ODI batting winner February 19, 2010

Hyderabad heartbreaker

Tendulkar's 175 was the sort of innings that just had to win, but fate had other plans

Best ODI Batting Performance

Sachin Tendulkar
175 v Australia
fifth ODI, Hyderabad

In the most important one-day match of his career, Sachin Tendulkar was out for four as India tried to chase down a mammoth Australian total of 359. Six years later, in a game of admittedly less significance than the World Cup final, he found himself at the crease with his team once again needing more than 350 for victory. Again, India fell agonisingly short, but this time it wasn't for lack of a contribution from its talisman.

By his exceptionally high standards, the first four games of the series had not been a success. But here, having started in circumspect fashion against Ben Hilfenhaus and Doug Bollinger, Tendulkar opened out to play some delightful strokes. He had eased to 10 from 19 balls when the first four came, a neat loft over mid-off against Hilfenhaus. And once Bollinger was pulled and then carved over point, Tendulkar was well into his shot-making stride.

It didn't help that wickets started to fall at the other end. Virender Sehwag departed after an entertaining cameo, while Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh both failed. But far from making him withdraw into a shell, the reverses only appear to spur Tendulkar on. Shane Watson was pulled for six over midwicket and Nathan Hauritz hoisted over the straight boundary twice in an over. By the time MS Dhoni fell, with the score on 162, Tendulkar had already raced to 95 from just 75 deliveries.

It took him six more deliveries to bring up his 45th century, and ninth against Australia, but it was clear that India would need an innings of substance from the other end if such an imposing score was to be overhauled. That supporting hand came from Suresh Raina, and with Tendulkar hitting the ball powerfully in the V and adding a few deft touches here and there, the asking rate was whittled down.

On 135, he got a life, when Michael Hussey was unable to latch on to a drive that was punched straight back at him. An edged four off Hilfenhaus merely added to the belief that it might be Tendulkar's day, and soon after, a thrash through the covers off Hussey saw him to 150 from just 122 balls. Raina was doing his part, combining quick singles with hefty blows, but it was Tendulkar who had the crowd roaring, with cute glances and a peachy off-drive off Hilfenhaus.

Then, with just over a run a ball needed and the partnership worth 137, Raina fell. No matter. Ravindra Jadeja came in and mowed a couple of deliveries over the infield, and suddenly it was down to 19 needed from the last 18 balls. Enter Clint McKay, the debutant who Tendulkar had already taken for 24 from 24 balls. He opened with a slower ball and Tendulkar went for the scoop over fine leg, having shuffled across his stumps. The extra bounce undid him, though, and as Hauritz held on at short fine leg, some of the Australians celebrated as though they had already won.

They had; the remaining batsmen were unable to see India home. By the time he trudged off, drained and desperately disappointed, Tendulkar had faced 141 balls for his 175. His 36-year-old legs had scampered 56 singles, eight twos and even a three. It was the sort of innings that deserved to win a game. Unfortunately, like one of his greatest Test knocks, the 136 against Pakistan in Chennai, it became another what-might-have-been story.

Dileep Premachandran is an associate editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Neil on February 28, 2010, 16:36 GMT

    I don't get it. This article is about the Greatest batsman that ever walked the earth. If some ppl (the tiny minority) don't like Tendulkar for whatever warped private reasons -that's fine - Simply buzz off from here and switch off the TV when he's playing.Simple!...But no- these ppl won't do it- they will watch and keep pouring out their deep psycological problems coz deep down they know they are watching a once in a century player.

  • Rohan on February 28, 2010, 13:26 GMT

    @raja fren. What a joke! you've taken what warney said about tendulkar and put in whoever you like! ha ha -funny. several comments below say it better than i can. suffice it to say that if you can take one or two inn. out of hundreds (and that too ones with huge slices of luck like the one u mention) and hold them up as some sortreason for being "better' then you seriously need to go back to cricket class 101.

  • K. on February 28, 2010, 8:49 GMT

    And let's not even bring ODIs into the picture. I'll risk sounding like a troll and say that it's ludicrous to me that anyone would look beyond Sachin as the greatest player in limited overs history. He has 32 hundreds in winning causes, has made runs eveywhere and in real pressure cooker situations (he averages 56 with 6 hundreds in ODI finals v Ponting's 38 or Lara's 28). The closest anyone comes in the ODI greatness stakes is Viv Richards, and Tendulkar has 10,000 more runs (say it out loud - TEN THOUSAND), at a marginally (45 v 47) lower average and marginally lower strike rate. So, please, I beg of you fine folks, end this Sachin v Lara debate once and for all. I'll get an aneurysm if I have to listen any more about Brian Lara winning more matches (all eight of them) or having been a better batsman than Sachin.

