Sachin at 50: Each of Tendulkar's 100 international hundreds - Part 3

Apr 24, 2023 06:36 PM IST

The great Sachin Tendulkar turns 50 today, and on this momentous occasion, we bring you some detail of the one statistic that became synonymous with his career.

On the occasion of Sachin Tendulkar's 50th birthday, we take a look at his 100 centuries for India spanning from 1990 to 2012. We will be turning back the clock and celebrating Tendulkar’s centuries in five segments – Part 1: 1990-1995, Part 2: 1996-1998, Part 3 1999-2001, Part 4: 2002-2007, and Part 5: 2008-2012.

Sachin Tendulkar's Chennai epic will forever remain immortal.(Getty)
Sachin Tendulkar's Chennai epic will forever remain immortal.(Getty)

Read Part 2 here

Part 3: 1999-2001

No 39: 136 vs Pakistan, Chennai, January 28-31, 1999 (Test #18)

Many stirring chapters can be written on Tendulkar's century in the fourth innings of the iconic Test between India and Pakistan at Chepauk in 1999. In a match that will go down as one of the greatest ever, Tendulkar produced a knock of equally great significance. Chasing 271 in the fourth innings, India were 6/2 when Tendulkar arrived at the crease.

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In the oppressive heat and humidity of Chennai, Tendulkar negotiated the challenge of a formidable Pakistan attack superbly to take India to the cusp of victory. Towards the latter stages of his innings though, he was battling cramps and back spasms. With India needing 17 runs and four wickets in hand, a tired shot against Saqlain Mushtaq resulted in his dismissal, Wasim Akram seemingly waiting for an eternity to catch the ball at mid-off.

The next three Indian wickets fell for just four runs as Pakistan clinched a 12-run victory. The sporting Chepauk crowd gave the Pakistanis a standing ovation at the end of the game. A tearful Tendulkar, though, was unable to come to terms with the disappointment. He won the Player of the Match award despite being on the losing side but chose to stay back in the dressing room during the presentation.

No 40: 124* vs Sri Lanka, Colombo, February 24-28, 1999 (Test #19)

In the second game of the Asian Test Championship against Sri Lanka in Colombo, Tendulkar made the most of excellent batting conditions. He scored a 54-ball 53 in India's first innings total of 518/7 declared. In their second innings, he remained unbeaten on 124 after playing 235 deliveries.

With both teams racking up the runs though, the match ended in a tame draw. It was in sharp contrast to the preceding three Tests that India played in quick succession against Pakistan, where each of the matches produced a decisive outcome.

No 41: 140* vs Kenya, Bristol, May 23, 1999 (ODI #22)

This was another significant century in Tendulkar’s career, for it came just days after his father died.

India were off to a poor start in the 1999 ODI World Cup in England. They lost their first match of the tournament to South Africa and needed to get back on track with victories in the next two games against Zimbabwe and Kenya.

Sachin Tendulkar's 140 shortly after his father's passing will remain his most emotional century. (Getty)
Sachin Tendulkar's 140 shortly after his father's passing will remain his most emotional century. (Getty)

But before the Zimbabwe game, personal tragedy forced the then 26-year-old to return to India. The Indian team, which was heavily reliant on Tendulkar those days, lost the match to Zimbabwe and was staring at the exit door in the World Cup.

Tendulkar, however, showed immense courage and returned to England in time for the third game against Kenya.

Asked to bat first, India were 90/2 in 20.5 overs. Tendulkar was batting in the middle order then and came to the crease at No 4. The Bristol crowd gave him a warm applause and he went on to treat them with a special knock, and then raise his bat to the heavens to salute his father.

Rahul Dravid, who scored an unbeaten 104 off 109 at No 3, and Tendulkar put together an unbroken partnership of 237 runs for the third wicket. The Master Blaster was not out on 140 off 101 with 16 fours and three sixes.

India posted a massive total of 329/2 before restricting Kenya to 235/7 to complete a 94-run win. Tendulkar was declared the player of the match.

No 42: 120 vs Sri Lanka, Colombo, August 29, 1999 (ODI #23)

It was the Aiwa Cup with India, Australia and hosts Sri Lanka in competition. Tendulkar was back as captain but India were having a horrid run in the series as they lost their first three matches – two against Australia and one against Sri Lanka.

In their last match, they faced Sri Lanka again and posted a 23-run win (D/L method) but it wasn’t enough to take them to the final.

