Recalling Sachin Tendulkar’s 5 memorable ODI knocks on his retirement anniversary
Indian batting great Sachin Tendulkar had announced his retirement from One-Day Internationals (ODI) this day five years ago.Updated: Dec 23, 2017 18:50 IST
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Five years ago on this day, Sachin Tendulkar announced his retirement from One-Day Internationals (ODIs). Though Tendulkar played his last ODI against Pakistan in an Asia Cup match in Dhaka on March 18, 2012, he made the announcement nine months later, on December 23, 2012.
Tendulkar is considered the most successful batsman in the annals of ODIs as he holds the records for scoring most runs and centuries as well as appearances in the format.
In his 24-year career, the Mumbai batsman amassed 18,426 runs from a record 463 matches, averaging 44.83. He struck 49 centuries. Tendulkar, who finally realised his dream of winning the World Cup in 2011, scored a number of memorable knocks in his career.
Even five years after his retirement, these knocks remain fresh in the minds of cricket lovers. Here, we list five of the best.
1. 98 off 75 balls v Pakistan, Centurion, March 1, 2003
It was a big occasion. India up against Pakistan in a World Cup match. The game had a war-like build up as India were playing Pakistan after a long time. When Pakistan posted 273/7 batting first, Indian had their task cut out to chase down against the likes of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar.
However, the target proved a walk in the park in the end thanks to Tendulkar, who set it up with a 75-ball 98, after deciding to take first strike ahead of opening partner Virender Sehwag. His upper cut six off Shoaib was hailed as the shot of the World Cup. Though he missed out on a deserved century, the Pakistan pace attack never recovered.
2. 143 off 131 v Australia, Sharjah, April 22, 1998
The first of his two famous ‘desert storm’ hundreds, this knock came when India needed it the most. It was India’s last league match in a Tri-series at Sharjah. Australia posted 284/7 in 50 overs, and India needed win or score enough runs to surpass New Zealand’s net run rate (NRR) to qualify for the final.
In one of the great ODI knocks ever, Tendulkar single-handedly took India close to the target, smashing a top-drawer hundred. Though India lost, Tendulkar’s efforts ensured India bettered New Zealand’s NRR to set up a title clash with Australia. During the chase, the game had to be halted due to a sand storm, but Tendulkar never lost focus despite the stoppage. The real storm was whipped up by Tendulkar’s willow that night.
3. 134 off 131 v Australia, Sharjah, April 24, 1998
Two days after scoring a memorable hundred to take India into the final, Tendulkar played another unforgettable knock, scoring a 131-ball 134 to help India defeat Australia by six wickets to clinch the Tri-series title. What made this knock even more special was it came on his 25th birthday.
Australia posted 275/9, and given the attack they had, they would have hoped to defend the total this time around. But Tendulkar resumed from where he had left in the last match, toying with the Aussie attack again to take his team to victory.
4. 175 off 141 v Australia, Hyderabad, November 5, 2009
This Tendulkar masterclass came in a losing cause, but, it doesn’t make it less special. When Australia powered their way to 351/4, not many had much hope of an Indian win in the fifth of a seven-ODI series.
However, Tendulkar launched an amazing assault. He hit 19 fours and four sixes and nearly took India home on his own. However, once he was dismissed with India needing only 19 off 17 balls, Aussie bowlers mopped up the Indian tail to clinch a three-run win.
5. 117* off 120 v Australia, Sydney, March 2, 2008
Going into the 2008 Triseries (also featuring Sri Lanka), one thing missing from Tendulkar’s CV was an ODI hundred in Australia. And he chose a grand occasion to tick this box. In the first of ‘best-of-three’ finals against the then world champions, Tendulkar scored a majestic hundred to steer India to a six-wicket win. He produced another vital knock two days later, scoring 91 to help India post 258 in the second final. Praveen Kumar then ran through the Australia top order as MS Dhoni’s men registered a nine-run win to bring home the coveted trophy.
First Published: Dec 23, 2017 18:43 IST