Does this man need any introduction? In the entire globe, even those who do not follow cricket passionately, would know the name Sachin Tendulkar. He is more than just a cricketer, being a phenomenon which has dominated the game for over two decades and in India, he is a larger than life figure. Oppositions still fear the moment he comes into bat, and respect him for the personality he exudes on the cricket field and not just his achievements.
But his respect in world sport is likely to increase with his 100th international century that he scored against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup a few days ago. This milestone is perhaps equivalent to 20 Grand Slams in Tennis for a player in singles or 15 Masters Titles in the sport of golf. It is said that when Tendulkar made his debut in 1989, Roger Federer, Michael Schumacher, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods or Lance Armstrong were names unheard of. So maybe a Laureus Sports Award may not be too far away for Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar after all!
100 tons means that the man has loved his profession for a long period of time and how many people, especially in professional sport are capable of not just surviving, but thriving in it for 22 years? The manner, in which he has scored each of his hundreds, goes to show that by the time he quits the game altogether, he could end up as one of the world’s greatest sportspersons. He has already been a part of a World Cup winning Indian team last year and now 100 international centuries adds another feather to his cap. Here is a rewind or rather a celebration of all those hundreds which have come of Sachin’s bat –
1) 119 not out vs. England, Manchester, 1990 (Test match)
As every cricket fan is likely to know, Tendulkar played his first Test match at the tender age of 16 in Pakistan. He could have broken Mushtaq Mohammad’s record of being the youngest centurion in the history of Test cricket, when he had the golden opportunity to score his maiden century against New Zealand in New Zealand. Sachin was batting on 88, until he was caught at long on by ironically the man who would go on to become India’s first foreign coach, John Wright.
However, he did not miss the opportunity on the tour of England. It was the second innings of the second Test at Old Trafford in Manchester. Tendulkar walked in to bat at No.6, when his team was in trouble and on the verge of losing another Test to England, having been walloped at Lords. And by the end of the Test, he finished with 119 not out as he helped India draw the match and give them a chance of leveling the series in the final Test. He had apparently put on one of Sunil Gavaskar’s old set of pads and many felt he was his replica when he was batting that day and the way in which he handled an English attack comprising of Angus Fraser, Devon Malcolm and Chris Lewis in overcast conditions. The match was a draw in the end, but his first international century gave the indication that he was something special and no ordinary kind of batsman.
2) 148 not out vs. Australia, Sydney, 1992 (Test match)
Tendulkar had an average 1991 and so had to wait for close to 18 months before he could come up with another ton. He had finally turned 18 by the time India toured Australia in the 1991-92 season and this was the Master Blaster’s first tour Down Under. He had scored two centuries in the five Tests played there, with his first one being at the New Year’s Test match in Sydney in 1992.
The innings was significant because it began a fine run of form for him at the Sydney Cricket Ground, whenever India played Australia there in a Test match. His 148 was backed adequately by Ravi Shastri’s 206 which almost made India win a rare Test in Australia. The home team had to doggedly bat for a draw.
3) 114 vs. Australia, Perth, 1992 (Test match)
Many would rate this as one of Sachin’s best international hundreds ever. Firstly, it is because it came on a pitch like the WACA, which is still one of the fastest pitches in the world. Secondly, Tendulkar was only 18 at the time and he was still able to score runs off a bowling attack comprising Craig McDermott, Merv Hughes and Paul Reiffel. And thirdly, he singlehandedly took India to a total of 272 with his 114, while the other experienced batsmen of the team failed miserably.
India unfortunately, went on lose by 300 runs and Australia won the 5 match series 4-0. But for Tendulkar, this was the series which proved his growing maturity as a batsman.
4) 111 vs. South Africa, Johannesburg, 1992 (Test match)
It was in 1992 itself that India toured South Africa as well as Australia. This was India’s first ever tour to the African nation and they entered it as the favourites to win both the Tests and the ODIs since South Africa had only recently returned to international cricket, following their ban due to apartheid.
Tendulkar failed in the first Test at Durban, but made up for it in the second Test at the Wanderers in Johannesburg by smashing 111 which was another solitary effort because India’s final total was a mere 227, in response to South Africa’s 292. He played Allan Donald extremely well and his ton was instrumental in India settling for another draw, even as they went on lose the 4 match series 0-1.
5) 165 vs. England, Chennai, 1993 (Test match)
This was one of Tendulkar’s most crucial centuries he has ever scored. This is because his 165 was his first ever hundred he scored on home soil, since his previous four hundreds were scored away from home. And secondly, this was his first hundred which won a Test match for India as the home team prevailed by an innings and 22 runs, as his ton took India to a monumental score of 560 in the first innings.
Besides, this hundred began his love affair with the M Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, where he would go on to score more hundreds in Tests and ODIs. Perhaps, amongst all the venues in India, it is in Chennai where he has the best record.
6) 104 not out vs. Sri Lanka, Colombo, 1993 (Test match)
His quick fire ton, which came off just 161 balls was key in helping India reach 359/4 in 118 overs in the second innings and that was enough for Mohammad Azharuddin to declare and set Sri Lanka a target of 472 to win the Test match at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo. Navjot Singh Sidhu scored an identical 104, and both those centuries in combination helped India win the Test by 235 runs. As the final Test of the series was drawn, India finally won a series away from home, winning 1-0. This was Tendulkar’s second international ton which helped India win a match.
7) 142 vs. Sri Lanka, Lucknow, 1994 (Test match)
Sri Lanka made a return trip to India in January 1994 and played a Test match on a venue which is now extinct from international cricket, Lucknow. It was the first Test of the series and Sachin Tendulkar continued his fine form against the southern neighbours with a 142 off just 224 balls in the first innings. Again, with the help of another Sidhu ton (124), India posted a massive 511 on the board and then Anil Kumble performed a demolition, picking 11 wickets in the match. India won by an innings and 119 runs and eventually whitewashed Sri Lanka by winning all the three Tests of the series, that too by an innings margin.
8) 110 vs. Australia, Colombo, 1994 (ODI match)
In March 1994, it was in an ODI match in Auckland that Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar decided to take up the challenge of opening the batting for India for the first time in his international career, following an injury to Sidhu. And the experiment worked big time as Sachin smashed 82 off just 49 runs, which won India the match comfortably. It was a rebirth of sorts for Tendulkar as a one-day batsman, for the fact that he had not scored a single hundred in the shorter format of the game throughout the five years of his career at that point of time.
It was six months later that the drought was broken as Sachin scored his inaugural ODI hundred in the 78th match of his career and that came against Australia in one of the matches of the quadrangular tournament in Colombo. His 110 was scored off 130 balls, at a strike rate of 84.61 as after batting first, India managed to score 246/8 after 50 overs. Fortunately, India’s bowling came good that day and Tendulkar’s first ODI ton resulted in India winning by 31 runs and there was no hesitation in naming him the man of the match. This was a prelude to several more tons in this format of the game, especially when he opens the batting for India.
9) 115 vs. New Zealand, Vadodara, 1994 (ODI match)
A month later and Tendulkar scored his second century in one-day cricket and his first one at home. It came against New Zealand in a Wills World Series match in Vadodara. The visiting team, led by Stephen Fleming batted first and scored a mammoth 269/4 in 50 overs. But Tendulkar’s controlled 115 off 136 balls helped India chase down the target with 11 balls to spare, as the team won by 7 wickets and Sachin was once again named man of the match for his outstanding effort.
10) 105 vs. West Indies, Jaipur, 1994 (ODI match)
In the final match of the India-West Indies ODI series at Jaipur, Mohammad Azharuddin won the toss and India batted first. Sachin scored another passive ton, since his 105 came off 134 runs and guided India to a score of 259/5 after 50 overs. It was a tight match eventually, but India scraped through by 5 runs to take the five match series by a margin of 4-1. Sachin Tendulkar was named man of the series.
11) 179 vs. West Indies, Nagpur, 1994 (Test match)
This ton came in the second Test match of the 3 Test series at home. On a flat pitch in Nagpur, India had the advantage of making first use of the pitch and with the help of Sidhu’s 107, Sachin was able to register his highest Test score at the time. India reached 546, which eventually proved to be adequate enough for a draw rather than a win. The series was hyped as ‘Tendulkar vs. Lara’ but by the end of it, Sachin proved who the better batsman amongst the two was, even as Lara tried to match Tendulkar throughout his career with the flair he possessed in his batting.
12) 112 not out vs. Sri Lanka, Sharjah, 1995 (ODI match)
This was Tendulkar’s first century in the deserts of Sharjah and a precursor for a few more to come, in the 90s itself. This was a match against Sri Lanka, and the Indian bowlers did a fine job by bowling out the Lankans for 202. In reply, India chased down the total with not much of difficulty as Tendulkar remained not out till the end, smashing 112 off only 107 balls to take the team to the winning post with more than 100 balls to spare. He won another man of the match award for another hundred of his.
