India v Australia, 2nd Test, Bangalore, 2nd day

Tendulkar better than ever

Sachin Tendulkar has been in awesome form in 2010, and the journey from 13,000 to 14,000 runs has taken him the fewest number of innings

S Rajesh

October 10, 2010

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Sachin Tendulkar is getting older, and his skills are getting better and better. At the ripe age of 37 years and 169 days, Tendulkar has become the first batsman to get to 14,000 Test runs. Even better than the fact that he got there was the manner in which he raced from 13,000 to 14,000. If the question were asked, "Is Tendulkar playing the best he ever has?", the answer could well be, "Yes, he is."

Tendulkar reached 13,000 early this year, against Bangladesh in Chittagong. At the end of that match, he had 13,091 runs; since then, he has required only 12 more innings to crack the 14,000 mark, averaging more than 84 during this period, which is the highest he has ever averaged to get from one 1000-run mark to the next. Twelve innings is the least he has needed ever, and he has scored an amazing four hundreds and three fifties - including a 98 in the previous Test - during this period.

Tendulkar's career in 1000-run intervals
Runs* Innings* Average* 100s/ 50s*
1000 29 39.96 4/ 4
- 2000 16 72.61 3/ 6
- 3000 23 50.66 3/ 5
- 4000 19 56.61 4/ 3
- 5000 16 59.60 4/ 2
- 6000 18 69.06 4/ 4
- 7000 16 75.21 4/ 4
- 8000 17 57.18 3/ 4
- 9000 26 54.82 3/ 5
- 10,000 16 62.46 2/ 4
- 11,000 28 38.07 3/ 3
- 12,000 24 46.19 2/ 6
- 13,000 19 65.87 5/ 4
- 14,017 12 84.18 4/ 3
* All numbers have been calculated at the end of a Test match.

The year 2010 has been a spectacular one for Tendulkar. He has already passed 1000 runs for the year for a record sixth time (Brian Lara, Ricky Ponting and Mathew Hayden have done it five times), and given India's calendar for the rest of the year, he has a chance to go much further. After this Test in Bangalore, India have five more coming up before the end of the year - three at home against New Zealand, and two in South Africa. That should give Tendulkar ample opportunity to make 2010 his most prolific one ever - the highest he has scored in a year so far is 1392 in 16 Tests in 2002. He played 26 innings that year, averaged 55.68 and scored four hundreds. In 14 innings in 2010, he has already scored five hundreds and averages 87.25. At this rate, he is certainly within reach of the record for most hundreds in a calendar year - Mohammad Yousuf's nine in 2006 - though the record for most runs - Yousuf's 1788 the same year - might be a bit of a stretch.

Most Test runs in 2010
Batsman Tests Runs Average 100s/ 50s
Sachin Tendulkar 9 1047 87.25 5/ 3
Virender Sehwag 9 897 64.07 4/ 4
Jonathan Trott 10 880 55.00 2/ 3
Tamim Iqbal 7 837 59.78 3/ 6
Hashim Amla 7 796 79.60 3/ 2

Tendulkar's awesome run over the last four years has just increased the distance between him and Ponting in the race for the highest all-time run-getter. At the end of 2006, Tendulkar, with an aggregate of 10,590 runs, was 1267 ahead of Ponting's 9323. More importantly, Ponting seemed to have all the momentum - he averaged 88.86 in 2006 and scored seven centuries from ten matches, while Tendulkar averaged 24.27, with no centuries in eight Tests. In that year alone, Ponting scored 1066 runs more than Tendulkar. Since then, though, it's been all Tendulkar, and the gap between him and Ponting has increased to 1839.

Tendulkar and Ponting in Tests in the last five years
Year Tendulkar - Tests Runs Average 100s/ 50s Ponting - Tests Runs Average 100s/ 50s
2006 8 267 24.27 0/ 1 10 1333 88.86 7/ 4
2007 9 776 55.42 2/ 6 4 192 38.40 0/ 2
2008 13 1063 48.31 4/ 3 14 1182 47.28 4/ 5
2009 6 541 67.62 2/ 3 13 853 38.77 1/ 7
2010 9 1047 87.25 5/ 3 8 628 44.85 1/ 4
Career 171 14,017 56.29 49/ 57 148 12,178 54.60 39/ 54

All stats updated till the end of the second day of the Bangalore Test between India and Australia.

S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo

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S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.
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