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'No one deserved record more than Tendulkar'
Sanjay Manjrekar on Sachin Tendulkar's record-breaking ODI double century (03:33)
February 24, 2010
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India v South Africa, 2nd ODI, Gwalior
'No one deserved record more than Tendulkar'February 24, 2010
What an afternoon there at Gwalior. It was easy to see early in the innings when India elected to bat first that it was a pitch totally in favour of the batsmen, and whoever the bowler was the odds were really stacked against him. The pitch was flat, the ground is small and just the atmosphere there - every second of third ball was disappearing for four. Considering all that, India needed to do something special given the team they are with so many world- class batsmen and so much depth in their batting. And that is what they did ending up with more than 400 runs and of course, Sachin Tendulkar's milestone.
It was incredible; 200 runs in an ODI innings is quite an achievement. Sachin has close to a hundred centuries in international cricket but he really needed this; something very special in an individual innings. He has got so many very good hundreds, but he needed that one knock that would create history. He doesn't have a triple hundred in Tests, he doesn't have the quickest fifty or hundred [in ODIs] or the fastest hundred in Tests. He has just got loads of very good Tests and ODI hundreds. So this is something he will especially cherish. He has that one individual innings that he can be really proud of.
It is a feat that has taken a while despite the number of ODIs being played and no one has really come close. Recently Charles Coventry got into the 190s but going past 200, like Sachin did and so comfortably - he didn't really struggle for much time or overs and got there quite easily in the end, [a testimony] to his fitness.
One of the changes that I have seen with Tendulkar in the last couple of years and which was noticeable in this innings was that two years back he would set his mind on a hundred right at the start of the innings. What has changed in the last two years is that he goes out there to enjoy his batting and play his shots and then when he is in his nineties, he gets conscious of a hundred and then goes past it.
On this occasion when he got past his hundred I don't think he was aiming for a double hundred. He realised quickly that these conditions were best for batting and he was just having a great time hitting the balls for fours and sixes and there were some excellent shots in that innings. Just when he came to the 190s he realised he had a great opportunity to get a double hundred and that was when he started thinking of that. That is one change you have seen in him in the last two years and its no surprise that some of his big hundreds in the last one year or so: the 160  against New Zealand and the 170  against Australia and now a double hundred against South Africa. It was a terrific innings and there is no one more deserving of getting that record than Tendulkar himself.
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