Sachin Tendulkar December 19, 2010

Evolving Tendulkar remains India's best

When you next hear Tendulkar talk about wanting to get better, he is not merely dishing out a quote
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The way things have panned out in this Test it would seem nothing has changed. Another stirring hundred from Sachin Tendulkar is likely to be, barring a washout tomorrow, in a hopelessly losing cause. And once again, the personal landmark of India's favourite son will ease the pain of the failure of the team. Tendulkar's 50th hundred will make it to the front pages tomorrow while the story of impending defeat will remain in the back pages.

Of course many things have changed. India are no longer a one-man team. Whatever they have achieved in this decade, including reaching the No. 1 status in the ICC rankings, a feat unimaginable when Tendulkar started playing, is because they have had an outstanding bunch of players. But that he should, after 21 years, still be India's finest batsman in conditions that challenged all India batsmen, is almost as incredible as him getting to 50 Test hundreds.

In my memory it was John Wright who first spoke about 100 hundreds for Tendulkar. And he did it casually during a post-interview chat in February 2002. "It's down to him how he wants to bat, how much he wants to push the envelope," Wright, then India's coach, said. "I have told him he should go for 100 hundreds." It seemed almost fanciful then. Tendulkar's tally was 59 at that point, 28 in Tests and 31 in ODIs, and he was nearly 30. But nothing about Wright was ever fanciful; he must have known.

But could he have imagined that Tendulkar would have his most prolific year in international cricket eight years from then? There was time a couple of years ago when it seemed inevitable that Ricky Ponting will overtake Tendulkar both in career runs and Test hundreds. Ponting, a couple of years younger, now finds himself in an extended, and perhaps, unarrestable, decline, while Tendulkar has reeled off seven Test centuries and over 1500 runs since the beginning of the year with a Test to go.

Over the last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to discuss Tendulkar's batting with two players who have played alongside him and count among the sharpest observers in the game. Sanjay Manjrekar pointed out how Tendulkar had managed to so tighten his game that he now had the best defensive technique among the batsmen he had watched. Rahul Dravid, who shares with Tendulkar the record for most century partnerships, spoke about his backlift. "It's amazing how he has minimised it and yet is able to generate so much of power."

So when you next hear Tendulkar talk about wanting to get better, he is not merely dishing out a quote. Unbelievably, he is still working on his game, and the runs are hardly a coincidence.

Sambit Bal is the editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Janese on September 6, 2011, 16:09 GMT

    Great stuff, you hpeeld me out so much!

  • Lurraine on September 5, 2011, 15:25 GMT

    This information is off the hziool!

  • Deepak Rastogi on March 31, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    Looking at the way things have gone, for India to win the world cup, Sachin should not score a century. There is this remarkable similarity to the 1983 world cup win in which India lost only 2 matches in which Gavaskar did not play. Though he hardly scored any runs , India won all those matches in which he played. Though Sachin has fared much better, the fact is that India could not win the 2 matches in which he scored centuries. So , let him get out in the nineties for India to win the world cup. On the lighter side , I think Indian bowlers don't rate Sachin very high. They seem to think that if he could score 100 then anybody could and end up losing the match. Murlitharan would be playing his last ODI & if Sachin decides to hang up his ODI boots , then it would be the grandest of spectacles, the cricket world has ever seen unless , of course, Sachin decides to complete 50 ODI centuries too.

  • Manoj on December 22, 2010, 8:08 GMT

    Sachin you are GOD of cricket and you will be worshiped in the entire world for your dedication. I am sure ICC must have decided my now to honour themselves by giving calling you Sir Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.

    Is there is any other thing above Sir, I am Prof, Dean.. YOu are simply t he best Sachin

  • CRIC_RAJA on December 21, 2010, 22:45 GMT

    Come on guys after enduring 20 years and making 50 test centuries u can not be critical of him. Maining over 50 after playing so many games is only one can dream off. @Madhu - he was moved from lower ordert to upper order after playing so many games or else he would have made 50 hundreds long before. Where ever he played he was the best in his business. The main reason to place him down the order is to install mental strength to the team. More often than not India collapse with out a fight after loosing his wicket.

  • Abhay Sundaram on December 21, 2010, 20:03 GMT

    a) Tendulkar was the only thing between the opposition and a win. If India lost him early in a game, that would have put paid to India's chances of putting up any decent total. It was a decision the captains and coaches of the 90s took to keep Tendulkar at 4.

    b) He did NOT come out and cry about the declaration. He was asked if the declaration surprised him given he was merely 6 runs away from his 4th 200, and he said yes, he was surprised. And the media ate it up and shat out something that can only be termed a giant exaggeration of the truth.

    I hope these have ironed out the flaws you have in your facts.

  • G. Joshi, Delhi on December 21, 2010, 14:59 GMT

    I totally disagree and abusive with Madhu who tried to blame th Press about positive writings on Sachin Tendulkar, the Master Blaster of the modern day cricket. Like Madhu, some others also tried to maline the emage of the Great Cricketeer by justifying that he is not a match-winner, he should not have protested against Dravid's decision of declaring the innings when Sachin was at 194* at Multan (Pakistan)on March 28, 2004. One should remember that it was only Day 2 of the 5-day match and there was no urgency of such declaration, but I should say a conspircy of Dravid (the make-shift Captain) and the rivalry/jealousy of Ganguli. Rember the foes (of Sachin, like Kapil Dev and Sanjay Manjerakar and many others, have since becme admirers. Non-cricketeers should stop adversely comment on "Th God of Cricket"

  • Baloo on December 21, 2010, 12:22 GMT

    Madhu,

    Dravid prevented Sachin to achieve another record of Making incredible 200 that to against Pakistan when he needed only 6 runs.No body would relish it.When he scores hundreds, it is not only for his records,it is mainly for the Indian team.It is not his fault when other players fail.SACHIN is praised not only by Indians but also by all the International greats including Pakistanis like Miandad.