13) 127 not out vs. Kenya, Cuttack, 1996 (ODI match)
This was India’s first match of the World Cup 1996, and Tendulkar made a strong statement by scoring his maiden World Cup hundred, even if it is against minnows Kenya. Kenya had upset West Indies in the tournament as well, so they could not have been taken lightly. But Tendulkar made mincemeat of their bowling attack, scoring a 138-ball unbeaten 127 which ensured that India chased down a total of 200 with eight overs to spare. India won the match by 7 wickets and Tendulkar was named man of the match.
14) 137 vs. Sri Lanka, New Delhi, 1996 (ODI match)
This has to be Sachin’s first ODI century which resulted in India ending up as the second best team eventually. It came against a team who was on a rampage and went on to win the World Cup that year, Sri Lanka. Arjuna Ranatunga won the toss and chose to bowl first and Tendulkar took full advantage of that decision with a run-a-ball 137 which took India to a score of 271/3 after 50 overs, this being an excellent score due to the conditions at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground. But Sri Lanka’s openers had other ideas and by the time they had done their job of accelerating the scoring rate, it was evident that India had to concede defeat at some stage. And they did, as Sri Lanka won by 6 wickets with 8 balls to spare with Sanath Jayasuriya named the man of the match.
Tendulkar ended that World Cup with 513 runs and it proved his stature as one of the emerging batsmen to dominate the game in the coming years. There were more World Cup records to his name, which were on the way.
15) 100 vs. Pakistan, Singapore, 1996 (ODI match)
Sachin scored his first international century against archrivals Pakistan, having to wait seven years to finally achieve the task. It was in an ODI in Singapore, played right after the World Cup. He seemed to be in great form as his 100 came off 111 balls as India reached 226 by the end of the innings. However, that did not prove to be good enough as the D/L method came into the picture due to poor weather, and Pakistan reached the target of 187 with 5 overs to spare. Pakistan won by 7 wickets in the end, and won the tournament as well.
16) 118 vs. Pakistan, Sharjah, 1996 (ODI match)
The opponents were once again Pakistan, although the venue was different this time. It was 10 days later, in Sharjah that Sachin scored yet another one-day hundred. After India won the toss and batted first, he and Navjot Singh Sidhu put on a monumental 231-run partnership which took India to an above average score of 305/5 after 50 overs. His 118 came off 140 balls and involved eight fours and two sixes, which was essential in demoralizing Pakistan by the time he was dismissed. 305 was India’s highest score in a one-day international at the time and adequate enough for them to win by 28 runs, with Tendulkar also picking up two wickets in the process. He was named man of the match once again.
17) 122 vs. England, Birmingham, 1996 (Test match)
1995 was not such a great year for him, because he had only played two Tests and a couple of ODIs in which he did not display good form. This was his first Test ton in close to 18 months and his second in England. Trailing by 99 runs in the first innings, India had to put up a big score in the second order to avoid an embarrassing defeat to the home team. But Sachin Tendulkar seemed to be the only man who was up for the task. So much so, that the next highest score in the innings was Sanjay Manjrekar’s 18. Tendulkar scored his 122 off 177 balls, which took India to a total of 219 in the end. England went to secure a win by 8 wickets, and a crucial 1-0 lead in the series as India’s miserable form away from the subcontinent continued.
18) 177 vs. England, Nottingham, 1996 (Test match)
This was his second hundred of the 1996 Test series in England, making it a highly satisfying one for him personally. After another failure at Lord’s, Tendulkar stepped up to show his real class by hammering 177 in difficult conditions to bat on, in Trent Bridge at Nottingham. His 177 was easily the top score of the Indian innings even as he was well supported by the newbie Sourav Ganguly, who batted at No.3 and scored his second consecutive hundred. India were bowled out for 521, easily their best batting performance of the tour but England batted better than India to draw the match by the end of it all and take away the series honours, winning 1-0.
19) 110 vs. Sri Lanka, Colombo, 1996 (ODI match)
This 110 came against the world champions Sri Lanka in their own backyard in August 1996. Unfortunately, this innings proved to be too slow as it consumed 138 balls as the rest of the batsmen could not find the boundary more often than not. India were restricted to 226/5 after batting the entire 50 overs and Sri Lanka chased down the target, courtesy Sanath Jayasuriya who matched Sachin’s effort with a 128-ball 120 which made his team win by 9 wickets in the end, with 34 balls to spare. But Tendulkar’s 110 ensured that he passed Krishnamachari Sreekanth’s run aggregate of 4092 runs. He was at the time, only behind Mohammad Azharuddin when it comes to scoring the most number of runs for India in ODI cricket.
20) 114 vs. South Africa, Mumbai, 1996 (ODI match)
This was actually the Mohinder Amarnath benefit match, which was given officially status by the International Cricket Council. But this ton would mean a lot more to Sachin Tendulkar, because it was his first as the captain of the Indian team and also his first at his home ground, the Wankhede Stadium. He scored 114 off 126 balls, hitting 14 fours in the process as India reached a competitive total of 267/6 after 50 overs. South Africa were bowled out for 193, which gave India a comprehensive 74 run win in the one-off contest. Sachin Tendulkar was obviously named man of the match, which appeased a rowdy crowd which earlier was causing trouble across the ground for some unknown reason.
21) 169 vs. South Africa, Cape Town, 1997 (Test match)
After India were thrashed in the Boxing Day Test at Durban, they had to hit back in order to have any chance of winning the series. And their chances drained further after South Africa hammered 529 after winning the toss and deciding to bat first. India were then stuttering at 58/5 until Sachin and Mohammad Azharuddin produced one of the finest counterattacking partnerships one can ever get to see in Test cricket. They put on 222 for the sixth wicket, with Azhar ending with 115. Sachin went on to score 169, his first Test century as captain of the national side and it came off only 254 balls. India finished with 359, which made the home team bat again. However, India were bowled out in the second innings for 144, losing by 282 runs in the process and the series was out of their hands.
22) 104 vs. Zimbabwe, Benoni, 1997 (ODI match)
This was easily Sachin Tendulkar’s fastest ODI hundred at the time. It was in February 1997 that India was the third team participating in a triangular series featuring Zimbabwe and South Africa and it was played in South Africa itself. Zimbabwe batted first and finished with 240/6 after 50 overs. India in reply, were led by Sachin Tendulkar, their captain who scored 104 runs off only 97 balls, at a strike rate of 107.21 and it involved eight fours and one six. With the finishing touch of Ajay Jadeja and Robin Singh, India chased down the target of 241 comfortably with more than 10 overs to spare. India won by 6 wickets and Sachin won another man of the match award. With this innings, India qualified for the final of the tournament as well.
23) 117 vs. New Zealand, Bangalore, 1997 (ODI match)
In the same tournament where Saeed Anwar created a world record of the highest ODI score by any batsman, i.e. of 194 against India in Chennai, Sachin Tendulkar also lit up the tournament with his batting fireworks. And this was in the very first match, against New Zealand at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. It was a good bowling performance from India to restrict the Black Caps to a mere 220 in 50 overs. But Tendulkar wanted to finish it off quickly and with the help of his nascent opening partner, Sourav Ganguly he was able to do so. He hit a 137-ball 117, before being cleaned bowled by Nathan Astle. India won the match by 8 wickets, with seven and a half overs to spare and Sachin was named man of the match for the umpteenth time for yet another match-winning century of his. This was also his third ODI century as captain.
24) 143 vs. Sri Lanka, Colombo, 1997 (Test match)
In the first Test of the two Test series that India played in Sri Lanka that year, at the Rangiri Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, many records were shattered. The home team reached the highest Test score by any team, 952/6 which is a record till date. Sanath Jayasuriya and Roshan Mahanama put on 576 runs for the second wicket, which was the highest by a Sri Lankan pair and Jayasuriya became the first Sri Lankan to score a triple century in Test cricket, with his 340. But amidst the run feast, it is probably forgotten that it was India which batted first and piled up 537 runs on the board with centuries from Sidhu, Azhar and Tendulkar. Tendulkar top scored in the Indian innings with 143 before being dismissed by Muttiah Muralitharan. The match ended in a dull draw, especially with the Tendulkar-led Indian team gaining nothing much out of it.
25) 139 vs. Sri Lanka, Colombo, 1997 (Test match)
In the following Test match at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground in Colombo, Tendulkar’s good form with the bat continued as he scored 139 off 266 balls, putting up a 150 run partnership with the eventual top scorer of the innings, Sourav Ganguly. Ganguly, batting at No.6, scored 147 as both those tons helped India reach 375 in the first innings, 43 ahead of the Sri Lankan total. But due to Aravinda de Silva’s second innings century, India were left to chase 373 in order to win the Test match but since time was not in India’s hands, the match ended in another draw and the trophy was shared between both the sides. This was perhaps Tendulkar’s best series as India captain, since he was struggling to get good results for the side.
