India v South Africa, 2nd ODI, Gwalior February 24, 2010

I'd like to bat another full 50 overs - Tendulkar

Cricinfo staff

Sachin Tendulkar, who broke the record for the highest individual ODI score, overtaking Saeed Anwar and Charles Coventry on his way to the format's first double-hundred, has said his ability to bat the entire 50 overs was a testament to his fitness after having played the game for more than 20 years.

"It feels good that I lasted for 50 overs, a good test of my fitness. I'd like to bat another 50 overs at some stage and see that the fitness level doesn't drop," Tendulkar said after his effort helped India take a unassailable 2-0 lead in the series. "The ball was coming onto the bat and I was striking the ball well. So when everything falls into its place, it feels nice. It was one of the innings where I felt I was moving well. Since I was timing the ball well, I could be more aggressive and put pressure on the bowlers."

Tendulkar, while dedicating his feat to the people of India, credited coach Gary Kirsten for the team's success in both forms of the game after the debacle in the World Cup in the Caribbean. "I've enjoyed various challenges; after the 2007 World Cup things have looked different and I'm enjoying the game," he said. "The credit also goes to Gary [Kirsten], he has really held the team beautifully. It's about togetherness and playing for each other. You see during the practice sessions that Gary himself trains as hard as anyone else, or probably harder than anyone else as he's the one giving us practice all the time."

Tendulkar said he sensed an opportunity to break the record and reach a double-century when he had gone past 175 in the 42nd over. The record eventually came in the 46th over, and the 200 in the 50th. "When I was near 175-180, I thought I could get a 200 as there were quite a few overs left," he said. He added that he would prefer his achievement to be upstaged by an Indian. "I don't play for records, I play for enjoyment and play with lots of passion. That's how cricket started. I didn't start playing cricket to break all the records; it's happened along the way. The dream was to play for India and do my best.

"I don't think any record is unbreakable. Records are made to be broken. I hope that if this record is broken, it's done by an Indian."

This was India's third-highest score in ODIs, and Tendulkar said the 400-mark would not have reached if not for some big hitting by Yusuf Pathan and MS Dhoni. "I thought a target of 340-350 would be a good one, but Yusuf Pathan and MS Dhoni came in and hit the big shots and cleared the ropes consistently and helped us pass 400."

Tendulkar added that India were not relaxing despite having put up a mammoth score, for they were aware South Africa were the only team to have chased down a target in excess of 400. "This was the team that chased 434 against Australia. So we didn't get complacent and told ourselves that we had just got through the half-way stage by scoring 401. And what we did in the second half was extremely important. We were aiming at getting early wickets and putting them out of the game."

Dhoni, who witnessed Tendulkar surpass the record from the other end, said: "I think one of the best innings, you can say. It's always good to be on the other side, watching him score 200 runs. When he is tired and can't play the big shots, he was very clever to use the pace of the bowler and it's very difficult for the bowlers as they don't know where exactly to bowl."

India lost Virender Sehwag early, and Tendulkar was assisted in three sizable stands where runs came at a brisk pace, with Dinesh Karthik, Yusuf and Dhoni. "Once Viru got out, it was important to get some kind of a partnership going. They [Tendulkar and Karthik] went on with their innings, and they set a platform after which we were sure we would get 350-plus which would be a difficult target," Dhoni said. "Yusuf was sent up the order and with the talent he's got, he can be a great asset to the side."

Yusuf scored a quickfire 36 and was particularly lethal during the batting Powerplay, while Dhoni proved destructive at the death, bludgeoning 68 off 35 in a century-stand with Tendulkar in just 53 balls. "I have changed my batting a bit, but the situation demanded that kind [attacking] of innings," Dhoni said. "The ground is a small one, and we were a bit worried about the dew factor. But once they lost 3-4 early wickets, it was difficult for them to get back into the game."

For South Africa and their stand-in captain Jacques Kallis, it was a case of the basics gone wrong. "The toss was quite vital. Our basics were just weren't good enough today. We were outplayed," Kallis said. "We lost wickets at crucial stages, our basics let us down. A fantastic innings by Sachin; he took advantage of some good conditions and he played superbly. We let ourselves down in some areas."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rahul on February 26, 2010, 17:22 GMT

    This is really disappointing performance put up by the South Africans in the One Day Series against India, they came up with a lot of confidence and positives from the squared Test Series, but couldn't really try to make their mark in the One Day Internationals, the whole South African Team needs to be questioned except Jacques Kallis, Wayne Parnell & Ab De Villiers, they need to win the 3rd & the last ODI against the inexperienced and young Indian side, to atleast gain some confidence.