  • nair ottappalam on December 21, 2010, 10:28 GMT

    @ Harsh Thakor. Complete agreement with your second para. Tendulkar has scored more centuries, more runs, and has appeared in more international game than anyone else. Yet he cant equal the likes of Bradman to that extend. The qualities of Lara or Richards or Sehwag. The Aussies fear Sehwag more than any other Indian batsman. As far as class is considered, the most classy Indian batsman ever is G R Viswanath and in the present era it is Dravid. Unfortunately, Dravid is an unsung hero. Dravid is of no doubt the GREAT WALL OF INDIA.

    Coming back to Tendulkar, his achievements are so phenomenal that no one in the current day cricket is going to reach anywhere near it. Two years ago Ponting had a neck to neck race with Sachin. The age factor had given Ponting an advantage. But Sachin has gone miles ahead of the Australian skipper now and Ponting doesn't have the remotest chances of reaching anywhere near Sachin.

  • sujay on December 21, 2010, 9:39 GMT

    amazin performance from him..let's hop he keeps going..the only batsman who looked comfortable on that deadly centurion pitch on the first day..that just shows his class..:)

  • Janese on September 6, 2011, 16:09 GMT

    Great stuff, you hpeeld me out so much!

  • Lurraine on September 5, 2011, 15:25 GMT

    This information is off the hziool!

  • Deepak Rastogi on March 31, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    Looking at the way things have gone, for India to win the world cup, Sachin should not score a century. There is this remarkable similarity to the 1983 world cup win in which India lost only 2 matches in which Gavaskar did not play. Though he hardly scored any runs , India won all those matches in which he played. Though Sachin has fared much better, the fact is that India could not win the 2 matches in which he scored centuries. So , let him get out in the nineties for India to win the world cup. On the lighter side , I think Indian bowlers don't rate Sachin very high. They seem to think that if he could score 100 then anybody could and end up losing the match. Murlitharan would be playing his last ODI & if Sachin decides to hang up his ODI boots , then it would be the grandest of spectacles, the cricket world has ever seen unless , of course, Sachin decides to complete 50 ODI centuries too.

  • Manoj on December 22, 2010, 8:08 GMT

    Sachin you are GOD of cricket and you will be worshiped in the entire world for your dedication. I am sure ICC must have decided my now to honour themselves by giving calling you Sir Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.

    Is there is any other thing above Sir, I am Prof, Dean.. YOu are simply t he best Sachin

  • CRIC_RAJA on December 21, 2010, 22:45 GMT

    Come on guys after enduring 20 years and making 50 test centuries u can not be critical of him. Maining over 50 after playing so many games is only one can dream off. @Madhu - he was moved from lower ordert to upper order after playing so many games or else he would have made 50 hundreds long before. Where ever he played he was the best in his business. The main reason to place him down the order is to install mental strength to the team. More often than not India collapse with out a fight after loosing his wicket.

  • Abhay Sundaram on December 21, 2010, 20:03 GMT

    a) Tendulkar was the only thing between the opposition and a win. If India lost him early in a game, that would have put paid to India's chances of putting up any decent total. It was a decision the captains and coaches of the 90s took to keep Tendulkar at 4.

    b) He did NOT come out and cry about the declaration. He was asked if the declaration surprised him given he was merely 6 runs away from his 4th 200, and he said yes, he was surprised. And the media ate it up and shat out something that can only be termed a giant exaggeration of the truth.

    I hope these have ironed out the flaws you have in your facts.

  • G. Joshi, Delhi on December 21, 2010, 14:59 GMT

    I totally disagree and abusive with Madhu who tried to blame th Press about positive writings on Sachin Tendulkar, the Master Blaster of the modern day cricket. Like Madhu, some others also tried to maline the emage of the Great Cricketeer by justifying that he is not a match-winner, he should not have protested against Dravid's decision of declaring the innings when Sachin was at 194* at Multan (Pakistan)on March 28, 2004. One should remember that it was only Day 2 of the 5-day match and there was no urgency of such declaration, but I should say a conspircy of Dravid (the make-shift Captain) and the rivalry/jealousy of Ganguli. Rember the foes (of Sachin, like Kapil Dev and Sanjay Manjerakar and many others, have since becme admirers. Non-cricketeers should stop adversely comment on "Th God of Cricket"

  • Baloo on December 21, 2010, 12:22 GMT

    Madhu,

    Dravid prevented Sachin to achieve another record of Making incredible 200 that to against Pakistan when he needed only 6 runs.No body would relish it.When he scores hundreds, it is not only for his records,it is mainly for the Indian team.It is not his fault when other players fail.SACHIN is praised not only by Indians but also by all the International greats including Pakistanis like Miandad.

  • nair ottappalam on December 21, 2010, 10:28 GMT

    @ Harsh Thakor. Complete agreement with your second para. Tendulkar has scored more centuries, more runs, and has appeared in more international game than anyone else. Yet he cant equal the likes of Bradman to that extend. The qualities of Lara or Richards or Sehwag. The Aussies fear Sehwag more than any other Indian batsman. As far as class is considered, the most classy Indian batsman ever is G R Viswanath and in the present era it is Dravid. Unfortunately, Dravid is an unsung hero. Dravid is of no doubt the GREAT WALL OF INDIA.

    Coming back to Tendulkar, his achievements are so phenomenal that no one in the current day cricket is going to reach anywhere near it. Two years ago Ponting had a neck to neck race with Sachin. The age factor had given Ponting an advantage. But Sachin has gone miles ahead of the Australian skipper now and Ponting doesn't have the remotest chances of reaching anywhere near Sachin.

  • sujay on December 21, 2010, 9:39 GMT

    amazin performance from him..let's hop he keeps going..the only batsman who looked comfortable on that deadly centurion pitch on the first day..that just shows his class..:)

  • Yubaraj kafle on December 21, 2010, 8:22 GMT

    Sachin is fantastic player. He made me fall in love with this game.

  • Ayush Bindal on December 21, 2010, 7:23 GMT

    Sachin remains the true master of world cricket. His greatest strength lies in him being so modest even after achieving everything in cricketing world. he is still a learner. Many more milestones follow his way..

  • akasavani on December 21, 2010, 0:42 GMT

    we just lost a test match by an innings. why is an individual's milestone, however awe-some it is, more significant than the collective loss by the team? did anyone notice dale steyn slinging the ball past sachin's ears on day 4 and say "you still number one?"

