Thursday, February 25, 2010


Monday, 8th November 1999 (Hyderabad): He threatened to do it for the first time. But he just ran out of overs against the Kiwis and finished 186*.

Sunday, 8th March 2009 (Christchurch): We were almost sure that he'll get there. But with 5 overs to go, he retired hurt at 163.

Thursday, 5th November 2009 (Hyderabad): What a heartbreak! Not only did he get out on 175, but the Indian tail somehow contrived to lose the plot completely and succumb to the pressure.

Wednesday, 24th February 2010 (Gwalior): Finally, he gets there. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar scales the hitherto unsurmounted peak of a Double Century in One Day International Cricket, finishing 200*.

In the process, SRT has broken some more records - most fours in an ODI innings (25), most 150+ scores in ODIs (5), and of course - the highest individual score by a batsman in One Day International Cricket.

When Sachin reached 179* in 42 overs, the target I wanted him to reach was 230. That's because the highest individual score in all forms of ODIs is 229* in Women's Cricket by the legendary Australian batswoman Belinda Clark in the 1997 Women's Cricket World Cup match at Mumbai against Denmark. But given the amount of frustration MS Dhoni caused to SRT fans like me, I think I should just be glad for the 200 - 200 of the silkiest and risk-free runs that Sachin might have ever scored.

Indeed, there was no dropped chance, one run out appeal to third umpire and one stumping appeal to the third umpire - both which were not very difficult decisions. In fact, except for one ball from Steyn (fourth ball of the fifth over of the match), Sachin was not beaten even once in his 147 ball stay at the crease.

If you are not already impressed, here's another one. After the first four balls that he faced from Steyn in which he did not score a run, there was no other occasion in his entire innings where he let four consecutive balls bowled to him go runless (Thank you Cricinfo for this bit of trivia). Such was the mastery!

He almost toyed around with the young Wayne Parnell (not that the other South African bowlers were spared). His two backfoot punches square on the off side early in the innings to Parnell from around the wicket were the highlights if his innings for me. Even honey can't get sweeter!

In the last 12 months, Sachin has shown that age is having no effect on his body. If anything, it is speeding him up. What else can explain 3 scores of 150+ in ODIs in the last one year? What the heck man, most batsmen would die to get one such score in their entire career!

Amidst all of this, it is so easy to forget that India won the match by 153 runs and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series. This means that India have secured the No. 2 Rank in the ICC ODI Team Rankings as on the cut off date - 1st April.

Accolades are pouring from all over the world:
- No one deserved it more than him!
- He is a true champion!
- One of the best knocks ever!
- India's Superman!
- Cricket's best brand ambassador!
- We are priveleged to be living in the Sachin era!
- Sachin's a gem of a person, apart from being a great cricketer!

And he deserves all of it. I am not sure if I will see God when I die. So till then, I am just content watching Sachin Tendulkar.

No comments: