoni and Sourav Ganguly had 183. Tendulkar himself had come close to the score before with a 186 run knock, but he couldn’t crack it either.
Two years before his retirement from ODIs, Sachin lined up against South Africa. India were going to bat first and Sachin came down determined to help the country put up a formidiable score. What he didn’t know is that he was going to end up scoring 25 fours en route to the first double-hundred in ODI cricket.
India had scored 401 runs, with half of them being supplied by the Master Blaster, in one of the most historic knocks in ODI cricket.
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