Asked to bat first, Tendulkar, who was back at the top of the order, scored 120 runs from 141 deliveries with 11 fours and two sixes. Sourav Ganguly hit a 72-ball 85 at No 4 as India finished with 296/4.

Sri Lanka got a 105-run opening stand but India fought back well to restrict the hosts to 247/9 in 42 overs.

No 43: 126* vs New Zealand, Mohali, October 10-14, 1999 (Test #20)

In the first innings of this Test, India were surprisingly shot out for 83. Seamer Dion Nash inflicted maximum damage with figures of 6/27 in 11 overs. It is difficult to even salvage a draw from such a position, but India managed to do so thanks to Tendulkar and Dravid's hundreds in the second innings. Tendulkar scored an unbeaten 126 while Dravid hit 144 as India scored 505/3 declared in their second innings. Each of the Indian batters passed fifty.

Chasing 374 in the fourth innings, New Zealand were 251/7 when the two teams settled for a draw.

No 44: 217 vs New Zealand, Ahmedabad, October 29-November 2, 1999 (Test #21)

A tad surprising perhaps, but it was 10 years into his Test career that Tendulkar brought up his maiden double ton in international cricket. Unlike Brian Lara, Tendulkar's rival for the tag of the best batsman in the 1990s, the Indian batting maestro was unable to rack up 'daddy hundreds' in the first half of his career.

He finally broke the hoodoo against New Zealand, hitting 217 off only 344 balls in the first innings of the third Test in Ahmedabad. Sadagoppan Ramesh and Sourav Ganguly also brought up their centuries in India's first innings.

The hosts were unable to push for a victory though as New Zealand batted out 95 overs while losing only two wickets in the fourth innings to ensure a draw.

No 45: 186* vs New Zealand, Hyderabad, November 8, 1999 (ODI #24)

Another unforgettable knock by the Master Blaster. More than a decade before he became the first man to hit an ODI double century, he registered what would go down as the second-highest ODI score of his career.

This match is also remembered for the sensational 331-run partnership between Tendulkar and Dravid – which was the highest stand for any wicket in ODI cricket at that time.

New Zealand toured India for three Tests and five ODIs in 1999. The hosts won the Test series 1-0, while the ODI series was locked at 2-2heading into the final match of the tour.

India won the toss and opted to bat first in the fifth ODI. Sourav Ganguly fell early but from 10/1 in 1.4 overs, Tendulkar and Dravid got together for one of the most memorable partnerships in cricket history. Tendulkar remained unbeaten on 186 off 150 with 20 fours and three sixes, while Dravid scored a run-a-ball 153 – which remained his highest ODI score.

India posted a mammoth total of 376/2 before bowling out the Kiwis for 202 in 33.1 overs to bag a 174-run win.

No 46: 116 vs Australia, Melbourne, December 26-30, 1999 (Test #22)

Few things clicked for India on this tour of Australia. They were hammered by the Aussies in each of the three Tests, the victory margins being 285 runs, 180 runs, and an innings and 141 runs. Tendulkar, however, ensured his individual standards didn't drop.

In the second Test of the series at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, he was adjudged the Player of the Match after scoring 116 in the first innings and 52 in the second. His century came in a total of 238, clearly not enough to challenge Australia's score of 405. The second-highest score in India's first innings was 31 by Sourav Ganguly.

No 47: 122 vs South Africa, Vadodara, March 17, 2000 (ODI #25)

After 14 ODI innings without a ton, this was Tendulkar crossing the three-figure mark for the first time after the turn of the millennium.

South Africa swept the Test series 2-0 before India won two of the first three ODIs in the five-match series. The fourth ODI ended up being a thriller, and it was Tendulkar’s century that guided India towards the finish line.

The visitors won the toss and opted to bat first in Vadodara. Gary Kirsten (72) and Jacques Kallis (81) stuck in and took their team to 282/5. In reply, Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly (87) put on a 153-run opening stand but once the latter was dismissed, India didn’t get any worthwhile contribution apart from Mohammad Azharuddin’s 39 at No 4.

Eventually, it was Tendulkar’s 122 off 138, with 12 fours, that took the hosts home. He got out in the 46th over as India finished with 283/6 in 49.5 overs.

No 48: 101 vs Sri Lanka, Sharjah, October 20, 2000 (ODI #26)

It was the Champions Trophy with India competing alongside Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe in Sharjah.