  • Dummy4 on February 26, 2010, 16:53 GMT

    no doubt that hes the best batsmen in the world!! no wonder he broke the record of highest individuals .......he is the `god of cricket'!!!

  • Charles on February 26, 2010, 14:54 GMT

    Well said "Lankapride". It would be nice reading a little token of your thoughts on Tendulkar on this great occasion for him. There is no real reason for being excessive and also bringing disrepute to other greats. I am amazed at the remarks made out against the great Bradman. Sachin himself would be embarrased. It is not necessary because a great was born in Australia and not in India to belittle his enormous achievement. Comparisions will never have the right measurements. Remember the world always go by history. Statistics say Bradman is the best by a heck of a lot. Let us accept that. Sachin is definetely a class act and it is true he has a lot of people coming with knives each time he fails as our media is fickle. Praise to the roof and ring the neck on a failure. No moderates. Accept the facts. If you are a real sportsman also compliment the opposition. We want India to do well but our real love is cricket and those who give us pleasure, certainly do not deserve castigation.

  • Dummy4 on February 26, 2010, 10:21 GMT

    Its true that"YOU CAN COMMIT ANY SIN WHEN MASTER BLASTER IS BATTING ,BECAUSE GOD IS ALSO BUSY TO WATCH HIM WHEN HE IS BETTING "......HE IS ULTIMATE i was alone among 200 south african spectators in the club.....up to 150 land mark every one was praying to get OUT apart from me.....but suddenally things went wrong and every body start praying (cross-finger) for his 200......and as soon as he got it...all people give me 15 minute beer shower..........that the charisma of SACHIN.................we all are privileged of you sachin..............

  • K. on February 26, 2010, 8:49 GMT

    When Tendulkar retires (shudder at the very thought) the cricketing world will realise that there were two periods in cricket- BT and AT… BEFORE TENDULKAR & AFTER TENDULKAR!!!

  • Mathan on February 26, 2010, 8:28 GMT

    Where is Sanjay manjrekar?

    If you ask about Sachin's 200 to Sanjay manjrekar, his answer will be like....

    "Sachin played for his 200, he didn't accelerate the score in slag overs. We need young blood in our team"

  • Shanmuga on February 26, 2010, 7:17 GMT

    @Bollo, It's a great disservice to Sir Don to compare him with any cricketer of his subsequent generations and Sachin will be the first to agree! Quite often he has said that he hates comparisons! But for heaven's sake can you stop comparing Ponting to Sachin!?! His test average is better than Sachin by how much? 0.11!! Couple of yrs back RP was at 59.5 and Sachin was at ard 54! Sachin has increased by 1.5% at his age after playing 150+ test matches and 2 yrs younger, RP has lost 4% after playing 120+ tests! Even to lose average after playing so many tests is difficult, so RP must indeed be special! And wht abt ODI averages that you comfortably ignore!?! SRT is better by 1.7%! And Ricky won 3 worldcups & 2 CTs on his own?? Waugh, Gilly, Hayden, Symonds, McGrath & Shane Warne must be looking for ur address to sue you! If anything, the bowlers contribution in Aussie victories in these cups have been far more than any batsman, definitely more than RP!

  • Dummy4 on February 26, 2010, 6:54 GMT

    Sachin's greatness lies in his passion for what he does, being a non-controversial person, dedication, humbleness.... all that is needed for a role model... this is the reason for which I love him like many others... if all of us show the same dedication and sincerity in whatever fields we are in, we can make this world a better place to live and give the best for our future generations... He is the role model for millions of people across the world and he deserves it.. I am proud to say I am a big fan of SACHIN

  • Sayadu on February 26, 2010, 6:39 GMT

    Yes, It is a fantastic moment in history of world cricket. Really I'm unluckily, didn't get chance to view the exciting and excellent milestone. Past few years, Sachin was criticized by media, leaders and individuals etc., But he is undoubtedly, hard working and trustworthy. He has dedicated his entire life to Indian cricket and hope he will continue till his end. He is a great asset to our Indian cricket industry. He is the best role model for our upcoming cricketers. If he is in team means, most of his teammates are felling comfortable and tension free. Really we have to proud that we are also living in his era. We wish him for his future games to create new world records

    Recently in his statement he said, his records are breakable, but it should be by an Indian. The words of Sachin is so astonishing and shows his patriotism.

    Best of luck SACHIN

  • Karthikeyan on February 26, 2010, 4:15 GMT

    Some guy wrote an article "Mirror Mirror...." in 2007 here at cricinfo... I dont know where he is now...maybe very busy eating his humble pie... Dont ever annoy the Master...

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