Top ten Tendulkar ODI hundredsGaneshbabu Venkat |
Amidst the controversies, criticisms , media pundits and arm chair experts cursing Sachin Tendulkar finally got to the coveted 100th Hundred. It’s mind-boggling to just say that. Although it’s just a number here are Ten of the gems from dog pile.
104 vs Zimbabwe at Benoni – 9 February 1997
11th ODI hundred
India were staring down the barrel going in to the last group game of the standard bank tri-series. They not only had to beat Zimbabwe, but they had to beat them in less than 50 overs. Set a target of 240 India had to achieve the target in 40.5 overs or less to reach the finals on better net run rate. Sachin Tendulkar who had been batting lower down the order prior to this game opened the innings and played a scintillating knock. He scored 104 of 97 balls with a six and eight fours. He put on a partnership of 85 with Rahul Dravid for the third wicket of which Dravid’s contribution was just 17. He was particularly severe on Eddo Brandes who conceded 50 runs in 5.2 overs. However he got out at a crucial juncture with India still needing 83 runs, his effort did not go in vain as the target was accomplished by the spirited duo of Robin Singh and Ajay Jadeja.
143 vs Australia at Sharjah – 22 April 1998
14th ODI hundred
Arguably his best innings in ODI cricket on par with the magnificent 98 he scored against Pakistan in the 2003 world cup. Yet again India were playing catch up cricket and were left with a daunting task to reach the finals. Although they could afford to lose the game they had to score 254 runs to reach the final and the target was 285 to win the match. However that was made even more difficult when a dust storm re-adjusted the total to 237 in 46 overs to reach the final.Tendulkar started off like a run away train and was severe on all the Aussie bowlers. With tremendous pressure he paced the chase so well and ensured that India reached the final.The most crucial partnership being 104 in 14 overs with V.V.S.Laxman, whose contribution was a meagre 23. The stand out shot in this innings was a straight six of Michael Kasprowicz. His innings took 131 balls with nine fours and five sixes.
134 vs Australia at Sharjah – 24 April 1998
15th ODI Hundred
If his 143 took India to the final, This knock won the trophy for India. This and his 143 were aptly dubbed the desert storm. Set a competitive total of 273 to win the final, The Indian team had pinned it’s hopes on Tendulkar to propel them. He literally continued from where he left off two days ago going after the Aussie bowlers with utter disdain. Fast bowlers and spinners were treated alike, Even Shane Warne had to suffer at the hands of the batting maestro. It was not a surprise that Warne later said he had nightmares of Tendulkar. His knock contained 12 fours and three sixes and was cut short when the umpire gave a dubious decision with India 27 shy of the target. Nevertheless he had already done enough and celebrated his 25th birthday a day later by ensuring that the coco-cola cup was India’s.
141 vs Australia at Dhaka – 28 October 1998
19th ODI hundred
Tendulkar continued to torment the Australians in the inaugural ICC champions trophy at Dhaka following the famous “Desert Storm” knocks. Australia were favorites for the game which was a straight knock out. However Tendulkar had other ideas. Although the Australian attack was pedestrian without Glen Mcgrath and Shane Warne they were still a decent outfit. Yet again Kasper bore the brunt of his stroke play conceding 71 runs in his 9 overs. Tendulkar was also severe on the left arm spinner Bradley Young. He scored 141 in 128 balls with 13 fours and three sixes to propel India to a huge 307/8. Facing the huge target the Australians crumbled to Tendulkar this time with the ball. He mixed up his gogglies, leg-breaks , off breaks and bamboozled the Australians to finish with four wickets ensuring the match was a memorable one for him.
140 Vs Kenya at Bristol – 23 May 1999
22nd ODI hundred
An emotional, inspiring and a passionate knock from Tendulkar kept India’s hopes alive in the 1999 world cup after two successive losses to South Africa and Zimbabwe. Facing their third African opponent, India were mourning with Tendulkar who had just returned from his father’s funeral in India and had to miss the Zimbabwe game which India somehow contrived to lose. He walked in
at number four to a thunderous roar from the crowd and started cautiously. He put on a 237 run partnership with Dravid in less than 30 overs. However he upped the ante during the course of his monumental knock. His 100 came of just 84 balls and it was an emotional moment for him when he reached three figures. After reaching the landmark he looked up to the heavens and thanked his
father. He ended with 140 of 101 balls with 16 fours and three sixes, one of them coming of the last ball of the match. Kenya were never in the hunt chasing 330 and it was only apt that he dedicated that hundred to his late father.