  • dilip mahanty on December 20, 2010, 23:55 GMT

    At the beginning of 2010 Ponting was only 4 Test centuries and about 1500 runs behind Tendulkar.There was a lot of expectation among Aussies that Ponting would overhaul Tendulkar and set milestones which no other cricketer could ever reach.They felt that Ponting was about 20 months younger and would be playing even after Tendulkar retired.After 12 months Tendulkar is 11 Test centuries and over 2,200 runs ahead of Ponting.Our Aussie friends don't see it as a competition any more as Tendulkar has streaked ahead and has left a struggling,declining Ponting way behind!

  • Anonymous on December 20, 2010, 19:04 GMT

    Mr.Smabit Bal, Tendulkar is not for me to say, he is the best of all. he has proven this to tyhe world.I do not know long more he will go but it seems that as if he now statred his real career. I travelled 4,000 miles to Lord,england to see him bat when he made only 12,18, India lost the match.Then in 2004 I travelled 8,000 miles to see him bat against Australia in 2004 at Mumbai,he made 1, 55. india won the match ( low scoring.) Tendulkar has the right temperament for 50 overs cricket as an opening batsman. he will be the best in the 2011 World Cup, if India prevails. I think Tendulkar and India can tame all bowling if they mastered the "cut shot" like Joe Solomon and Vishwanauth. Bowler will not want to hang the ball outsde the off-stump. You are right Tendulkar will alwasy study the bowlers where they are coming from,like wise the bowlers are bowling upon instructions to bowl the ball on th off-stump going away. This is how Sewhag also gets out. S.N.Singh, U.S.A

  • Madhu on December 20, 2010, 17:39 GMT

    Well, add one more question to the questions that i had asked earlier. 1. Why did Sachin expose the tail so early in the 5 overs India faced. The common knowledge is to protect the tail and farm the strike under such situations.

    @Raj - I really did not get your question.

  • Prakash on December 20, 2010, 16:21 GMT

    It is sad to note Greame smiths coments during prize distribution- re Sachin exposing the Indian tailenders as fodder to his quicks without taking them head on.Sachins performance speaks and to coment like this especially after he has set a milestone of 50 test centuries speaks of poor sportsmanship from Proteas

  • Devan on December 20, 2010, 16:03 GMT

    I've read one comment about Sachin being not a team man.It is mainly due to the fact that Tendular owns most of the individual records in batting.So when the team loses despite his good performance, some people think this way'Oh he gets a hundred and team lost'.They don't realize it is 100 internetional runs scored by a single player for his team.Its not only Sachin's runs, also it is for team India.And about the opening issue.Each and every batting position is important in test cricket.Because even if you are a no.5 batsman, you will still have to play a new ball in some situation.Tendulkar being the best batsman in the team needs to be in a position where he feels good.His no.4 pos is perfect coz he can come at a time when whatever happens he will adjust to that situation.Also opening batsman sometimes(or many a time) needs to come when there is just 5 or 10 overs remaining.And finally about that Multan issue, I suppose Sachin just expressed his surprise about the declaration...

  • prashant pandao on December 20, 2010, 15:58 GMT

    if i love cricket it's just because of sachin.when he complete the 50 ton and looking sky i feel that the god of cricket is talking with god of heaven@ i realy feel that if anyone is far from god will get blessing by watching sachin's batting..i love u sachin..

  • kashif on December 20, 2010, 15:18 GMT

    Without iota of doubt, Sachin is very finnest and greatest batsman in the history of game.However,its commitment to personal land marks and team cause are on different value.Let me give example from today play, India are 33 runs behind from South Africa first inning total and if india gets 34 runs, South Africa has to bat and india avoid the innings defeat.Sachin have no plan how to play with tailenders and does not tried maintain the strike.If we compare to MS dohi innings he have the plan and which threaten to take game away for South Africa.There are number occasion in Sachin careers, where he lacks the this skill or competeness.Please take this argument in its original perceptive.

  • Vic Johns on December 20, 2010, 14:55 GMT

    A fantastic batsman and what an example to all young players wanting to play cricket and get involved with cricket.

    Keep it going Sachin !

  • Harry on December 20, 2010, 14:18 GMT

    Form is temporary, class is permanent. Nice one Sachin. Thanks for yet another memory created after eveyone had written you off a three years ago. You are a legend.

  • Doesntmatter on December 20, 2010, 14:14 GMT

    He is the definition of divinity His talent is greater than infinity; Trust me.. the years to come will mourn They missed the maestro's magical charm; He is Sachin His Motto: Impossible is Nothin.

  • Narasimha Murthy on December 20, 2010, 14:03 GMT

    Most brilliant player and an excellent human being. Cannot imagine Indian cricket when Tendulkar retires, if he wants to :-). May god bless him with finest of health, fitness and happiness and wish he plays for many more years to come.

  • Ravi270251 on December 20, 2010, 14:00 GMT

    No. Remember he scored his first one-day 100 after 79 matches only after he started opening. When greg chappell wanted him to bat at no. 4 in one dayers to provide stability in the middle, he refused bluntly stating it would hamper his scoring ability, which means 100s?. once dhoni had seized the initiative by counter attacking, a Lara would have kicked off to play the big one. but sachin just made sure he got to 100. In India greatness is achieved by scoring 100s. Ask Gavaskar, Shashtri, Vengsarkar. When a batsman is on 99 with the last ball of a limited overs game to be bowled they would prefer a push for a single. listen to their comments. Sachin cannot be greater than players who have lesser no. of 100s but have guided their team to greater no of wins. figure that out. The comments of our so called experts would suggest that India had actually won the test? the obsession with individual records continues unabated. While records are being copiled victories are incidental.

  • sandeep on December 20, 2010, 13:52 GMT

    Even CRICKET GAME itself looks over him .And inspirs to search,"IS there any shot that dis guy can't play in my game"

  • Khalid on December 20, 2010, 13:46 GMT

    Well its really surprising to see still people questioning sachin's commitment to indian cricket. Is it not committed enough to play for your country for more than 20+ years. Is it not committment enough to score around 35K runs for his team/country.

    At the end he is a batsman and his job is to score runs which he is doing quite religiously. isn't it.

