Stuff that struck me while reading about Sachin Tendulkar’s nearly unbelievable* feat, most of which will be repeated everywhere I look over the next few days/weeks:
- On this day 21 years ago He completed a 664-run partnership with Kambli. Twenty-f*ckin-one.
- His 200 contained 25 boundaries (the most by a single batsman in an ODI till date) and 3 sixes. The entire RSA team innings (in reply) had 30 boundaries and 3 sixes.
- He has scored 93 international centuries (combining test and ODI cricket) until today. There was a time when He decimated an Australian team for a whole summer (yes, the great Sharjah innings), which was when I started believing that He would score over a 100 centuries before He retired. That day is nigh.
- His closest competitors today (in terms of statistics) have to currently make
- Tests: 1588 runs to catch up His total of 13447, 8 centuries to catch up His total of 47.
- ODIs: 4170 runs to catch up with 17598, 17 centuries to catch up with 46.
- He made an impeccable, near-perfect 175 while chasing Australia in Hyderabad last year.. only to have the Indian team let Him down and choke once He was out. I remember defending him when people said that the innings was typical Tendulkar – the century was great, but no use if He never finishes what He starts. I wonder if.. somehow.. RSA had successfully chased 400 (they’ve done it before), how sweet would this 200 be for the ungrateful Indian cricket fan?
- The fact that He does not make the ICC list of the best players of all-time in either Tests or ODIs has to now rank as one of the biggest egg-on-your-face (or idiotic) statements until date for the ICC. For a man who is redefining every batting record there is every time He takes guard, a man who has surpassed His contemporaries in both longevity and performance… I guess He doesn’t need the ranking to make His mark in cricket history.
I ask you, does He really have to worry about never lifting a World Cup on India’s behalf? Can we quit wondering aloud about His performance every time He doesn’t make a century?
Will we ever get over Him?
Side note: I noticed that the statistically top batsmen who are still playing cricket today are all 34+ (age in brackets): Jayasuriya (40), Ponting (35), Tendulkar (37), Gibbs (36), Kallis (34). This is to be expected, given the amount of cricket these people have played in their lifetime… but it appears the old guard is never going to make way for a new one.
*I say “nearly unbelievable”, because it is Sachin after all. One can believe that He can pull it off.**
**Yes, the capitalization of ‘H’ is intentional. God, after all.