26) 148 vs. Sri Lanka, Mumbai, 1997 (Test match)
His run feast against Sri Lanka in Test cricket that year continued, as Sri Lanka returned to India for another series. This ton would certainly be still strong in Tendulkar’s memory as this was his first Test match hundred at his home ground, where he otherwise does not have an impressive record. In the final Test of the series at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Sri Lanka won the toss and surprisingly chose to field first. Sachin pushed himself down the order to No.5, and instead promoted Sourav Ganguly to bat at No.4. It worked wonders for the team as Ganguly smashed 173 while Sachin hit 148 runs off 244 balls which took India to a massive score of 512 in the first innings. This innings made the fans moneys’ worth, because they specifically had come to watch their local favourite play well. India were eventually only three wickets shy from winning the Test match and the series was level at 0-0 after three Tests.
27) 155 not out vs. Australia, Chennai, 1998 (Test match)
Sachin Tendulkar had finally decided to relinquish the captaincy, since he believed that it was a huge burden on him and the team had a below par 1997 to contend with. Hence, now he returned to focus well on what he knew doing the best, batting. This innings was a fine example of the saying ‘Practice makes a man perfect’. His preparation skills came to the fore in this innings since he had come to Chennai a few days prior to the Test match and practiced at the MRF academy, with former leg-spinner L Sivaramakrishnan bowling to him at the spots marked by Sachin himself, where he believed that Shane Warne would try to trouble him with. All this, despite the fact that he had scored a double hundred for Mumbai in the warmup match that Australia played at the Brabourne Stadium.
And by the time the Test match began at the M Chidambaram Stadium, Sachin Tendulkar was ready to face the Australians and in particular the spin legend, Warne. The series was hyped as ‘Tendulkar vs. Warne’ and it lived up to that hype, as Warne got the wicket of Tendulkar in the first innings as he was dismissed for just 4. But he made amends in the second innings with a scintillating 155 off only 191 balls, which seemed more like an ODI innings on display. He remained unbeaten till the end, as Warne was taken apart for 4 runs per over and India finished at 418/4 declared. Australia were set a target of 348 runs, but India was on a roll and went on to win the match by 179 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
28) 177 vs. Australia, Bangalore, 1998 (Test match)
India had already won the series against Mark Taylor’s men and thus this was a dead rubber at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. Yet, Tendulkar who hates losing, wanted to make it 3-0 in 3 against the Australians and his intentions were evident with a majestic 177 off just 207 balls, at an astonishing strike rate of 85.50. He was easily yet again the top scorer of the Indian innings as India ended with 424 runs on the board in the first innings. But Australia batted equally well, and won the Test match comfortably in the end, by a margin of 8 wickets. India however, took the series 2-1 and Tendulkar was named the man of the series for his two centuries in the three Test matches. He had easily won the battle against Warne and this was a prelude to him getting bashed that year especially, more by the Little Master. Mark Taylor famously said after the series, “We did not lose to a team called India; we lost to a man called Sachin Tendulkar.”
29) 100 vs. Australia, Kanpur, 1998 (ODI match)
This century came in a triangular series match. India, Australia and Zimbabwe were playing for the Pepsi Cup in India. Australia won the toss and elected to bat first, but surprisingly the Indian bowlers got the better of the Australian batsmen in this match. So much so, that the visitors were restricted to 222/9 after 50 overs. That made Sachin’s job much easier to win the match for India, and he eventually did so by exactly scoring 100 runs off a mere 89 balls, at a strike rate of 112.35 and smashed as many as seven sixes and five fours.
Once again, with the help of Sourav Ganguly at the top of the order, Sachin Tendulkar guided the Indians home with more than five overs to spare. India won by 6 wickets and Sachin was definitely declared the man of the match. Although Australia went on to win the competition, this match gave India the belief that they could get the better of Steve Waugh and co. in the future.
30) 143 vs. Australia, Sharjah, 1998 (ODI match)
The first of Tendulkar’s two magical hundreds of the year 1998 against Australia in the sands of Sharjah. By now, it was evident that he was batting more freely, since he did not have to suffer any more from the burden of captaining the team. This was the final round robin game against Australia, as New Zealand was the third team involved in the competition. Australia won the toss and elected to bat first, and reached a more than competitive total of 284/7 after 50 overs. However, there was a sand storm in the middle of the Indian innings, which meant that India needed 276 runs to win in 46 overs or 237 in order to qualify for the final, which was to be played against Australia.
Sachin Tendulkar was unaffected by the storm and almost won India the game, until he was dismissed in the 43rd over by Damien Fleming. It was one of the best counterattacking innings one can ever watch as that 143 came off 131 balls, and involved nine fours and five sixes. India lost the game by 26 runs, but Tendulkar ensured that his hundred did not go in vain as the team qualified for the finals.
31) 134 vs. Australia, Sharjah, 1998 (ODI match)
Sachin’s second hundred on the trot and one of the finest ODI innings ever to be seen. And even better, this came on his 25th birthday and helped India upset Australia in the finals of the Coca-Cola Cup, taking ideal revenge against the team which had earlier beaten them at home in a triangular series. Mohammad Azharuddin won the toss and shockingly decided to field first in such a crunch game and against one of the most powerful batting lineups in the world. Australia finished with 272/9 in 50 overs, a highly match winning score considering that this was a final and not a round robin game. Nothing could possibly stop Australia from winning, except Sachin Tendulkar whom they knew they had to get rid of early.
But Sachin was at his best on that day in particular, and the manner in which he attacked Shane Warne was reminiscent of his 155 in Chennai. Warne was completely taken aback and so were the Australians, who relied heavily on him to get the better of the legend. His 134 came off 131 balls, involving 12 fours and 3 sixes. He was dismissed in the 45th over by Michael Kasprowicz, but the damage had been already done and India won the match by 6 wickets, lifting the Coca-Cola Cup. As a mark of respect, Warne asked for Tendulkar’s autograph after the match.
32) 100 not out vs. Kenya, Kolkata, 1998 (ODI match)
This was a waste of a triangular series from India’s point of view as they were playing at home, two of the minnows of world cricket, Bangladesh and Kenya. But not for Tendulkar, who decided to single-handedly turn it on against Kenya in the final of the competition at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Kenya batted first and were bundled out for 196. India in reply, reached the target of 197 in only 35 overs with Tendulkar remaining not out on 100 off 103 balls, with Ajay Jadeja at the other end. India won by 9 wickets and Tendulkar won another man of the match award in the finals of a competition. He was in red hot form and therefore it was no surprise that the year 1998 belonged to him completely.
33) 128 vs. Sri Lanka, Colombo, 1998 (ODI match)
In what was another triangular series final, Sachin Tendulkar once again played at his level best for India when it mattered the most. This was against the world champions Sri Lanka, in their own backyard which makes this century all the more special. This time, Azharuddin won the toss and chose to bat first. It was in this match that Sachin and Sourav Ganguly put up a world record partnership of 252 for the first wicket, as Ganguly finished with 109 off 136 balls. Whereas, Tendulkar was more aggressive of the two and scored 128 runs off 131 balls until he was stumped by Romesh Kaluwitharana off the bowling of Sanath Jayasuriya. India ended with 307 runs after 50 overs and fortunately Sri Lanka were shot out for 301 in 49.3 overs, giving India a narrow 6 run victory. Tendulkar may not have been the man of the series in this competition, but was definitely the man of the match.
34) 127 not out vs. Zimbabwe, Bulawayo, 1998 (ODI match)
In the first of the three match ODI series against Zimbabwe, Tendulkar scored his 34th international century. India won the toss and chose to field first, and the bowlers were spot on with their performances as Zimbabwe was reduced to 213 all out after 50 overs. Sachin once again singlehandedly took India to the winning post, with his unbeaten 127 coming off 130 balls which involved 13 fours and 1 six. India won by 8 wickets, with 46 balls to spare as he won another man of the match award. This was Sachin’s sixth ODI century of the year, but there was more to come.
35) 141 vs. Australia, Dhaka, 1998 (ODI match)
The first ever ICC Champions Trophy was held in Bangladesh in the year 1998. India had come in to the tournament, surprisingly as one of the favourites to win it, following their exceptional run in that year. India made it to the knockout stage, and in the quarterfinals they had to face their biggest hurdle, Australia and win against them to advance further in the competition. Steve Waugh, who was usually a firm believer in winning the toss and batting first, dubiously decided that his team will bowl first.
But that made little difference to the Little Master who reminded the Australians and fans of his Sharjah blitzkrieg with a similar knock at the Bangabandhu Stadium in Dhaka. His monumental 141 came off a mere 128 balls and had 13 fours and 3 sixes in it. Without Shane Warne, Australia’s bowling attack looked toothless and a total of 307 was expected if Tendulkar played that sort of an innings. Australia were bowled out for 263 with Sachin as an icing on the cake, picking up 4 wickets in 9.1 overs for 38 runs, picking the key wickets of captain Waugh and Michael Bevan. For his all-round performance, Sachin was named man of the match as India advanced to the semifinals.