    @rajpal. My friends we in Pak don't hate indians. I only hate to see sachin batting like this against pakistan :). Otherwise he is only attraction for me to watch indian matches, if not played against pakistan.

  • The Professor on December 20, 2010, 13:28 GMT

    Good article Sambit BUT perhaps you should consider changing the title to "Evolving Tendulkar remains WORLD'S BEST" (instead of just,"...India's Best"). There have been many challengers to SRT in the past (Lara, Ponting, Inzi, even our own Dravid and now Kallis) but none could last the distance. (@Vinod -Dec 20, 2010) We all have our favourites but I don't think there is any doubt that SRT is the best. If you anaylse all the aforementioned batsman, you will find certain aspects of batting that they are better at than SRT (eg. Lara has the ability to play really long innings once settled, Dravids defence may be tighter, Sehwag can score faster, Ponting was a better puller) but when it comes to consistency and overall ability to handle all kinds of bowlers in all kinds of conditions SRT is a head and shoulders above the rest - no arguments. As Shane Warne quite succinctly put it,"Sachin first, daylight second"!

  • Pat on December 20, 2010, 13:21 GMT

    I'm glad that (most) people are not foolishly comparing this or that, Bradman or Tendulkar. It is enough that Sachin is the greatest batsman of the modern age and truly, remarkably prolific. I've been blessed to see him bat live in four tests and three remarkable centuries at the SCG. Congratulations to him on reaching a phenomenal milestone.

  • Vishal Khanvilkar on December 20, 2010, 13:20 GMT

    Sachin is a grt batsmen no doubt , but i would still rate ponting better than Sachin as it is one thing to represent as batsmen but the pressure of being a top-order batsmen as well as a captain is a great achievement. And i think Ricky excels there.

  • Satish on December 20, 2010, 13:13 GMT

    Everybody talking about Sachin's 50th ton. But nobody talks about the devastating lose to SA. Match winning contribution would be beter than the 50th ton.

  • Jayan on December 20, 2010, 13:09 GMT

    Sir Don Bradman, Jack Hobbs, Viv Richards, Sir Gary Sobers, Lenn Hutton but for me, it has to be Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar for the simple reason that the Man carries the hopes of the whole nation every single time he walks out to bat and still satisfies each n every one of us. Its appropriate to call him the BEST AMBASSADOR of the game and a player respected all around the world. I'm sure as everyone knows where his next sight is on, THE ICC WORLD CUP and he will deliver the best he can and don't be surprised as everytime he does that eventually comes out to be the winner. The promos said the proteas saying, "WE'RE WAITING, BRING IT ON" but by Feb,2011 you'll hear the same, rest of the world.

  • Ram on December 20, 2010, 12:47 GMT

    Lucky to breathe the same air as Sachin... Legendary Character.

  • Jeev on December 20, 2010, 12:47 GMT

    "If I'm a cricketer, it's because of Sachin Tendulkar. Else, I would have never picked up a bat. He's the reason behind me playing cricket." Virender Sehwag gives us another reason to be thankful for Tendulkar

    More proof of my last comment.

  • Jeev on December 20, 2010, 12:44 GMT

    One more thing. If it wernt for sachin, India endin up lik bangladesh or lesser teams was quite a possibility. Ther was a time wen the entire team was dependant on sachin's battin. Remove him, wer wud India b? Wud hv gone down the drain. N even nw, wen v hv so many other gud players, sachin played an unseen part. All these players grew up watchin sachin destroy bowlers. Wud hv bin a grt inspiration to c a fellow countryman do it. Wat more does tendulkar need to do for u critics to say a word of praise abt him?

  • nvpar on December 20, 2010, 12:39 GMT

    @Madhu, Tendulkar only said that he was not informed about the declaration. That is fair.

  • Jeev on December 20, 2010, 12:39 GMT

    @Madhu:Iam not sure hw u knw sachin nvr volunteered or whined. No one knws wat happened behind the doors. No personal offence intended but ur sec point was not very brite. Sachin, watever ppl say abt him is stil a human bein. Imagine hw he wud hv felt wen he was jus 2(for goodness sake!! jus 2) runs away. Wudnt hv taken a bal more for sachin. N i really don understand the view that his 100's don come as a winnin cause. He needs a partner to keep goin. Hw can he help it if his partners keep goin down or slowin the run rate?

    Ther r a few things i wish for tendulkar. 100 100's(too easy). I want him to hv the chance of holdin a world cup atleast once. Wud b too unfair if he doesnt. N i wish he nvr stops playin or that the world shud end before i get the news that sachin has decided. Every time i c him get out its lik seein a frnd of mine lose his life. Pls try to b fair with ur comments wen it comes to such a grt man who has given so much to cricket not jus Indian cricket.

  • SM on December 20, 2010, 12:05 GMT

    Yep..just another USELESS number!! the way he exposed the tail today tells a lot about Sachin!! may be he has too many ceremonies to attend!! Records and records..this is all matters, we are not worried about INNINGS defeat!!! shame on INDIA!!!

  • Sourav on December 20, 2010, 12:00 GMT

    Records to come from little master:

    15,000 Test runs 100 international Hundreds 20,000 ODI runs 200 Tests played 500 ODIs played 50 ODI hundreds

  • David on December 20, 2010, 11:54 GMT

    As a South African of unbiased opinion, I would agree that SRT is the best of all time. Being human he obviously must have a few flaws but one thing is for certain that he has fewer that any other batsman in history. Yes his 50th century was in unfortunate circumstances but I'm sure his 51st (probably next week) will be spectacular. Long live Sachin, as long as the Proteas still win the series I hope he makes a hundred in every innings.

  • sunil on December 20, 2010, 11:33 GMT

    no words can be framed to describe the achievement :)

  • EverybodylovesSachin on December 20, 2010, 11:30 GMT

    Sachin kept me interested in cricket for 21 years. There were Kapil and Gavaskar earlier...but Sachin made me fall in love with cricket and made me watch cricket everytime.. Truley inspires people and a perfect role model I have not seen in any sport....