  • K. on February 28, 2010, 8:48 GMT

    I think Brian Lara, bless his heart, was a great batsman. But he is held in such high regard partly because of his swashbuckling style and the fact that his highest notes were higher than anyone else's. The truth is that he was nowhere near as consistently good as Tendulkar has been and still is. Consider this. In 4th innings, Brian averaged 2 runs lower than Sachin, and has 8 hundreds in winning causes vs Sachin's 18. And apart from the 153*, he has done virtually nothing in 4th innings chases. But that innings has always been cited in a "what has sachin done?" argument. Before Sachin buried the idiots at Chennai last year, of course.

  • Dummy4 on February 26, 2010, 9:02 GMT

    @Rohan1 hmm..now this section is more of verbal volleys between us two. my serve 1.Tamim iqbal was indeed OUT.my oversight.-not digging to see if anyone else is thr. 2.I was not comparing Gibbs and Sachin-was saying to me gibbs' 170 is the best ODI innings ever atleast in the last 10 years or so..otherwise kapil dev's 175* when the side was 5/25 Richards' 184* those wil stand the test of time. 3.I NEVER EVER SAID SACHIN IS THE GREATEST BATSMAN EVER-THAT IS LIKE COMMITTING ABSOLUTE BLASPHEMY TO ME. 1.BRIAN LARA 2.DAYLIGHT 3.SACHIN 4+REST ALL....PERIOD. like i said sachin "accumulates", brian "dominated" bowlers all when the mortals at the other end were struggling to ut bat to ball..

    ps: since ur an ardent sachin fan..congrats on sachin's 200* (not to mention sachin's sharjah knocks are still my fav above this 200-200 could be the highest but not the best..to give u a parallel brian lara 400* is the highest but his best is 153* chasing 309 at Barbados.Next is his maiden ton-277 ch3rs

  • Rohan on February 24, 2010, 13:56 GMT

    And one last thing since i couldnt resist ,gibbs was 170 out of some 434 with PLENTY of support the other end. And by the way if u or anyone can seriously compare gibss,iqbal and the likes with tendulkar u need to get yourself checked up pronto.Cheers.

  • Rohan on February 24, 2010, 13:54 GMT

    @raja fren: and so i checked. Tamim iqbal was OUT in that inn. you mention. did u even read my previous comment? it was to ppl harping about "carrying your bat" thru the inn. The ONLY 150 NO score chasing 300 plus in ODI history is gambhirs. NO opener has done as well as Tendulkar. That is what i mean- not only is Tendulkar supposed to behave like an opener- with a decisive start,then u ppl expect him to consolidate AND finish! what is wrong with u ppl?

  • Rohan on February 24, 2010, 13:36 GMT

    @raja fren: so nice to know u are now actually looking things up. part of my goal has been accomplished. you know what they say" give a man a fish and u feed him for a day, teach him how to fish....". But good to know we generally agree that Tendulkar is the Greatest batsman of all time (with due rgds to tamim iqbal)..and if i may add since uve been watching tendulkar from the "beginning" and cannot remember too many great knocks, perhaps u should get things like memory etc checked up?

  • Dummy4 on February 23, 2010, 13:55 GMT

    @Rohan1 And here's another noticeable stat- the ONLY unbeaten 150 + score when chasing a target of 300+ in the HISTORY of ODIs was by Gambhir (At No.3, 150* vs SL,2009).

    ever heard of tamim iqbal? he blasted 154* off 138 chasing 312 to win..thts a counter to the stats u produced i guess one is enuf..http://www.cricinfo.com/zimvbdesh2009/engine/match/410340.html good luck iwd ur remaining stats...ch3rs!

  • Dummy4 on February 23, 2010, 12:10 GMT

    @Rohan1 Pretty impressive.i do not have the time nor the inention to see if ur stats are correct. but may be u shud just go back and find out- how many of those 45 hundreds were single-handed-batsman winning knocks..and am afraid 200 is not a big score and ur only belittling sachin by using 200 use 300 may be for ur satisfaction...but again numbers dont revela everything..u can go check how many of those 45 100s' were set up by bowlers upfront..point is i have been watchin sachin since he scored his first few ODI hundreds and only knocks that wud overawe anyone is those sharjah tons. i dunno wats gambhir's 150 got to do wid here. check out gibbs' 170 in that ODI to me its the best innings ever..to even have a belief that u can chase downa target like that..man it takes something sanath's 150 in mumbai comes into mind and ofcourse gilly and pontngs' worldcup knocks..as somebody said sachin accumulates runs and he is worldclass at that..no one can deny that ignoramus or not..ch3rs!

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