141 vs Pakistan at Rawalpindi – 16 March 2004
37th ODI hundred
India were visiting Pakistan after a gap of 15 years and had just won the Test series and the first ODI match. Set a target of 330 for an unlikely win India made a fist of it and almost got there thanks largely to a superb 141 from Tendulkar. No bowler was spared and was severe
on Shoaib Akthar during his first spell, Then followed that up with treating the spinners with contempt by repeatedly slog sweeping them for boundaries, however that stroke ultimately proved to be his downfall when he was dismissed for 141 of 135 balls punctuated with 17 fours and
one six. Although that masterful knock did not fetch India the win in that particular game he was not to be denied a series win when India eventually clinched the five match series 3-2.
117 vs Australia at Sydney – 2 March 2008
42nd ODI hundred
India and Tendulkar broke all sorts of records in this CB series first finals 2008. He had never scored a hundred in Australia and India had never beaten Australia in Sydney. Both happened thanks to a superbly constructed 117 not out in chasing a modest 242. He started off slowly and hit just one boundary during the first 10 overs, gradually he took control and dismantled the Aussie attack to all corners of the SCG. Even Brett Lee’s “accidental” beamer did not perturb him and he celebrated his 100 very expressively, Which showed how much the knock meant to him and to India. In association with Rohit Sharma he added 123 runs, even when Rohit was dismissed he remained unbeaten till the end and India won with ample overs to spare. This knock also played a part in silencing his detractors who were starting to rumble that he was no good when chasing targets.
200 Vs South Africa at Gwalior – 24 February 2010
46th ODI hundred
A very special knock for he scaled the mountain that no one had ever scaled. He became the first man in the history of cricket to score a double hundred in a ODI. He was 36 when he did this but he batted like a 23 year old. For 1/4th of the innings he battled severe cramps and still continued without a runner. He collared one of the world’s premier fast bowler Dale Steyn. My favorite memory of this knock was a magnificent Viv Richards like stroke of Steyn when he came on during the power plays. The shot reminded Viv’s last ball six in the 1979 world cup. He put on two 100 run partnerships with Dinesh Karthik and M.S.Dhoni to propel India to a monumental 401 in 50 overs. Aptly he remained unbeaten on 200 which included 25 fours and three sixes and came of just 147 balls. South Africa were never in the hunt and imploded to 248 all out to give India a series victory.
120 Vs England at Bangalore – 27 February 2011
47th ODI hundred
His fifth hundred in the world cup did not go in vain, because India at least managed to share the spoils with England in this crucial group B encounter. This innings exemplified his greatness of how to pace a ODI knock when setting a total. Initially it was Virendar Sehwag who was going all hammer and tongs on the English attack, However when Sehwag was dismissed Tendulkar took control in the company of Gautam Gambhir and launched England’s seamers and even Graeme Swann in to the stands. Swann was hit for two consecutive sixes and had no answer to Tendulkar. It was by no means spectacular but this was a measured knock. In the end analysis he finished with 120 of 115 balls with 10 fours and five sixes. This was the start of the mad superstition by media and fans about Tendulkar scoring a hundred and India not winning games.
111 Vs South Africa at Nagpur – 12th March 2011
48th ODI hundred
Yet another Tendulkar hundred that did not result in India’s victory because of the ineptness of their bowlers and some unimaginative captaincy by M.S.Dhoni. Perhaps this was one of the most audacious knocks seen in a world cup tournament. Tendulkar was absolutely phenomenal in the company of Sehwag when he took one of the best bowling attacks of the tournament to the cleaners. Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn and Jacque Kallis had no answer to the attack that Tendulkar and Sehwag unleashed on them. When the innings began and during the Initial phase a total of 400 or even 425 looked possible. Tendulkar was the silent partner in crime to Sehwag during this partnership and he only faced 20 or so balls in the first few overs, but he showcased his intent and raced to a 33 ball 50. During which time he cut, hooked, drove and pulled and did not leave one stroke in the book. He even managed to strike a pose after thumping Morkel through the covers for a boundary. He reached his hundred and was eventually dismissed for 111 with the score at 269/2. However the Indians did not get with the program and managed to collapse in disastrous fashion to 296 all out and South Africa some how managed to chase that down. But this hundred would always remain fresh in the minds of those who had the chance to witness it.