  • Partha on December 20, 2010, 11:28 GMT

    He is God of all the angles as simple, humble, polite, nurture, patient, calmness, happy and more and more... but when you sad of something if you watch SACHIN batting you might forget the sadness as like in cine industry if watch Rajini film you will forget the logic/story/sadness and everything. S-A-C-H-I-N Super-Avatar-Cricketer-Holy-In-Nation

  • navin on December 20, 2010, 11:23 GMT

    to be frank with u i am not a gr8 fan of sachin.but i really commend the mans resolve and temperament.he always seems to be determined to win his battle but i guess he never plays for the teams cause.for egs.the way he played in the 2003 WC final,when india really needed him to step in he got out in the very first over.And again today he gave strike to sreesanth more than himself,which agin tells u tht he was only wanted his 50th test ton and nothing else.this is probably the only drawback in the man.otherwise he along with dravid are the most technically sound batsmen i have seen till date.

  • Mohammed Hashim on December 20, 2010, 11:10 GMT

    Great great and only great can do this, and Sahin proves this. Jai Maharashtra boss. U r loveliest cricketer to watch. I love you, Inshallah u will continue ur career till the age of 42 with much much more hundreds with ur name. Dhamal Mumbaikar..

  • Kishore on December 20, 2010, 11:00 GMT

    @Raj.

    That's a nice way to evade the issue. What Madhu brought out was a very valid point. Tendulkar never took upon the burden of opening the innings in a Test match. Dravid/Laxman/etc were forced into it despite their obvious dislikes. Even Yuvraj, with a slightly better technique than Raina, was considered for the opening slot. And Tendulkar with loads and loads of experience opening the ODIs, never even volunteered, nor was considered for the opening slot by the team management in fear of his supporters being hurt or whatever else the reasons might be.

  • Anonymous on December 20, 2010, 10:52 GMT

    what a player.......salute u master...........thanx for the entertainment...........

  • sanjeev on December 20, 2010, 10:51 GMT

    @Madhu, @Question no. 2, any batsman who is 194*, team has already scored >500 runs within one and half days, a fellow batsman has just departed, won't hope that new batsman will either bring captain message to hurry up and get 200 or will just play his part until team declares. Isn't scoring 200 against Pakistan (in their homesoil) will be dream for any indian cricket player? How can u call him non-team player just on this basis? Can't 1-2 overs be spared for such landmark under above given circumstances.

  • spritzertime on December 20, 2010, 10:51 GMT

    I know all fans are proud of there own players Idians are no exception.Tendulker is indeed a great player and no dout Indias best.Lots of comments of him being GODS and the like, well he has scored the most runs (also played the most tests) its a shame he was a failure as a captain.His average is about the best getting around too but the most under rated player in the world is Kallis virtually the same ave as Tendulker he also has 269 wickets at an average comparable with most opening bowlers around the world and 163 catches WOW that is a complete cricketer.If he playes as many tests as Sachin he will also pass the runs record at his current average Sachin is indeed a great batsman but the best cricketer of his generation must go to Kallis But neither are GODS that still lies with Bradman

  • Anonymous on December 20, 2010, 10:49 GMT

    I know all fans are proud of there own players Idians are no exception.Tendulker is indeed a great player and no dout Indias best.Lots of comments of him being GODS and the like, well he has scored the most runs (also played the most tests) its a shame he was a failure as a captain.His average is about the best getting around too but the most under rated player in the world is Kallis virtually the same ave as Tendulker he also has 269 wickets at an average comparable with most opening bowlers around the world and 163 catches WOW that is a complete cricketer.If he playes as many tests as Sachin he will also pass the runs record at his current average Sachin is indeed a great batsman but the best cricketer of his generation must go to Kallis But neither are GODS that still lies with Bradman

  • sanjeev on December 20, 2010, 10:36 GMT

    @madhu, ODI has 2 innings while test has 4 innings. So, u need a man with sound technique and experience to take batting slot no.4. His main responsibility is play his inning as demanded by circumstances. If team is preparing for declaration or domination, he has to play aggressively. If team is trailing, he has to save his wicket and build solid partnership with one of the openers or no. 3 batsman. If team is on the verge of win, he has anchor inning, so other could safely play their part. Team has to preserve batsman who can bat in no.4 slot. So, sending him to open inning is like using bottom of pot as a lid to cover pot. In ODI, u just need to bat aggresively except few circumstances. In such situation u need a batsman u can show controlled aggresion in opener role. Virendra shewag is super hit in his role as a opener in test. However, in ODI he is semi-hit. So, got some idea or should i elaborate more. After sachin, gambhir is perfect for opener role in ODI.

  • ms on December 20, 2010, 10:33 GMT

    Congrats to Sachin by Pakistani fan.

  • Raghu on December 20, 2010, 10:09 GMT

    Nice piece. Tendulkar is probably India's greatest ever cricketer. wish he wins the World Cup, for India, again...

  • Shamz10000 on December 20, 2010, 10:08 GMT

    Sachin is more than just a great cricketer. he is a fine human being. humble as ever despite achieving greatness. time to salute the Master

  • Abir on December 20, 2010, 10:07 GMT

    @Madhu: There is a general rule in test cricket that the best batsman in the side plays at no. 4 and i think we all know who that is. About him being selfish, well he is only human and no matter how selfless anyone is, he/she will always be a little selfish and i think sachin has earned that after so many years of loyal service. I know your questions were rhetorical but i felt the need to answer them. He not just a great representative for Indian cricket he is also one of the greatest ambassadors of the game.....and we should respect that.....

  • Ravi on December 20, 2010, 9:57 GMT

    Like bradman's average,your record will also remain forever.You are really king of cricket whose reign will never over and will stay forever.......................we are proud of god,keep going........

  • michael on December 20, 2010, 9:52 GMT

    The team must always come first. So what if Sachin grabs another ton. India still lost so there's really nothing to celebrate. Realising this is the only way India will ever stay at the top and be recognised as No. 1. You hardly ever see individual Australians, South Africans, Englishmen or West Indians waxing lyrical about Ponting or Kallis or Pietersen or Gayle scoring a hundred in a losing cause

  • Venkatesh on December 20, 2010, 9:44 GMT

    Hold on folks, Tendulkar will return to centurion for the final one dayer and complete the 100 international tons!!!!