36) 118 vs. Zimbabwe, Sharjah, 1998 (ODI match)
There were two more hundreds from Sachin Tendulkar in 1998 in Sharjah and both of them were against Zimbabwe, in a triangular series also featuring Sri Lanka. The first one was in a round robin game, in which Zimbabwe was sent in to bat first and were bowled out for 196. An in form Sachin was more than enough for India to pull off a convincing win as his 118 came off just 112 balls and the team’s best bowler, Heath Streak went for more than 6 runs per over. India won the match comfortably by 7 wickets and Sachin won yet another man of the match award for his fine and unbeaten hundred.
37) 124 not out vs. Zimbabwe, Sharjah, 1998 (ODI match)
This was the final of the triangular competition and Sri Lanka were surprisingly not featuring in the final, as Zimbabwe pulled off an upset win against them in the previous round robin game. Prior to this match, Henry Olonga, one of Zimbabwe’s fast bowlers had boasted that he had found a way to get rid of Sachin Tendulkar as quickly as possible so that Zimbabwe can win the final as well.
But by the end of it, Olonga was made to look like a scapegoat as Tendulkar was severe on him in particular. In a run chase of 197, he smashed 124 runs off 92 balls, at a strike rate of 134.78, hitting 12 fours and 6 sixes in the knock. Sourav Ganguly also remained unbeaten with his 90-ball 63 as India won by 10 wickets, with exactly 20 overs to spare and won yet another tournament in Sharjah that year. Sachin Tendulkar was named man of the match as well as the man of the series in what was India’s last ODI tournament of 1998. He had scored more than 1500 runs in the calendar year in ODI cricket.
38) 113 vs. New Zealand, Wellington, 1998 (Test match)
A change in the format of the game did not deter Tendulkar as such, even though India were playing a Test match after several months and that too away from home. In the first Test of India’s tour to New Zealand which was held at Wellington, the home team had taken a vital 144 runs first innings lead. Tendulkar, who scored 47 in the first innings, bettered that effort with a 113 off 151 balls in the second innings hitting 13 fours and 2 sixes in the process. India were bowled out for 356 but the bowlers were not able to defend a total of 215 as New Zealand still managed to pull off a 4 wicket victory and gain a 1-0 lead in the series. This was Sachin’s first Test ton in New Zealand.
39) 136 vs. Pakistan, Chennai, 1999 (Test match)
Chennai was once again the venue to grace another Test hundred from Sachin Tendulkar. Close to 10 months after Australia was slaughtered by the Master Blaster at the Chidambaram Stadium, it was Pakistan’s turn now. Although this time, India were chasing a total of 271 runs to win the first Test of the two Test series against their archrivals at home.
Tendulkar was out for a duck in the first innings off the bowling of Saqlain Mushtaq, as he picked up 5 wickets in that innings. But like he did against Australia, Sachin Tendulkar made up for his failure well enough in the second innings by once again being the backbone of the Indian batting line-up. Although wickets kept tumbling at the other end and Tendulkar began to suffer back spasms, he fought and fought till the very end. He was eventually dismissed by Saqlain yet again, for a 273-ball 136 and that was the match for Pakistan. Wasim Akram, the captain knew that if his team could get Sachin out, the match was theirs as such was the psychological impact of his wicket in the Indian dressing room. Pakistan won by 12 runs and this would go down as one of the most agonizing hundreds Tendulkar has ever scored, although he showed remarkable character while playing the innings.
40) 124 not out vs. Sri Lanka, Colombo, 1999 (Test match)
This hundred is Tendulkar’s solitary hundred in an Asian Test Championship match. India had to travel south to Sri Lanka for just one Test match, but it was a crucial one since a win would have got them to the final. And India were on the right track after Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to field first, courtesy a century from opener Sadagoppan Ramesh which took them to a first innings total of 518.
But Mahela Jayawardene hit 242 to take Sri Lanka to 485, only 23 runs behind India’s score. From then on, it was difficult for India to win the match and so Tendulkar had to bat for the draw and scored an unbeaten 124 off 235 balls. The draw eventually proved to be costly for India, who lost to Pakistan in Kolkata and missed out on the final. But his great record at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground was maintained with another century.
41) 140 not out vs. Kenya, Bristol, 1999 (ODI match)
This was Tendulkar’s third World Cup century and by far he scored it under the toughest of circumstances. Prior to this match, Sachin Tendulkar had to bear the disappointment of losing his father and returned home for his funeral immediately, which made him miss one of India’s round-robin matches. However, it was on the insistence of his mother that he returned to England to play for India in the World Cup as he was contemplating not to take part for the rest of the tournament.
He was clearly not in the right frame of mind but in this match, he showed his ability to put aside the turbulence in his personal life when he is on the cricket field and especially when he is batting. He batted two down, since Sourav Ganguly and Sadagoppan Ramesh opened the batting for India. Sachin obviously dedicated his unbeaten 140 to his father and since that match, he has always looked up to the heavens whenever he has scored a century. It came off a 101 balls and involved 16 fours and 3 sixes. Along with Rahul Dravid’s 104 not out, India reached a mammoth 329/2 after 50 overs and went on to win by 94 runs. This would definitely be one of the most special man of the match awards for Tendulkar in his life as he had to fight hard to get this ton.
42) 120 vs. Sri Lanka, Colombo, 1999 (ODI match)
Sachin was back as the captain of the Indian team, following Mohammad Azharuddin’s injury. The tournament in Sri Lanka, was India’s first right after a disastrous World Cup outing in England. And he was back opening the batting for the country. His 120 came off 141 balls and involved 11 fours and 2 sixes. India finished at a competitive total of 296/4 after 50 overs and it was through the D/L method that the team went on to beat the hosts by 23 runs. Tendulkar was not man of the match this time, but the team got two important points due to his century.
43) 126 not out vs. New Zealand, Mohali, 1999 (Test match)
In the first Test of the home season against New Zealand, Tendulkar made a strong impression by leading from the front with the bat in the second innings. His team was bowled out for a paltry 83 in the first innings, and that allowed the visitors to almost create an upset by winning a Test in India, as they grabbed a 132 runs lead. With the assistance of Rahul Dravid’s 144, Sachin Tendulkar was able to remain not out by the time he declared the innings at the score of 505/3. His 126 came off 248 balls and it was adequate enough for India to draw the match, if not win it since they were struggling for most of the Test match. New Zealand batted doggedly towards the end, and India were three wickets shy from what would have been an amazing win.
44) 217 vs. New Zealand, Ahmedabad, 1999 (Test match)
This was Tendulkar’s first double century ever in Test match cricket and easily his highest Test score at the time. It was surprising that he took close to 10 years to get a double ton, considering the class that he had developed as a batsman. But he did it eventually and it came off 344 balls on what was a flat Motera track in Ahmedabad. Centuries from Sadagoppan Ramesh and Sourav Ganguly assisted Tendulkar and took India’s first innings total to 583/7 decl. Tendulkar astonishingly did not enforce the follow on, which meant India had to bat again and as a result, New Zealand successfully batted it out for a draw. Yet, India won the series 1-0 and Sachin Tendulkar was named man of the match for his 217. This was Sachin’s first Test series win as India’s captain.
45) 186 not out vs. New Zealand, Hyderabad, 1999 (ODI match)
Sachin Tendulkar’s 186 not out was his highest ODI score until February 24, 2010. 1999 may not be that memorable a year for him as compared to 1998, but the year did bring out two of his previous highest scores in Tests and ODIs. It was in this match as well, that Tendulkar finally went past Azharuddin’s tally of runs in ODI cricket. He took exactly 150 balls to finish with 186 runs as it involved 20 fours and 3 sixes. He also put up a record 331 run partnership for the second wicket with Rahul Dravid, who finished with a run-a-ball 153. India ended with a massive 376/2 after 50 overs and that was good enough to hand over the team a comprehensive 174 run victory. India squared the series 1-1 at this stage and Sachin was the obvious choice for the man of the match award.
46) 116 vs. Australia, Melbourne, 1999 (Test match)
The manner in which the whole series was played, should have been billed as ‘Tendulkar vs. Australia’ and not ‘India vs. Australia’. Being the captain of a team which was perhaps the most ill-equipped to conquer Australia in Australian shores, Sachin Tendulkar waged a lone battle against the home team’s strong bowling attack featuring Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee, Shane Warne and Damien Fleming.
Tendulkar might have been tactically wrong in winning the toss and choosing to bowl first at the MCG against an in form Australian batting line-up. He tried to make up for that mistake with a defiant 116 off just 191 balls, which kept the hosts on their toes. But 405 was always going to be difficult to overhaul in the first innings for India, and they were eventually bowled out for 238. Tendulkar scored half of those runs, again being the only challenger to the Australians’ might. He scored a 52 in the second innings, but India were bowled out for 195 to hand over Australia a facile 180 run victory and they were eventually whitewashed in the series, 0-3.