Sourav Ganguly was the captain now and he won the toss and opted to bat first. Tendulkar fought a lone battle and got out in the 47th over, finishing with 101 runs off 140 deliveries, with three fours and a six, to help his team get to 224/8. Four of the eight Indian wickets that fell were run-outs. The second-highest individual score in the innings was 35 by Robin Singh. No other batter even got to 20.

In reply, Sri Lanka were in a spot of bother at 21/2 but finished with 225/5 in 43.5 overs.

No 49: 122 vs Zimbabwe, Delhi, November 18-22, 2000 (Test #23)

This was a period in international cricket when Zimbabwe couldn't be construed as lightweight opponents. Andy Flower was in irresistible form, scoring a mountain of runs against India's bowlers.

So when India batted in their first innings, they were responding to Zimbabwe's total of 422/9 declared. The hosts came up with a solid riposte thanks to Tendulkar's 122 and Rahul Dravid's 200. Once India scored 458/4 declared to overtake Zimbabwe's total, the pressure was on the visitors. The Heath Streak-led team was bowled out for 225 in its second innings, enabling India to chase down 190 for the loss of just three wickets and take a 1-0 series lead.

No 50: 201* vs Zimbabwe, Nagpur, November 25-29, 2000 (Test #24)

Roughly a year after his maiden double ton in Test cricket, Tendulkar added to his tally with an unbeaten 201 against Zimbabwe. The milestone was on one of the most placid surfaces though. Tendulkar's double ton aside, Rahul Dravid and Shiv Sunder Das scored 162 and 110 respectively. With India compiling 609/6 declared in their first innings, the Zimbabweans needed to respond.

While Grant Flower's unbeaten 106 helped Zimbabwe reach 382 in their first innings, it was in their second innings that they really flourished. Andy, the senior Flower, thwarted the Indian bowlers with an unbeaten 232 on a pitch that didn't deteriorate over the five days. The match ended in a draw. It's not often that Tendulkar is overshadowed with the bat, but Andy Flower probably managed to do so on this occasion.

No 51: 146 vs Zimbabwe, Jodhpur, December 8, 2000 (ODI #27)

Zimbabwe toured India in late 2000 for two Tests and five ODIs, with the hosts winning the Test series 1-0 and the ODIs 4-1. The only game that the visitors won was the third ODI, which also saw a Tendulkar century.

In terms of India’s batting in that third ODI, it was a familiar story as the Master Blaster did the heavy lifting. Sourav Ganguly won the toss and opted to bat first but the majority of the top order batters walked back with single digit scores.

While Tendulkar smashed 146 off 153, with 15 fours and two sixes, Zaheer Khan’s 11-ball 32* at No 10 propelled the team to 283/8.

It ended up being a thrilling match in Jodhpur as the Flower brothers – Andy and Grant – helped Zimbabwe win with one wicket and one ball to spare. Andy hit 77 off 106 while Grant scored 70 off 94 as they added a 158-run partnership for the fourth wicket.

No 52: 126 vs Australia, Chennai, March 18-22, 2001 (Test #25)

While VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid achieved immortal status after their 376-run partnership in the second Test at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, Tendulkar played his part in India's epoch-defining series victory by making 126 in the third Test at MA Chidambaram Stadium — one of his most favourite venues. His innings paved the way for India to claim a 110-run first innings lead.

The surface was probably the best to bat on during India's first innings, and Tendulkar duly capitalised to produce a crucial knock.

After missing out on a three-figure score in the first two Tests in Mumbai and Kolkata, Tendulkar must have been itching to come to the fore. He did, capping off a 2-1 series win.

No 53: 139 vs Australia, Indore, March 31, 2001 (ODI #28)

This was that famous Australian tour of India when the hosts fought back in Kolkata and Chennai to win the Test series. The two teams played a five-match ODI series after that and in the third game, Tendulkar registered another century.

This was no ordinary ton, though, as the legend completed 10,000 runs in ODI cricket in this game.

It was fitting that Sachin Tendulkar's 10000th ODI run came against Australia.(Getty)
It was fitting that Sachin Tendulkar's 10000th ODI run came against Australia.(Getty)

Australia won the toss and opted to field first. India lost the wicket of Rahul Dravid early but Tendulkar and VVS Laxman (83 off 88) went on to add a 199-run stand for the second wicket. The Master Blaster didn’t hit a single six in his innings but smashed 19 fours in his 125-ball 139.