  • Deepak Sharma on December 20, 2010, 9:41 GMT

    SACHIN: U R THE GREATEST CRICKETER.Thanks for all the pleasures u have given to all the spectators and made India proud. People may take so many names Lara ,Ponting,Kallis,Dravid but time and again u have proved u r beyond above all,just keep going on and enjoy,and v r there to enjoy as well

  • Raj on December 20, 2010, 8:43 GMT

    @Madhu, lot of people would not like ur name irrespective of how good a person u might be... doesn't suggest whether its a male or female... why don't u change dat? wud u? ur thought wud give u da answer to ur 1st qs.....

  • Alex on December 20, 2010, 8:42 GMT

    India lost the TEST . That is the story. Not this useless sachin record. This stat whore wanted to be NOT OUT and let tailenders face steyn. WTF. He is not a team man at all. With all the talent he has , he can't handle one iota of pressure. For me sachin is a chump. I am indian but i don't anything about tendulkar. For me is WINNING is only thing. If you do not win , all the records are junk.

    Only idiots worship idols. And we have 1.3 billions of idiots who worship loser like sachin. :)

  • Harsh Thakor on December 20, 2010, 8:08 GMT

    Scoring 50 test hundreds is a phenomenal achievement and a possible 100 Internatioal centuries is something likely ever to be equalled.In the modern age even Bradman may not have equalled Sachin facing so much pressue in International Cricket.

    No statistical analysis can rate Sachin in test Cricket below any batsman bar Brdaman.However statistics cannot reveal everything.Tendulkar has not equalled the creative genius of batsman like Brian Lara or Rohan Kanhai , the brilliance of Sobers in a crisis ,the prowess of Hobbs and Headley on wet tracks and the destructive ability of Viv Richards or Sehwag.At his best Viv Richards could change the complexion of a game to a greater extent while in a crisis Lara would overshadow Sachin with his brilliant ability to compile mammoth scores as he did in the 1999 home series against Australia ,where his successive brilliant century scores turned the tide of the series.

    What makes Sachin stand out is that he is the most complete batsman.

  • Harsh Thakor on December 20, 2010, 7:57 GMT

    Tendulkar is simply the closest to the tag of the 'perfect 'batsmen.He posesses every ingredient for that labelling.He has been brilliantly consistent,has unequaled statistical records,has great technique,can destroy the best of pace and spin bowling,can master alltypes of conditions and wickets, and can win matches and champion the cause in a crisis.Inthe 'V'region there has never been an equal to Sachin.

    Tendulkar has conquered the greatest bowlers like Wasim Akram ,Curtly Ambrose and Allan Donald and dstroyed Warne like noone else.In his career he has faced more pressure than any great batsman ever.His comeback in the last 2 years to elevate his average by 2 runs and add 2000 runs surpasses even a Muhammad Ali and no great batsman has ever made such a ressurection after a setback.

    His only drawback was as a match-winner but remember at his peak he hardly had any support and carried the burden of the entire team on his shoulders.

    Simply the Jesus Christ of batting.

  • narayan on December 20, 2010, 7:48 GMT

    CONGRATS SACHIN ON YOUR 50thCentury. Pl Keep going. You are an ICON in cricket.Modern cricketers have to learn a lot just follwing your dedication and the hunger to learn and score more runs for the country. Let your WISH of winning World Cup for the country be fulfilled.May God Bless you and your Family.

  • R. SENTHIL KUMAR on December 20, 2010, 7:46 GMT

    Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is the Best Ever. He is the legend of cricket who could not be matched by anybody. But the sad part is that when he completed his 50th Ton India is on the verge of defeat.

  • Vijay on December 20, 2010, 7:39 GMT

    Manjrekar one of the sharpest observers? Please! This sharp observer talked abt SRT as an elephant in the room when was facing a slump a few years ago. All these people will jump on the 'praise sachin' bandwagon just to get visibility!

  • Anonymous on December 20, 2010, 7:38 GMT

    Manjrekar one of the sharpest observers? Please! This sharp observer talked abt SRT as an elephant in the room when was facing a slump a few years ago. All these people will jump on the 'praise sachin' bandwagon just to get visibility!

  • Madhu on December 20, 2010, 7:35 GMT

    Hats to the man, he is a batsmen and a cricketer. He is greater than even the Don. But iam not sure if he can be called a team man. There are couple of questions which are remained in publioc mind. The press has been kind to him and not asked these questions. 1. When the Indian team was struggling with opening batsmen solution before the success of Sehwag and then lately gambhir, everyone was tried as an opener. Right from Mongia to Dravid to Laxman. Sachin at that time had lots of experinece of opening the batting in ODI's and was an acknowledged great, but he never put his hand up to open. If he was such a great batsmen and team man why did he not volunteer? Everyone understands that its easier to open in ODI's than in Test. When he was asked to bat down the order in ODI he behaved like a kid whose toys were thrown out of pram. 2. When Dravid declared when sachin was on 198 he come out in open and disagreed with the decision. As a Team man you never do that. You accept it and move on

  • Abhijeet Marathe on December 20, 2010, 7:30 GMT

    Thanks to Sachin, last 20 years he gave immense pleasure to all Indians and cricket loving nation. Apart from his many milestones in cricket, his dedication and master act produces many talented young players from all parts of India which is his unseen contribution to Indian Cricket, Players like Sehavag,Yuvaraj grown up by wathicng his Cricket. Many players of his era and who comes after him are now retired and this man can still play any format of this game.

  • Ashi on December 20, 2010, 7:28 GMT

    What a Player Sachin is !! Truly a legend.. still the passion for the game drives him so much that after 21 years he is still scoring loads and loads runs.. May he keep scoring like this in next decade and so..

  • abhishek on December 20, 2010, 7:17 GMT

    i was very nervous that all the hype about his 50th ton wud get him out in d 90's. Kudos to the little master who shares the biggest place in my heart. From my childhood days i admired him and wish he could make a century of his birthdays. . .

  • Soumya Kanti on December 20, 2010, 7:12 GMT

    When I was going to schools Sachin was scoring hundreds, now my daughters are going to schools, and amazingly he is still scoring hundreds, what a phenomenon achivement, still my role model, polite gentle and modest Sachin is the best

  • Vijay on December 20, 2010, 7:11 GMT

    "Ponting, a couple of years younger, now finds himself in an extended, and perhaps, unarrestable, decline, while Tendulkar has reeled off seven Test centuries and over 1500 runs since the beginning of the year with a Test to go."