47) 122 vs. South Africa, Vadodara, 2000 (ODI match)
Tendulkar had resigned from the post of the Indian captain once again, following India’s whitewash in a Test series at home against South Africa in the beginning of 2000. The team was playing under a new leader, Sourav Ganguly and Tendulkar’s form seemed to have returned in this very match. South Africa scored 282 after winning the toss and deciding to bat first. 283 was always going to be a difficult ask for India, but Tendulkar was up for the task right from the word go. His 122 came off 138 balls and it set the platform for India for a successful run chase. With Ganguly, he put up 153 runs for the first wicket and India won by 4 wickets with one ball to spare. Sachin was named man of the match yet again, as India won the series in the process as well by leading 3-1.
48) 101 vs. Sri Lanka, Sharjah, 2000 (ODI match)
It was after close to seven months that Sachin had to wait before he scored another ODI ton. It came against Sri Lanka in Sharjah in October 2000. His 101 came off 140 balls, but his heroics could not cover for an otherwise lackluster Indian batting performance. India ended with a modest 224/8 after 50 overs and the target proved to be too easy for Sri Lanka as they chased it down with 37 balls to spare. Sri Lanka may have won by 5 wickets, but Tendulkar was man of the match for the ton he scored despite the outfield being wet.
49) 122 vs. Zimbabwe, New Delhi, 2000 (Test match)
The home season for India continued but this time it was Sourav Ganguly who was leading the Test side and India had a new coach in John Wright. However, Zimbabwe reached 422 after being sent into bat which was a bit of shock for an Indian bowling attack who were supposed to be experts to be bowling in home conditions. Yet, Zimbabwe forgot that the Indian batting line-up was extremely long and consisted of Sachin Tendulkar who scored 122 off 233 balls to take the team total to 458/4 decl., after Rahul Dravid scored an unbeaten double century which was his first in Test cricket. India went to win to register a 7 wicket win and a 1-0 lead in the series.
50) 201 not out vs. Zimbabwe, Nagpur, 2000 (Test match)
In the second Test of the series at Nagpur, Tendulkar was in such irresistible form that a double century did not seem far away. He scored his second double ton in Test cricket against Zimbabwe on another belter of a pitch in Nagpur. It came off only 281 balls and had 27 fours in it. Shiv Sundar Das, the opener and Rahul Dravid also scored hundreds to take India to 609/6 decl. which was certainly a match winning score. However, Andy Flower also scored a double ton in the second innings to ensure that India settle for a draw and win the series 1-0 instead of 2-0.
51) 146 vs. Zimbabwe, Jodhpur, 2000 (ODI match)
In the ODI series that followed against Zimbabwe, it was in the third ODI that a customary Sachin Tendulkar century had come. It was once again Sachin who singlehandedly controlled the Indian batting, which otherwise lacked spine. His 146 came off 153 balls and that was the main reason why India finished with 283/8 after 50 overs. He also picked the wicket of Andy Flower but Zimbabwe chased down the target successfully with one ball to spare and won the game by only 1 wicket.
52) 126 vs. Australia, Chennai, 2001 (Test match)
This Sachin century came in the final Test of the marquee Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia, in which the series was leveled at 1-1. It came aptly in Chennai, a ground which Tendulkar has been fond of over the years and the ton reminded many of his 1998 performance. However, this ton was scored in much difficult circumstances as batting second in Chennai is never easy, especially if the opposition has put up 391 on the board. His 126 was his 25th Test century and it came off 230 balls. With a couple of half centuries supporting his cause, India finished with 501 all out and a crucial 110 run lead in the first innings. Tendulkar failed in the second innings but this century was instrumental in helping India pull off a spectacular 2 wicket victory and a 2-1 series win against the world champions.
53) 139 vs. Australia, Indore, 2001 (ODI match)
In the third ODI of the five match series against the Aussies, Tendulkar continued his sublime form against them. This time, he scored 139 off only 125 balls, at a strike rate of 111.20 which surprisingly involved no sixes but 19 fours. With the help of VVS Laxman’s 88-ball 83, Tendulkar was able to guide India to a competitive total of 299/8 after 50 overs. India won the match by 118 runs and took a 2-1 lead in the series, as Sachin was named man of the match for his fine century.
54) 127 not out vs. West Indies, Harare, 2001 (ODI match)
India travelled to Zimbabwe in the summer of 2001 for a tri-series involving the hosts and the West Indies. This ton of Tendulkar’s came in a round robin match against the West Indies. India won the toss and chose to field first, restricting the West Indies to 229/5 after 50 overs. 230 seemed to be an easy target to chase down, but it would not have been easy if Sachin would not have remained not out till the end with his 127 run knock. He took 131 balls to get there, while the rest of the Indian batsmen struggled. India won by 6 wickets, with 11 balls to spare and Sachin was declared man of the match for his solitary effort.
55) 101 vs. South Africa, Johannesburg, 2001 (ODI match)
This was in the first match of the triangular series featuring India, Kenya and South Africa. India were sent into bat by South Africa at the Wanderers and Tendulkar played extremely well a rare supporting role to Sourav Ganguly, with his 129-ball 101 which included nine fours. Ganguly stole the show though, with his 127 off 126 balls as both of them put up 193 for the first wicket. India’s total after 50 overs was 279/5, but they were 10-15 runs short in the end as South Africa chased down 280 with 9 balls to spare, winning by 6 wickets eventually.
56) 146 vs. Kenya, Paarl, 2001 (ODI match)
In the final round robin match against minnows Kenya, Tendulkar was once again in the limelight as this time it was Sourav Ganguly who had to play the supporting role to him. While Ganguly scored a 124-ball 111, Tendulkar went after the mediocre Kenyan attack and scored 146 runs in 132 balls, an innings which surprisingly did not involve even a single six! Both of them broke their own record by putting up a 258 runs for the first wicket, a record broken eventually by Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga of Sri Lanka. India finished with a huge score of 351/3, which was enough for Kenya to not to get another upset victory over them. India won by 186 runs and Tendulkar was again declared man of the match as India made it to the final of the triangular series against South Africa.
57) 155 vs. South Africa, Bloemfontein, 2001 (Test match)
This was rated by the then Indian coach John Wright as one of the ‘finest Test innings he had ever seen’. Sachin Tendulkar had to face overcast conditions, a wet outfield, an in form South African bowling attack which was more than effective at home and not to mention, a crumbling Indian batting line up.
Yet, Sachin has always been the numero uno performer for India with the bat because he has always had the confidence in himself to face any challenge in his way. His 155 at Bloemfontein showed that he can play very well in adverse situations and he took 184 balls only to get there. But his innings was perhaps eclipsed by Virender Sehwag’s debut century, which resulted in India getting to 379 in the first innings. Sachin, however failed in the second innings and South Africa won the Test match by 9 wickets.
58) 103 vs. England, Ahmedabad, 2001 (Test match)
In the second of the three Test match series against England, Sachin Tendulkar brought up another master class of a hundred. After England put up 407 on the board, they seemed to be on the driver’s seat as India were reduced to 93/4 at one stage. It was Tendulkar’s 103 off 197 balls which took India to the total of 291, and in the process avoiding the embarrassment of following on. England eventually was able to draw the match, with India still having a 1-0 lead in the series.
59) 176 vs. Zimbabwe, Nagpur, 2002 (Test match)
Following England, it was Zimbabwe’s turn to tour India for the second time in three years but they had to suffer another Test series defeat. In the second Test at Nagpur, they batted first and reached 287 in the first innings. Tendulkar decided to pile on the agony on the Zimbabweans with his splendid 176 off 316 balls, which was instrumental in taking India’s score to 570/7 decl., alongside centuries from SS Das and Sanjay Bangar. India proceeded then to bowl Zimbabwe out for 182, winning the Test match by an innings and 101 runs and took a lead in the 2 match series, 1-0.
60) 117 vs. West Indies, Port of Spain, 2002 (Test match)
This would definitely be one of the Sachin specials. It is because it came in an away series and more importantly resulted in an Indian victory, which is so rare away from home. West Indies won the toss and chose to field first and Tendulkar took advantage of this decision by scoring a controlled 117 in the first innings, which was essential to take India’s total to 339 and this was the only century of the innings. Sachin may have failed in the second innings, but India won by 37 runs and took an invaluable 1-0 lead in the series. This was Sachin’s first ton in the West Indies and his 29th Test century, which made him level with the great Sir Don Bradman, who have five years ago believed Sachin was the one who batted just like him.
61) 105 not out vs. England, Chester-le-Street, 2002 (ODI match)
In the fifth match of the NatWest triangular series between India and England, Sachin Tendulkar lit up the Chester le Street crowd at Durban with an unbeaten 105 off just 108 balls, hitting eight fours and one six. He was batting at No.4 in this match, since Sourav Ganguly and Virender Sehwag were opening the batting for India. So this makes the ton even more valuable as it took India to an above average total of 285/4 after 50 overs. Unfortunately, rain intervened when England were 53/1 after 12.3 overs which made it impossible for the match to continue and therefore there was no result that day.