India posted a formidable total of 299/8 before delivering an impressive bowling performance to clean up the Australian for 181 in 35.5 overs.

No 54: 122* vs West Indies, Harare, July 4, 2001 (ODI #29)

Zimbabwe hosted India and West Indies for the Coca-Cola Cup in 2001. Tendulkar played a key role as India won their first three matches in the tournament – two against Zimbabwe and one against West Indies – to book their spot in the final.

Their fourth game, a dead rubber, was versus the West Indies, and it saw the Master Blaster hit an unbeaten ton in a run chase.

Sourav Ganguly won the toss in Harare and elected to field first. Daren Ganga and Wavell Hinds hit half-centuries but West Indies could only manage 229/5.

In reply, Ganguly (62 off 87) and Tendulkar put on a 133-run partnership for the first wicket to put the visitors in the driver’s seat. India slowed down thereafter but finished with 230/4 in 48.1 overs to complete a six-wicket win.

Tendulkar batted through with 122 runs from 131 deliveries, with 12 fours and a six.

No 55: 101 vs South Africa, Johannesburg, October 5, 2001 (ODI #30)

It was the opening match of a triangular series between India, Kenya and hosts South Africa.

Tendulkar had been out of action for two months but wasted little time in getting back to form.

South Africa put India in to bat first and the visitors got another big opening stand thanks to Ganguly and Tendulkar. The duo added 193 runs for the first wicket as Ganguly slammed a 126-ball 127. Tendulkar wasn’t his explosive self this time and finished with 101 runs from 129 deliveries with nine fours and no six.

India put a decent total of 279/5 but the hosts managed to chase it down with six wickets and 10 balls to spare. Kirsten opened the innings and batted through for a brilliant 133* off 155.

No 56: 146 vs Kenya, Paarl, October 24, 2001 (ODI #31)

Sourav Ganguly and Co were up against Kenya in their sixth game of the triangular series and needed a win to set up a final versus South Africa. And they ended up getting the job done in emphatic fashion.

Opting to bat first, Tendulkar and Ganguly posted a mammoth 258-run partnership for the first wicket. The left-hander hit a 124-ball 111, while the Master Blaster scored 146 runs off 132 deliveries with 17 fours.

India finished with 351/3, as Virender Sehwag smashed a 23-ball 55* at No 3, before restricting Kenya to 165/5 to complete a 186-run win.

No 57: 155 vs South Africa, Bloemfontein, November 3-6, 2001 (Test #26)

While the series in South Africa in 2001 ended in agony for Tendulkar after ball-tampering allegations were levelled on him and five other India players, resulting in the third Test becoming an unofficial game, he began the tour with a first-innings ton in Bloemfontein.

Sent in to bat by the hosts, India were sinking at 68/4 when Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag got together. Sehwag was playing his first Test, but it didn't seem so as the two players matched each other stroke for stroke. Sehwag had idolised Tendulkar while growing up, and there was more than a shade of the Little Master in the former's shot-making.

They stitched together a 220-run partnership for the fifth wicket. While Sehwag scored 105 off 173 balls, Tendulkar hit 155 in 184 balls. That Tendulkar scored runs quicker than Sehwag was not something that anybody could manage for the rest of the Delhi player's career.

Despite their centuries, South Africa were too strong in Bloemfontein, clinching a nine-wicket victory to go 1-0 up in the series.

No 58: 103 vs England, Ahmedabad, December 11-15, 2001 (Test #27)

During this home series, England captain Nasser Hussain attempted to frustrate Tendulkar by employing left-arm spinner Ashley Giles from over the wicket. While England may have succeeded in slowing down Tendulkar's scoring rate, they weren't able to keep a check on his runs. He scored 88 in the first Test in Mohali before making 103 in the first innings of the second Test in Ahmedabad.

Responding to England's first innings total of 407, Tendulkar's 103 helped India reach 291. The only other notable contribution for the hosts was VVS Laxman's 75. The match ended in a draw as India, who were set a target of 374, reached 198/3 after 97 overs in the fourth innings.

Read Part 4 here

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    Vivek Krishnan is a sports journalist who enjoys covering cricket and football among other disciplines. He wanted to be a cricketer himself but has gladly settled for watching and writing on different sports.

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