    People were talking on similar lines about Tendulkar a few years ago. One would have thought lessons would be learnt. Alas, people never learn, do they?

  • Ahmaduetian on December 20, 2010, 7:10 GMT

    There r only 2 areas left where he needs to attain his best. ...........1) When Tendulkar is set he begins to defend with bat face towards covers and that is his instinctive style of play which has made him the TENDULKAR. Even though coaches recommend straight batted techniques but Tendulkars own technique is the best so he should stick to it right from startof his of inning......

    ................2) He should always go for single even when ball is hit straight to mid off or mid on...because these fielders are always deep enough for him to allow single and usually these 2 r never the finest fielders of the opposition.....I've watched each & every ball that he has played in international cricket. and I can tell he has not been runout even once in his entire carrer doing this

  • lucky on December 20, 2010, 7:07 GMT

    god need not care of what they do n sachin tooo just keep on playing well n allow us to keep updating our memories of record in every single match he plays, go on n on n on we'll always be happy following you .......

  • rambo on December 20, 2010, 7:07 GMT

    another big moment for little man .

  • Chinmoy Rajpal on December 20, 2010, 6:56 GMT

    I have not seen Sir Don Bradman bat. For me Sachin is the best. I am lucky to have lived in the same era as Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. Simply a great and wonderful ambassador for our great and wonderful country. Sachin is not just great cricketer but a great sportsman.

    No words can praise you enough. You are simple the best.

  • Raju Iyer on December 20, 2010, 6:50 GMT

    Sambit, you should have had the humility and grace to accept how Sachin has merely used his bat to answer uncharitable barbs from people like you and Sanjay Manjrekar in the not too recent past when Sachin was not at his very best...

  • Venkat on December 20, 2010, 6:49 GMT

    First of all I would like to congratulate the Cricket God for his 50th Test Century. I am really proud of myself for being born in the same country and in the same Era where you born. We are very privileged to watch this century. Please bring home the world cup for India.

  • sachin on December 20, 2010, 6:48 GMT

    i believe in god, but never seen. but whenever i see sachin batting i think i see god, bcoz sachins batting is a miracle.

  • Ranjith Shetty on December 20, 2010, 6:37 GMT

    Thank you sambit.Every time when i read about sachin, i forget everything arround me from 1989 till today.I forgot to read when i was in highschool and forgot to eat,i forgot to go to ground to play cricket.When there was no internet, i was waiting for the sportstar infront of the bookstore.I was saving some pocketmoney to buy sports weekly to read about sachin.Now i am 35 years old,still i enjoy reading about sachin.Even today i forget my bad day just by reading about sachin.It is a long journey for me following sachin and growing with him.Also lucky to be in the same generation.

  • Abhishek on December 20, 2010, 6:36 GMT

    take a bow sachin!!!!!! u r indeed GOD of cricket..

  • Vinod on December 20, 2010, 6:34 GMT

    Yes, a SUPERB effort from SRT..i was following the 4th days play on cricinfo and I could sense it was a great effort...'one of the great moments in Test cricket if he gets the hundred' as Mr Bhogle twittered last night.

    And talking of Lara; Its a GR8 shame he retired (or was forced to) in 2007 since he was still at his very attacking best.

    And cricket fans yearned for more of him..and still do!

    Lara will always remain number 1 batsman for me..(and thats absolutely no disrespect to Sachin or any of his contemporaries or former greats)..just my personal choice.

    VK

  • rajpal on December 20, 2010, 6:29 GMT

    amazing man ,i have a pakistan friend who hates india and the people here the only one he loves is SACHIN thats tells the whole story how great the man he is.It took almost 140 years of test cricket to witness this moment.we all very proud of u sachin

  • sumeet pushpam on December 20, 2010, 6:29 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar/TONdulkar.. little master or little wonder??? In a country where people are always ready to kill each other in name of region, religion, race and what not, he binds all of them, instills a sense of unity among all of us. He is above religion, not GOD but nontheless an incarnation, a prophet who when utters a word, the country listens. 20 years have passed, everything has changed. If something's not changed, its Sachin Tendulkar... and Team India. We are still as dependent on him as were 10 years back. And this has been the story of his life.

    I hope the other GOD( read Indra) in heaven is listening.

  • rajpal on December 20, 2010, 6:26 GMT

    amazing man ,i have a pakistan friend who hates india and the people here the only one he loves is SACHIN thats tells the whole story how great the man he is.It took almost 140 years of test cricket to witness this moment.we all very proud of u sachin

  • Allan on December 20, 2010, 6:19 GMT

    Sambit, with all due respect what's so incredible or unbelievable that "he [Tendulkar] should, after 21 years, still be India’s finest batsman"? Just as what's so incredible that Bradman is still Australia's finest batsman after 60+ odd years? And why restrict Tendulkar's sphere of excellence to India? I doubt Cricket will ever see another like Sachin. Frankly, it's really irritating when Indian scribes are too lily-livered to say what is bloody obvious. Sure, you’ll have a few (maybe more) xenophobic jingoistic individuals who can’t swallow this fact (we all know where they can go). For the rest of us the facts are indisputable.

  • Tuku on December 20, 2010, 6:14 GMT

    All the landmarks there were to be achieved has been achieved... Next one is his century of centuries which I think is possible in this series of RSA... Only India needs to play SRT in the ODI series... But what I see from here is the biggest achievement will be lifting the world cup (I am sure Sachin has this dream like all Indians) the only thing left...

    And I hope Sachin can do it twice... 2011 and 2015

    Way to go Sachin, the genius, the brilliant, the little master, the cricket god...

    ohh I am out of words...

