Accumulating a record 100 centuries across formats, Sachin Tendulkar is widely revered as the 'God of Cricket' and has earned the affection of an entire nation.With a remarkable total of 34,357 runs scored across multiple formats, Sachin could make a strong case for immortality based on his achievements in the sport.
In 2011, Tendulkar finally won his first World Cup. At 37, his appetite for runs remained undiminished, as he ended up as India's leading run-scorer in the tournament with 482 runs.Sachin retired from ODIs in 2012, having scored his 100th hundred in his penultimate match.
His final Test came against the West Indies in November 2013, his 200th game in the format!In an international career spanning 24 years, Sachin broke pretty much every major batting record. Ahead of his 50th birthday (April 24), IANS lists five of Sachin's memorable innings across formats.
119* vs England, Old Trafford (1990)
On a placid pitch, England scored 519, to which India replied with 432. Despite the benign conditions and unthreatening bowling, India found themselves struggling at 127 for five in the second innings, with just one established batsman left.
However, even at the young age of 17, Sachin showed great determination and resilience as he battled for almost four hours and scored a gritty 119. With only one more wicket falling, India finished their innings on 343. They could have even won the match if they had one more session to play.
143 vs Australia, Sharjah (1998)
Dubbed as 'Desert Storm', Sachin's swushbuckling knock exhibited all the characteristics of a remarkable performance. Despite facing a formidable attack comprising Shane Warne, Damien Fleming and Michael Kasprowicz, Sachin played with remarkable ease, even though he received little support from his fellow batsmen.
He was ahead of his time, hitting nine fours and five sixes to compile 143 off 131 balls. Although his efforts were not enough to achieve the revised target of 276 runs in 46 overs, but it guaranteed India a place in the final ahead of New Zealand.
The moniker of the knock came from the fact that a sandstorm interrupted play, but Sachin took command once the storm subsided.
146 vs South Africa, Cape Town (2011)
After South Africa amassed 362 in the Cape Town Test, India were reeling at 28/2 in their first innings. India were eager for their first series win in the country, but Dale Steyn was determined to prevent that from happening.
Despite facing Steyn's aggressive bowling, Sachin took the challenge head-on by standing outside his crease and playing a glorious 314-ball innings. His determined effort not only helped India secure a narrow two-run lead, but also helped them end the match in a draw.
200 vs South Africa, Gwalior (2010)
Twenty-one years after his ODI debut, Sachin not only managed to sustain the remarkably high standards, but he went on to achieve new milestones. His unceasing pursuit for improvement was exemplified by his unbeaten double century against South Africa, which he scored off 147 balls, thus becoming the first player to hit a double ton in ODI cricket.
His innings contributed to India's total of 401/3, as the Men in Blue thumped South Africa by 153 runs.
100th international century vs Bangladesh, Mirpur (2012)
The Master Blaster had scored his 99th international ton on March 12, 2011, and had gone more than a year without adding to his century tally. Sachin accomplished the feat of scoring 100 international centuries in the 2012 Asia Cup match against Bangladesh at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, where he scored 114 off 147 deliveries.
The memorable moment came in the 44th over when Tendulkar tucked left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan to square-leg for a single to become the first batsman in the history of the game to score a century of centuries across formats.