62) 113 vs. Sri Lanka, Bristol, 2002 (ODI match)
This was another solitary effort from Sachin Tendulkar, because the next best score in the Indian innings was a 63-ball 48 by Dinesh Mongia. He smashed 113 runs off just 102 balls, hitting 12 fours and 1 six against an attack comprising of Chaminda Vaas, Nuwan Zoysa, Dilhara Fernando and Upul Chandana which was decent even without Muttiah Muralitharan. It took India’s total to 304 all out after 50 overs and eventually India won by 63 runs, as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 241. Tendulkar was named man of the match and he ensured that India qualified for the NatWest Series final against England at Lords, which they won as well.
63) 193 vs. England, Leeds, 2002 (Test match)
This century ensured that Tendulkar went past Sir Don Bradman’s tally of hundreds and he would remember this for a long time, as this was his 30th Test century. It came in extremely difficult conditions in Leeds and at a time when India needed a big partnership, with the threat of losing wickets looming large on the batting line-up. His innings may have been forgotten due to Rahul Dravid’s terrific form that summer, but it was Sachin’s 193 which was the top score of the Indian innings.
It came off only 330 balls and involved 19 fours and 3 sixes. He shared a 150 run partnership with Dravid and 149 run partnership with the third centurion, captain Sourav Ganguly. India declared at 628/8 and proceeded to win the Test match by an innings and 46 runs, in the process registering their first Test match win in England since 1986.
64) 176 vs. West Indies, Kolkata, 2002 (Test match)
This was an innings which according to Wisden, was Tendulkar’s transformation from being an aggressor to an accumulator of runs. Tendulkar perhaps slowed down a bit, due to the hamstring problems which he suffered during the match but still went on to score 176 runs off 298 balls, hitting 26 fours in the process. This was during the second innings, which was extremely important since India were trailing by 139 runs in the first innings and could now settle for a draw due to that century. Tendulkar was the man of the match as India won the 3 match series at home against the West Indies by a 2-0 margin.
65) 152 vs. Namibia, Pietermaritzburg, 2003 (ODI match)
This was once again in a World Cup clash. His fourth World Cup hundred came against Namibia at Pietermaritzburg in a group match. His 152 came off 151 balls, which showed that he had returned to form following an 81 against Zimbabwe in the previous game and was very much back at the opening slot. One of his shots, the straight drive was struck so powerfully down the ground that the umpire, Aleem Dar fell down and almost lost his life in the process. He was ably supported by Sourav Ganguly and both of them put up 244 runs for the second wicket. India reached 311/2 after 50 overs and secured a comprehensive 181 run victory. Tendulkar won the man of the tournament for scoring above 600 runs in the World Cup, as he guided the team to the finals of the competition in South Africa.
66) 100 vs. Australia, Gwalior, 2003 (ODI match)
India’s first ODI tournament at home after a successful World Cup campaign, was a triangular series involving Australia and New Zealand. India played Australia in the second match of the series in Gwalior and Tendulkar did not disappoint after Sourav Ganguly won the toss and decided that India would bat first. Tendulkar, along with Laxman put up a 190 run partnership for the second wicket. Laxman finished with 102 while Tendulkar reached his 100 in 119 balls, which took India to an excellent score of 283/5 after 50 overs. The world champions in reply, succumbed to 246, giving India a crucial 37 run victory. Despite Laxman top scoring the innings, it was Sachin Tendulkar who received the man of the match award for what was his 35th ODI century.
67) 102 vs. New Zealand, Hyderabad, 2003 (ODI match)
It was in Hyderabad incidentally in 1999 that Tendulkar scored an ODI century against New Zealand. He achieved the same feat against the same opposition four years later, although he was dismissed for a much lower score. This was indeed an aggressive century as he scored it off 91 balls and was undeterred by Virender Sehwag’s quick scoring and in fact put on with him 182 runs for the opening wicket before he was the first man to be dismissed. His 12 fours and 1 six ensured that India reaches as huge a total as 353 after 50 overs. New Zealand were bowled out for 208, giving India a convincing 145 run victory.
68) 241 not out vs. Australia, Sydney, 2004 (Test match)
Many would rate this as one of Sachin’s best Test innings. It is because he came into bat under tremendous pressure, since he was woefully out of form throughout the Test series in Australia. This innings is of such high quality because he did not score a single run through one of his favourite shots, the cover drive as he cut out that shot after he realized that he was getting out often in the series trying to play the shot. Most of his runs came on the leg side and it showed the manner in which he negotiated the Australian attack. It was a painstaking knock which came off 436 balls, and resulted in India reaching their highest Test score at the time, 705/7 decl. The match however, was eventually drawn but India retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy following a drawn series and Tendulkar was named man of the match for this effort.
69) 141 vs. Pakistan, Rawalpindi, 2004 (ODI match)
In the second of the five match series against Pakistan in Pakistan, Sachin Tendulkar decided to make mincemeat of the home team’s bowling attack on a flat track in Rawalpindi. He hit 141 runs in 135 balls, and it involved 17 fours and 1 six. India were chasing 330 to win, and Tendulkar’s century kept India in the hunt until he was dismissed in the 39th over by off-spinner Shoaib Malik. India eventually fell short by 12 runs, and Pakistan fought their way back into the series, leveling it at 1-1. But despite that ton going in vain, this was his first international ton on Pakistani soil and he won the man of the match award for it.
70) 194 not out vs. Pakistan, Multan, 2004 (Test match)
This was one of those tons where Sachin Tendulkar had to play second fiddle to one of his firing teammates. It was his disciple, Virender Sehwag in this case as this match would be remembered more for his 309, which is the first triple century by any Indian player. But if Sachin was not at the crease with him, Sehwag would have probably never achieved this milestone. Sehwag and Sachin put up 336 runs for the third wicket, until Sehwag was dismissed. Sachin batted till the end, but was spending too much time in the 190s according to the then captain Rahul Dravid and he dubiously declared when Sachin was batting on 194. Since he was 6 runs short of a memorable double ton, this created huge controversy in India and the cricketing world. But more importantly, India won their first ever Test in Pakistan by an innings and 52 runs and took a crucial 1-0 lead in the series.
71) 248 not out vs. Bangladesh, Dhaka, 2004 (Test match) – Sachin’s Highest Test Score
This may not be one of Sachin’s best hundreds, but it is his highest Test score till date and will be remembered by many since this was his 34th Test century and with this, he equaled one of his idols and another little Indian batting great, Sunil Gavaskar who was incidentally at the ground commentating when Sachin achieved the milestone.
His 248 not out came off 379 balls and was more than adequate to give India an innings and 140 runs victory against the home team. India took a 1-0 lead in the series.
This was a world record equaling ton and his first after his return from a tennis elbow which he had suffered in the summer of 2004.
72) 123 vs. Pakistan, Ahmedabad, 2005 (ODI match)
In what was a featherbed of a pitch in Motera in Ahmedabad, Sachin Tendulkar went berserk and scored 123 runs off just 130 balls, at a strike rate of 94.61 and it involved 12 fours and 2 sixes. With the help of some powerful hitting by Yuvraj Singh in the slog overs, India managed to set Pakistan a target of 316 runs to win in 48 overs. However, a cohesive batting effort saw Pakistan win off the last ball, pulling off a 3 wicket victory and leveling the 6 match series, by two games to two. This was the sole contribution from Tendulkar in an otherwise poor series for him and his team.
73) 109 vs. Sri Lanka, New Delhi, 2005 (Test match)
Perhaps, this is the most important Test century ever scored in the history of the game. Sachin Tendulkar had broken the 18 year old record held by Sunil Gavaskar of scoring the maximum number of centuries in Test cricket. This was his 35th Test century, being the first man on the planet to reach there and waiting close to a year to get there, following a lean patch in the 2004-05 seasons.
It came against the visiting Sri Lankan team in the second of the three Tests played, which was at the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi. His 109 came off 196 balls, before he was dismissed by Muttiah Muralitharan. India were bundled out for 290 eventually in the first innings, and although Tendulkar did not contribute much in the second innings, India went on to win the game by 188 runs and lead the series 1-0. This was a perfect gift to Tendulkar, who had made a name for himself as a batting legend after playing more than 15 years of international cricket.
74) 100 vs. Pakistan, Peshawar, 2006 (ODI match)
In the first ODI of the five match series that India played in Pakistan in early 2006, Sachin Tendulkar showed glimpses of his best ODI batting with a well-deserved 100 which came off only 113 balls, at a strike rate of 88.49 and it involved ten fours and one six. He put up key partnership with two of the other half centurions, Irfan Pathan and MS Dhoni and that took India’s total to 328 after batting 49.4 overs. However, it was the D/L method which played Judas to India’s chances of winning and in the end; Pakistan prevailed by 7 runs as Salman Butt matched Sachin Tendulkar’s effort with his 101. This was Pakistan’s only win of the series, as India won 4-1 eventually.