    I love you

  • bvnathan on December 20, 2010, 6:01 GMT

    Winning a World Cup has been a cherished dream for SRT... hope his team mates joins in fulfilling his wishes as WC-2011 is played in the sub-continent. There can be no other valuable and beautiful gift to SRT to cherish his dream

  • sarwar on December 20, 2010, 3:08 GMT

    yes,this man is a burning lesson to all those who aspire to learn what commitment and dedication is,and what it requires to stand amidst huge pressures from all around.i hope he continues this form in the world cup,and gets to lift the world cup,that would be the biggest gift to the countrymen

  • Ganpathy on December 20, 2010, 2:47 GMT

    Thanks Sambit for the article. I am a 25 year old student and can proudly say that I have had the pleasure of the Great Man bat ever since I have grown up. I have heard a lot of stories about Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Vivian Richards and Sunil Gavaskar. But along with Lara, SRT remains the greatest batsman of my time. There have been times when Ricky Ponting seemed to break all his records. I sometimes felt hurt when Tendulkar was said to be upstaged by Ponting ('05-'07), Rahul Dravid ('99-'02) and even Jacques Kallis('08). No disrespect to all these players, but they have not been able to arrest the slide once the purple patch was over. But, SRT ('92-96, '98-'00, '03 WC, '09-"ever") and Lara ('91-'94, '04) have at different times shown the ability to come up with answers when questions have been asked about them. Just for this particular reason, I would put the two of them above everyone else. It really is amazing how he remains the "most prized" opposition wicket after twenty years.

  • ROB DAHL on December 20, 2010, 2:25 GMT

    the little master.....what can be said.....lucky he's in our era....i could watch him bat.....we're completely priviledged watching him bat....thanks

  • Madappa Prakash on December 19, 2010, 23:07 GMT

    I was so very glad to see Sachin get his 50th hundred, even when he says records do not matter. I trust him when he says that contributing to India's cricket is what matters to him the most. Watching him play is sheer joy. Watching him play with Dravid, Laxman and his other team mates is also sheer joy. The fact that he mentors youngsters in the team is invaluable. India is blessed in having Sachin as is the entire world. Go Go Sachin, is all I can say.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Madappa Prakash on December 19, 2010, 23:07 GMT

    I was so very glad to see Sachin get his 50th hundred, even when he says records do not matter. I trust him when he says that contributing to India's cricket is what matters to him the most. Watching him play is sheer joy. Watching him play with Dravid, Laxman and his other team mates is also sheer joy. The fact that he mentors youngsters in the team is invaluable. India is blessed in having Sachin as is the entire world. Go Go Sachin, is all I can say.

  • ROB DAHL on December 20, 2010, 2:25 GMT

    the little master.....what can be said.....lucky he's in our era....i could watch him bat.....we're completely priviledged watching him bat....thanks

  • Ganpathy on December 20, 2010, 2:47 GMT

    Thanks Sambit for the article. I am a 25 year old student and can proudly say that I have had the pleasure of the Great Man bat ever since I have grown up. I have heard a lot of stories about Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Vivian Richards and Sunil Gavaskar. But along with Lara, SRT remains the greatest batsman of my time. There have been times when Ricky Ponting seemed to break all his records. I sometimes felt hurt when Tendulkar was said to be upstaged by Ponting ('05-'07), Rahul Dravid ('99-'02) and even Jacques Kallis('08). No disrespect to all these players, but they have not been able to arrest the slide once the purple patch was over. But, SRT ('92-96, '98-'00, '03 WC, '09-"ever") and Lara ('91-'94, '04) have at different times shown the ability to come up with answers when questions have been asked about them. Just for this particular reason, I would put the two of them above everyone else. It really is amazing how he remains the "most prized" opposition wicket after twenty years.

  • sarwar on December 20, 2010, 3:08 GMT

    yes,this man is a burning lesson to all those who aspire to learn what commitment and dedication is,and what it requires to stand amidst huge pressures from all around.i hope he continues this form in the world cup,and gets to lift the world cup,that would be the biggest gift to the countrymen

  • bvnathan on December 20, 2010, 6:01 GMT

    Winning a World Cup has been a cherished dream for SRT... hope his team mates joins in fulfilling his wishes as WC-2011 is played in the sub-continent. There can be no other valuable and beautiful gift to SRT to cherish his dream

  • Tuku on December 20, 2010, 6:14 GMT

    All the landmarks there were to be achieved has been achieved... Next one is his century of centuries which I think is possible in this series of RSA... Only India needs to play SRT in the ODI series... But what I see from here is the biggest achievement will be lifting the world cup (I am sure Sachin has this dream like all Indians) the only thing left...

    And I hope Sachin can do it twice... 2011 and 2015

    Way to go Sachin, the genius, the brilliant, the little master, the cricket god...

    ohh I am out of words...

    I love you

  • Allan on December 20, 2010, 6:19 GMT

    Sambit, with all due respect what's so incredible or unbelievable that "he [Tendulkar] should, after 21 years, still be India’s finest batsman"? Just as what's so incredible that Bradman is still Australia's finest batsman after 60+ odd years? And why restrict Tendulkar's sphere of excellence to India? I doubt Cricket will ever see another like Sachin. Frankly, it's really irritating when Indian scribes are too lily-livered to say what is bloody obvious. Sure, you’ll have a few (maybe more) xenophobic jingoistic individuals who can’t swallow this fact (we all know where they can go). For the rest of us the facts are indisputable.

  • rajpal on December 20, 2010, 6:26 GMT

    amazing man ,i have a pakistan friend who hates india and the people here the only one he loves is SACHIN thats tells the whole story how great the man he is.It took almost 140 years of test cricket to witness this moment.we all very proud of u sachin

  • sumeet pushpam on December 20, 2010, 6:29 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar/TONdulkar.. little master or little wonder??? In a country where people are always ready to kill each other in name of region, religion, race and what not, he binds all of them, instills a sense of unity among all of us. He is above religion, not GOD but nontheless an incarnation, a prophet who when utters a word, the country listens. 20 years have passed, everything has changed. If something's not changed, its Sachin Tendulkar... and Team India. We are still as dependent on him as were 10 years back. And this has been the story of his life.

    I hope the other GOD( read Indra) in heaven is listening.

  • rajpal on December 20, 2010, 6:29 GMT

    amazing man ,i have a pakistan friend who hates india and the people here the only one he loves is SACHIN thats tells the whole story how great the man he is.It took almost 140 years of test cricket to witness this moment.we all very proud of u sachin