155 against Australia in the 1998 Chennai Test Courtesy: Mid Day
It was one of those Tendulkar innings that had a huge impact on the outcome of the match. Tendulkar’s 191-ball masterclass, which included four sixes, 14 fours and a calculated assault on Shane Warne, changed the momentum of the match. Australia collapsed on the final day to lose by 179 runs, and India went on to win the series 2-1.
Tendulkar later revealed his preparation to counter Warne. “I thought getting used to that angle from Shane Warne was important. Before the Test, I not only practiced with Laxman Sivaramakrishnan but Nilesh Kulkarni and Sairaj Bahutule in Mumbai too. I clearly remember saying to my friends that Warne has not bowled a single ball round the wicket and I know that he will do it in the Test series,” Tendulkar said.
Double ton in ODI
At the age of 37, Tendulkar did the unthinkable when he played a stunning innings to score the first ever double hundred in the history of ODI cricket. His unbeaten 200 came off just 147 balls with 25 fours and three sixes against South Africa in Gwalior on February 24, 2010. A single off Charl Langeveldt in the final over helped Tendulkar reach the 200 mark as India posted its highest ODI total 401-3.
Tendulkar said he wasn’t thinking about a double ton. “I was striking the ball well, but I didn’t think of 200. All I did was continue with the flow. Even after scoring 100, I didn’t think of it. When I got close to 180 or so and there were eight to nine overs still to go, that’s when I realised I have a chance,” Tendulkar had told MiD DAY.
Winning the World Cup
April 2, 2011 will forever be etched in Tendulkar’s mind as he achieved his career’s biggest landmark in his sixth World Cup appearance.
In an interview to MiD DAY not long after the final against Sri Lanka, Tendulkar said: “Getting the trophy in our hands, and the popping of champagne (while talking about his most memorable moments of the celebrations).
“Also, when the team lifted me with the tricolour in my hand. That was the ultimate feeling.” Later on, he admitted that he could not hold back his tears of joy.
CB Series triumph in Australia, 2008
Tendulkar roared back into form when it mattered the most with a classy unbeaten 117 in the first final of the CB Series at his favourite Sydney Cricket Ground. He followed it up with a brilliant 91 at Brisbane in the second final to help India secure a historic ODI series win Down Under.
“My hundred in the first final at Sydney was satisfying but the second match in Brisbane was tough. We went to bed at 3 am in Sydney after a day-night game. I just could not sleep and woke up at 8 am to catch a morning flight. I was trying every possible thing to be fresh for the next day’s match,” he had said.
Match-winning 98 vs Pak in 2003 World Cup
It is arguably the best knock by Tendulkar in World Cups. The batting maestro laid the foundation for India’s win. The upper-cut to Shoaib Akhtar in the first over is still fresh in the minds of his fans.
Tendulkar, who played with a finger injury, admitted it was the biggest match of his career.
“It was the biggest of my life. The buzz over this match had started in 2002. The date was fixed that on March 1 India will play Pakistan. We had to win and I had started preparing for it much before about how I had to play that match,” Tendulkar said at a felicitation function.
Scoring 100 international tons
It was the godfather of all statistics when Tendulkar scored the 100th international ton of his batting career. The long and tiring wait finally ended on March 16, 2012 when he set off for a single against Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan to reach the coveted three-figure mark during the Asia Cup.
His 99th century had come against South Africa on March 12, 2011 at Nagpur during the World Cup. Tendulkar recently revealed how he felt after the momentous hundred. “I was not jumping or celebrating (after scoring 100th international ton). My first question to God was why did it take so long? Where did I go wrong? With a billion plus people waiting for this, it shouldn’t have taken so long,” Tendulkar said.
First Test hundred
Firsts are always special. It was one of the first highs for Tendulkar in his batting career when he scored his maiden Test ton at Old Trafford in 1990.
Tendulkar fondly recalled that moment. “Manoj Prabhakar helped me with some determined batting at the other end. I was not at all surprised by what he did that day because I had played with him earlier and I knew that he was a terrific competitor. We prevented England from winning,” Tendulkar told MiD DAY.
1998’s sandstorm hundred in Sharjah against Australia
The two back-to-back hundreds against Australia in Sharjah, 1998 remain one of his best tons in ODIs. In the first (143 off 131), Tendulkar had to overcome a sudden middle-order collapse, an increasing asking rate and a desert storm to produce a gem of an innings that helped India qualify for the final. In the final, Tendulkar produced another heroic innings of 134 runs on his 25th birthday to successfully chase down Australia’s 272 in the final.
Tendulkar later highlighted the similarities between his Sharjah efforts and the two special knocks in the 2008 tri-series finals in Australia in terms of how small a gap there was between the two matches of each of these series, which made it very difficult on the body.
Winning the Titan Cup in 1996
It was definitely one of the highs of Tendulkar’s captaincy stints. In an interview to MiD DAY, Tendulkar revealed his strategy. “South Africa were playing terrific cricket. As captain I chose to have five fielders on the on side. I told Robin Singh not to bowl seam but cutters into the body and make them score everything on the on side. This was one low-scoring game that I can never forget,” he said.
Surpassing Gavaskar’s 35 Test tons record
A year's wait finally ended as Tendulkar scored his 35th Test century to surpass Sunil Gavaskar’s record for the most number of tons in the traditional format. Play was immediately stopped due to bad light soon after Tendulkar took the single to achieve the milestone against Sri Lanka at Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla in 2005.
Tendulkar was relieved after scoring that ton. “There was this pressure which was building up to go past Sunil Gavaskar in the Test century tally. The room service and housekeeping people in my hotel only spoke about me getting century No 35. I was glad and relieved when it happened because I could then start enjoying the game again,” Tendulkar told MiD DAY.
155 against Australia in the 1998 Chennai Test
Courtesy: Mid Day