75) 141 not out vs. West Indies, Kuala Lumpur, 2006 (ODI match)
This match marked Sachin Tendulkar’s return from another elbow injury as he missed out a large part of 2006 due to it. And what a return it was! Opening the batting for India in a triangular series in Malaysia against the West Indies alongside captain Rahul Dravid, Sachin hit 141 runs off just 148 balls, at a strike rate of 95.27, hitting 13 fours and 5 sixes in the process. With the help of Irfan Pathan’s 64, he was able to guide India to an impressive total of 309/5 after 50 overs. But unluckily, Tendulkar’s 40th ODI century went in vain as rain played truant to India’s chances yet again and West Indies were declared winners by 29 runs, having batted only 20 overs. But it was Sachin who was named man of the match for a marvelous comeback to international cricket.
1) 100 not out vs. West Indies, Vadodara, 2007 (ODI match)
Sachin Tendulkar’s first century in an otherwise average 2007 for him. He was demoted down the order to No.4, by coach Greg Chappell and captain Rahul Dravid in order to try out different opening combinations prior to the World Cup in the West Indies. And Tendulkar seemed to make both of them happy with a fluent and unbeaten 100 off only 76 balls, which involved 10 fours and 1 six and came at a strike rate of 131.57. India finished at 341/3 after 50 overs and bowled out the West Indies for 181, giving them a 160 run victory and a 3-1 series win. Sachin was named man of the match as well as man of the series for his phenomenal run in the four matches.
77) 101 vs. Bangladesh, Chittagong, 2007 (Test match)
This was the Master Blaster’s first Test hundred after close to 18 months, which showed that the period of 2004-06 was nothing but a slump for him. It was his 36th Test ton, and his closest competitor, Ricky Ponting even at this stage did not seem too far away to break his records. It was not a typical Tendulkar century but more of a scratchy effort from the legend who was trying to raise himself after a poor World Cup for him and his team. His 101 came off 169 balls and alongside Sourav Ganguly’s 100, it took India to a total of 387. Tendulkar scored 31 runs in the second innings but eventually the match ended in an astonishing draw, making the next game compulsory for India to win.
78) 122 not out vs. Bangladesh, Mirpur, 2007 (Test match)
On what was a terrific pitch to bat on at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, Sachin Tendulkar decided to cash in just as the rest of his batting colleagues. There were as many as four centuries which were seen in India’s first innings with Sachin remaining unbeaten till the time the innings was declared, as he batted on 122 not out off just 226 balls, smashing eight fours and one six. India reached a mammoth 610/3 declared after 153 overs which gave enough time for the bowlers to have a shot at the Bangladeshi batsmen. India went on to win by an innings and 239 runs and Sachin Tendulkar was declared the man of the series for being the highest run getter amongst both the teams, with his two centuries being responsible for that.
79) 154 not out vs. Australia, Sydney, 2008 (Test match)
Tendulkar returned to his level best at a ground that he has had evergreen romance with, the Sydney Cricket Ground. It was in the New Years Test of 2008 that he proved that he was very much the best in the business when it comes to batting in any format of the game and he batted extremely well with the tailenders especially, as he remained unbeaten on 154 even as India was bowled out for 532. Those 154 runs were scored off just 243 balls and was the top score of the Indian innings easily. India got a crucial first innings lead of 66, despite the now infamous Harbhajan-Symonds verbal altercation happening when Sachin was batting with Harbhajan. Astonishingly, India lost the Test match in the dying moments of the fifth day’s play as Australia won by 123 runs.
80) 153 vs. Australia, Adelaide, 2008 (Test match)
In the final Test match of the same series against Australia, Tendulkar made up his mind to make the maximum use of excellent batting conditions at the Adelaide Oval. India were batting first this time, so Tendulkar’s task of making a big score had become much easier. But he decided to counterattack the Australian bowlers following India’s score being 156/4 at one stage. With a 126 run partnership with VVS Laxman, Tendulkar guided India to an impressive total of 526 all out. His 153 runs came off only 205 balls, at a strike rate of 74.63 which involved 13 fours and 3 sixes. Tendulkar scored only 13 in the second innings, but this century ensured that India draw the match and lose the series 1-2, instead of 1-3 ending one of the most controversial Test series of all time. He was named man of the match for his 40th Test century, which was a terrific batting effort.
81) 117 not out vs. Australia, Sydney, 2008 (ODI match)
Tendulkar went through the drought of the 90s in 2007, not being able to get to the coveted century mark as many as seven times. Finally, that drought was broken in March 2008 in the first final of the Commonwealth Bank triangular series, against hosts Australia. It came off only 120 balls and involved no sixes, but 10 fours. It was a controlled innings which frustrated the Australians, and helped India chase down a modest target of 240 with 25 balls to spare. India won the first final to take a lead in the best of 3 finals, by a margin of 6 wickets and this master class won him the man of the match and was clear proof that the man was back to where he belonged in ODI cricket and the fact that he has won more than has lost matches for India with his hundreds. India went to win that triangular series as Sachin hit 91 in the second final in Brisbane.
82) 109 vs. Australia, Nagpur, 2008 (Test match)
Sachin seemed to have been matching the number of his Test tons as well as ODI tons. This was his 41st Test century, and it came in the final Test of the four match series against Ricky Ponting’s Australia at home. His 109 was the top score of the Indian innings as there were several half centuries scored as well. India finished with 441 all out in the first innings, with Jason Krejza, the Australian spinner picking 8 wickets on Test debut. But that hundred was crucial to give India a vital 86 run lead in the first innings, by which Australia was taken aback to a huge extent as they had to chase 382 runs to win the Test. India won by 172 runs to take the series 2-0. It was also in this series that Sachin broke another record, that of Brian Lara by becoming Test cricket’s highest run-getter of all time.
83) 103 not out vs. England, Chennai, 2008 (Test match)
This has to be one of Sachin’s special tons. It is because of the circumstances that it was made in. Firstly, this Test series against England was played at the backdrop of the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Tendulkar’s hometown, Mumbai. So no place in the world was considered safe, even to play cricket in. And secondly, due to the cricketing reason that England had set India a target of 387 runs to win the Test match. Virender Sehwag went mad with his 66-ball 83, but by the time he was dismissed, somebody was required to stay at the crease as well as score the runs at a brisk pace. And who better than Sachin Tendulkar to do so? His 103 was calm and calculated as it came off 196 balls, and India won by the game through it by 6 wickets with Sachin remaining not out till the end of the innings. India took a critical one nil lead in the two match series.
84) 163 not out vs. New Zealand, Christchurch, 2009 (ODI match)
This century of Tendulkar’s came in the third ODI of the five match series against New Zealand in New Zealand in March 2009. He decided to make maximum use of New Zealand’s decision to bowl first after winning the toss and smashed 163 runs off a mere 133 balls. Sachin Tendulkar dominated the New Zealand bowling attack that day, with 16 fours and 5 sixes. He was in such imperious form that he could have gone on to score a double century that day, if it was only not for a hamstring pull which he suffered after 45 overs. Yet, India finished with a colossal total of 392/4 after 50 overs, and India gained a comprehensive 58 run win to take a 2-0 lead in the series. Sachin was named man of the match for this terrific effort.
85) 160 vs. New Zealand, Hamilton, 2009 (Test match)
This is Tendulkar’s second Test ton in New Zealand, only this time it was a better effort from him since it came in a winning cause for India. In the first of the three match Test series at Hamilton, MS Dhoni won the toss and decided that the home team would bat first. New Zealand were bundled out for 279, while India made better use of the batting conditions. Sachin Tendulkar’s 160 came off only 260 balls, which included 26 boundaries as India reached a total of 520 all out in the first innings, gaining a 241 run lead in the first innings. That was critical in India’s going to win their first Test in New Zealand after close to three decades, by 10 wickets. India went to win the series as well by a 1-0 margin. Tendulkar was named man of the match for this century of his.
86) 138 vs. Sri Lanka, Colombo, 2009 (ODI match)
In the final of the triangular series also featuring New Zealand, India were playing hosts Sri Lanka at the Rangiri Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. India won the toss and elected to bat first, and the stage was set for a big Sachin Tendulkar innings. It took him 133 balls to get to a score of 138. It was not that aggressive an innings, but more skilful with the deft shots that he played off the slow bowlers in particular. Tendulkar himself rates this as ‘one of my best innings’ as it took India to an extremely fine total of 319/5 after 50 overs. Sri Lanka were bowled out for 273, giving India a 46 run win and Tendulkar was man of the match for helping his team win another final. He was also declared man of the series for his phenomenal run scoring throughout the tournament.
87) 175 vs. Australia, Hyderabad, 2009 (ODI match)
Right after a successful ICC Champions Trophy campaign for Australia in South Africa, the world champions entered India for a seven match series. But they were a depleted lot since several of their star players were injured and had to head home consequently. Hence, this was India’s best chance to win an ODI series at home against Australia. They could have won their third game of the series at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad as Sachin Tendulkar, as in the 90s almost singlehandedly won India a lost game. Australia batted first and hammered 350 runs in their 50 overs, courtesy a Shaun Marsh century.
