Sachin Tendulkar – The name that is synonymous with Cricket. The Master Blaster, God of Cricket are few of the titles given to this legend of the game. When Sachin made his debut as a teenager against Pakistan in 1989, little did anybody know he would go on to make such glorious history for the country & sport. When he played, in whichever part in the world, the echoes of “Sachin-Sachin” could be heard around the ground & outside too. Today we look back at some of the classiest innings played by him. It’s a difficult task to just pick 5 of his greatest innings, but our team has attempted at picking the one which we feel are the very best. Let’s have a look –
114 – vs Australia, 1992
Said to be one of his finest test innings, Sachin displayed courage with his fighting century in Perth. On one of the quickest wickets in world cricket, Tendulkar blunted Craig McDermott and Merv Hughes when the rest of the India team was struggling. Only three other Indians passed 30 as the tourists fell short of Australia’s first innings total and eventually slid to a 300-run defeat. Sunil Gavaskar, who held the record for most Test runs scored by an Indian before it was bettered by Tendulkar, hailed Sachin’s 114 as one of his finest knocks. “That century at Perth was a terrific innings,” said the former India captain. “He was just 18 years old, playing in Australia for the first time on pitches where there was extra bounce and movement. Nobody else scored any significant runs so it was really special – the way he controlled the innings and played shots all around the wicket.”
44 – vs West Indies, 1997
It might not have been the biggest score of Tendulkar’s career, but his 44 against West Indies in a one-day international in Trinidad was another courageous and skilful display of batting. Opening the innings, he top-scored as India were bowled out for 179 on a difficult pitch. Curtly Ambrose took 4 for 36 runs. India’s pacemen were not as effective and the Windies raced to victory. India batting legend Rahul Dravid, who also played in that match, rates the knock as the best he has seen Tendulkar play. “It was such a privilege to play with him and share so many innings. “If I could pick one it would be an innings of 40 he made in a one-day match against West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago. “It was a tough wicket, we lost the toss and the Windies had excellent fast bowlers in Ambrose, Courtney Walsh and Ian Bishop. The ball was moving all over the place, some were bouncing, taking off, and we were struggling.
143 – vs Australia, 1998
Was there ever any doubt? A few have managed to come close, but the “Desert Storm” of 1998 stands apart from his entire master class innings. While chasing down a huge total of 276 off 46 overs, the Indian openers came on the field to a standing ovation from the Sharjah crowd. Everybody wanted to see Sachin take the side to victory. The desert storm had cleared a bit, but a bigger one was about to hit the Aussies. A series where the Australians had already beaten the men in blue earlier, Sachin and co. had to win the game to qualify for the finals. And the little master didn’t disappoint. With every immaculate drive and square cuts, India was cruising to victory. The relentless power and unstoppable control with which Sachin batted, the Aussies were left to nothing.
98 – vs. Pakistan, 2003
Who said an innings needs to be a century for getting recognized as iconic? Sachin Tendulkar‘s 98 against Pakistan in the 2003 World Cup is the perfect example of courage and fortitude that is required to destroy arguably the most respectable bowling lineup of all time. With bowlers like Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar, and Abdul Razzaq in the side, Pakistan had formidable artillery in their squad. But Tendulkar had other plans. Starting from the word go, Sachin’s back-foot extra-cover boundary off Wasim Akram set the tone of the innings. The knock had some iconic moments with his six off Shoaib Akhtar over third man still etched in the fans’ minds. A minor scare of crams did not prevent him from hammering the opposition to all parts of the ground. The pain kept on increasing, but so did Sachin’s will to take the team all the way. With Sehwag as his runner, he kept India marching towards the target.
200 – vs. South Africa, 2010
It was quite justified that arguably the finest batsman in the ODI history was the first batsman to score double ton in an ODI. It was an innings of class & brilliance as he demonstrated the whole repertoire and propelled India to a monumental total of 401 in 50 overs. In the match he scored 100 runs by knocking fours. Tendulkar carried his bat and remarked later that he was fit to play another 50 overs. All the murmurs about age catching up were swept aside in one fell swoop. India went on to register a 153-run victory.
Tell us which one of Sachin Tendulkar’s innings is your favorite amongst the lot. We hope this article made for good reading. Please leave any feedback in the comments section.