But Sachin did not think that the task of chasing 351 was impossible as he decided to calculatively attack the Australians right from the word go. He hit an outstanding 175 off just 141 balls, hitting 19 fours and 4 sixes which thoroughly entertained the Hyderabad crowd. But he was dismissed in the 48th over by Clint McKay, the fast bowler and that sealed the game for India. This 3 run defeat was reminiscent to that of Chennai 1999 against Pakistan and with this win, Australia took a 3-2 series lead. Sachin was named man of the match despite another ton of his going in vain but this was by far one of the best ODI innings of the year 2009 and perhaps of all time.
88) 100 not out vs. Sri Lanka, Ahmedabad, 2009 (Test match)
Sri Lanka came back for a full tour of India after a span of four years and this was the first of the three Test series, played at Motera in Ahmedabad. On what was another ‘highway road’ of a pitch, Sachin Tendulkar shockingly missed out on an opportunity for a big score in the first innings as he was given out for 4. But as he has in the past, he made up for that failure in the second innings with an exceptional 100 off just 211 balls, remaining unbeaten till the time it was decided that the match would be a draw. India finished with 426/4 in the second innings, ending a high-scoring match. Perhaps, Sri Lanka might have sniffed victory if it was not for Sachin’s century.
89) 105 not out vs. Bangladesh, Chittagong, 2010 (Test match)
Sachin Tendulkar’s 45th Test hundred came in the first Test match against Bangladesh in the beginning of 2010. On a pitch where most of the Indian batsmen struggled, it was Sachin like it has been so many times, who reveled in the conditions as he devalued the Bangladeshi bowling attack with his 105, remaining unbeaten till the last Indian wicket fell at the score of 243. He hit 11 fours and 2 sixes in his 166 ball knock. Tendulkar did not contribute much in the second innings, but that century was important in handing over India a convincing 114 run win, giving them a 1-0 series lead. Sachin added another man of the match to what must already be his glittering cabinet of trophies and awards.
90) 143 vs. Bangladesh, Mirpur, 2010 (Test match)
In the following Test match at Mirpur, Sachin Tendulkar scored his second consecutive Test hundred in as many matches to find his prime yet again. It was as if 1998 had returned, but this was a better Sachin the world was seeing. Bangladesh batted first and were bowled out for 233. In reply, India had ample of time to post a sizeable total on the board and Sachin Tendulkar decided to make it his own. He put up a 222 run partnership for the third wicket with Rahul Dravid as he smashed 143 runs off just 182 balls, hitting 13 fours and 1 six in the process. With that, India declared their first innings at a score of 544/8. India went on to win by 10 wickets and take the series 2-0.
91) 100 vs. South Africa, Nagpur, 2010 (Test match)
The first of the two Test series which was billed as the ‘world championship clash’ since India was ranked No.1 and South Africa were not far behind by being ranked No.2, was held in Nagpur. South Africa had the upper hand in the first innings with 558 runs on the board and Sachin had failed miserably as India were shot out for 233 in the first innings. But come the second innings and a much better Indian batting performance was to be seen. This was only because of Sachin Tendulkar’s 100 which came off 179 balls and gave India some hope that they could set South Africa a respectable target. But by the time he was dismissed, India’s hopes crashed and the visitors took a 1-0 lead in the series by winning by an innings and 6 runs.
92) 106 vs. South Africa, Kolkata, 2010 (Test match)
This was one of Sachin Tendulkar’s Test centuries which was forgotten very quickly because of three other centurions in the first innings of the Test, namely Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman and MS Dhoni. Tendulkar’s contribution was a 106 off 206 balls which helped in taking India’s score to a mammoth 643/6 declared after South Africa posted a total of 296 in the first innings, batting first. The effort was eventually good enough as India won the Test by an innings and 57 runs and squared the series in grand style, 1-1. India remained the Worlds No.1 Test team as a result.
93) 200 not out vs. South Africa, Gwalior, 2010 (ODI match)
The Little Master’s 46th ODI century and easily the ‘magnum opus’ innings of his life. Nobody would have ever thought that scoring 200 would be possibly by any batsman in a one-day international and especially Sachin Tendulkar doing it was hard to fathom. But Tendulkar made the impossible possible by creating history and being the first batsman on the planet to achieve this feat. It was completed against a potent South African attack in the second ODI at Gwalior on February 24, 2010 off just 147 balls and he fittingly remained not out till the end of the innings. His innings involved as many as 25 fours and 3 sixes.
India reached a total of 401/3 after 50 overs because of this innings and won by 153 runs. India won the series 2-1, and it was only after 18 months that another Indian, Virender Sehwag broke this record by smashing 219 at Indore against the West Indies.
94) 203 vs. Sri Lanka, Colombo, 2010 (Test match)
This was Sachin Tendulkar’s fifth Test century of the year 2010. It was in the second Test of the three match series against Sri Lanka, at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground in Colombo. On what was another featherbed of a pitch, India replied well to Sri Lanka’s 642 in the first innings. Tendulkar hit 203 runs in 347 balls, and the innings involved 23 fours and 1 six. With Suresh Raina scoring a century on debut, India managed to reach a total of 707 all out, getting a lead of 65 runs in the first innings. The match was a high scoring draw with Sri Lanka still leading the series, 1-0.
95) 214 vs. Australia, Bangalore, 2010 (Test match)
Tendulkar’s glorious run in 2010 continued, especially as India were playing their Test matches in the Indian subcontinent. Yet, this is not to take away the credit from him as he batted extremely well for his 214 in the first innings of the second Test of the 2010 Border Gavaskar Trophy against Australia at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. He put on 308 runs for the third wicket with Murali Vijay, and his innings involved 22 fours and 2 sixes, coming at a strike rate of 58.95. India gained a narrow 17 run lead in the first innings, bowled out for 495. Tendulkar also hit an unbeaten fifty in the second innings to ensure a clean sweep of Australia, and India winning the Border Gavaskar Trophy by a 2-0 margin.
96) 111 not out vs. South Africa, Centurion, 2010 (Test match) – 50th Test CEntury
The biggest achievement perhaps in the history of the game! Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar became the first man to score 50 Test centuries, a record which is unlikely to be broken in the future, considering the small amount of Test matches played these days.
The 50th Test ton came against South Africa in the second innings of the first Test match at Centurion. India were trying to erase a deficit of 485 runs in the first innings and Sachin Tendulkar stayed right till the end, scoring 111 in 241 balls. India eventually lost the Test match by an innings and 25 runs, but this was a special moment for the sure for the little albeit the Big Man from India.
97) 146 vs. South Africa, Cape Town, 2011 (Test match)
The last of his Test hundreds, but this is just for the moment. His 51st Test century was also against South Africa and it came in the final and the New Years Test of 2011 at Cape Town. Those were perfect batting conditions that Sachin made great use of. South Africa were boosted by Jacques Kallis’ hundred to reach 362. Sachin matched that effort with his 146 off 314 balls, which took India to a total of 364, and as a result MS Dhoni and co. gained a narrow 2 run lead.
However, South Africa batted for the draw and the series was squared at 1-1. This might have been Sachin’s last Test in South Africa, so this was a special way to end the tour.
98) 120 vs. England, Bangalore, 2011 (ODI match)
This century came in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, in a group game in Bangalore. India was taking on England, and MS Dhoni won the toss and chose to bat first on a placid pitch. This was one of Sachin’s most controlled centuries as he was defensive, yet aggressive in his approach which is a hallmark of a classy batsman. It involved 10 fours and 5 sixes, and perhaps no batsman in ODIs had treated the off spinner Graeme Swann that badly as he did that day. His 120 came off 115 balls and took India to a competitive total of 338. The match eventually ended in a thrilling tie.
99) 111 vs. South Africa, Nagpur, 2011 (ODI match)
The Master Blaster’s sixth World Cup hundred and his 99th international century. It was once again South Africa and the venue was Nagpur. Only this time, it was an ODI and that too in a World Cup. His 111 runs came off only 101 balls, at a strike rate of 109.90 and featured 8 fours and 3 sixes. It took India finally to a total of 296, but South Africa astonishingly chased down the target successfully, winning by 3 wickets with 2 balls to spare.
100) 114 vs. Bangladesh, Mirpur, 2012 (ODI match)
And finally the biggest of them all! After an agonizingly long wait for 370 days for Sachin Tendulkar to get to that magical landmark of 100 international hundreds, he finally achieves it in an Asia Cup round-robin match against hosts Bangladesh in Mirpur. This may not be one of Sachin’s best ever hundreds, but it is a crucial one in the history of the game as this is a landmark which may never be achieved by any batsman in the future.
This was his 49th ODI century and surprisingly his first ODI hundred against Bangladesh. Unfortunately, his century was shattered by a collective and courageous batting effort from the home team, leading to an upset 5 wicket win against India.
Here is a Sachin Tendulkar, where comes another? ‘Cometh the hour, cometh the man’ is what describes the little genius from Mumbai over the last 22 years. May he continue to give us unlimited joy as long as he graces the cricket field.