Pakistan v India, 3rd ODI, Lahore, 2005-06 April 25, 2010

When the tough got going

The pitch and Asif were playing tricks, but they were up against a wizened master
80

It wasn't the best of times for Sachin Tendulkar in Pakistan. The enduring image of the Test series had been one of his almost squatting on the crease as a Mohammad Asif delivery cut back to make a mess of his stumps. "Endulkar" crowed a headline back home, and though he scored a century in the opening one-day game in Peshawar, India still lost. They fought back in Rawalpindi, and the series was still up for grabs when Shoaib Malik went out and smashed a superb hundred at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. India needed 289 to win, and it seemed a long way away as Asif packed off both Gautam Gambhir and Irfan Pathan on a pitch juiced up under floodlights.

He bowled wonderfully with that fluid action, getting the ball to dart this way and that, and Tendulkar's first stroke was a miscue out on to the leg side. From the outset, it was obvious that the stand-and-deliver tactics common on the subcontinent wouldn't work. Tendulkar responded with impeccable judgement. Asif continued to bring the ball back into him, and each time he shouldered arms there were oohs and aahs. In Asif's third over, Tendulkar left every delivery, except for a no-ball that was pulled powerfully for four.

While Rahul Dravid was being made to look like a fumbling amateur at the other end, Tendulkar left, cut, drove and pulled with authority. There were moments of luck, edges to third man, and the odd mistimed drive, in an innings otherwise marked by patience and terrific shot selection.

By the time Asif's six-over spell ended, the storm had abated, and when a powerful cut off Rana Naved-ul-Hasan burst through Asif's hands at third man and went for six, you knew how the game would go. Tendulkar finished with 95, the century denied by a lofted cut to backward point, and India romped home.

"I thought it was one of his best [innings]," said Dravid later. "There are so many he has played but this was really a special one." Two months later, the man himself told me the same thing.

Dileep Premachandran is an associate editor at Cricinfo.
This article was first published in the Wisden Cricketer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sudhir29 on April 27, 2010, 17:42 GMT

    @Usman Khan : I never said Imran is not classy. I was pointing out to Sachin baiters to recognize his class and I was highlighting the point that someone made that Sachin plays for money

    But all said and done : in the top few players of all time Sachin will make it , Imran won't

  • Quazar on April 27, 2010, 6:21 GMT

    The 2 drops were half-chances; neither was off Asif's bowling and neither was in the tough first 10 overs. 1st was a powerful square cut off Rana that burst thro' Asif's hands at 3rd man for 6...maybe a Rhodes or Devilliers would catch that...Pakistan have never had any. The 2nd was down the leg side off Gul...a good keeper would take that...but then Pakistan have Akmal. Tendulkar did play and miss due to the conditions, but he got through that and then played some brilliant strokes. An innings worth watching indeed.

  • AMRUTH on April 27, 2010, 3:13 GMT

    2 catches dropped off Asif's bowling, Sachin plain lucky! laugable, no bowler can bowl same delivery twice, some times even they are lucky, ball hitting something on the pitch and deviates, part of the game. Praising Imran Khan... Good! forgot the World Cup 1999 Pakistan were plain lucky indeed, I mean Rain God saved them and Inzy made sure that they won the World Cup later on.

  • pinhead9810 on April 27, 2010, 0:47 GMT

    It's so sad to hear cricket fans argue whose the best of all time and fans slagging off cricket players because they want to, or try to prove why one is better than the other. The innings was great, granted Akmal dropped two but that happens look at all other batsman's scores where they have been dropped and gone on to make large scores. Fans love to say things that may not be true but believe its true.....the fact that Murali throws and there's no question about this bowling action, people still regard him one of the best.....so does it matter if Sachin hasn't helped in winning....not really....many of his peers regard him and Murali one of the best....stop arguing who is better.....remember Sachin is a batsman and Imran is a all-rounder....as a complete cricketer, obviously Imran is better because he bowls and bats but as a true batsman Sachin is better. One more thing to say any cricketer is selfish is stupid and indicates that you're jealous of their position.

  • knowledge_eater on April 27, 2010, 0:27 GMT

    Post your comments in 1000 characters *Enter All Cricket Time-Pass Talk Here*

  • on April 27, 2010, 0:07 GMT

    ... and some of you are forgetting that Imran Khan was a specialist all-rounder, while Sachin is a specialist batsman. So comparing the averages or wickets wont show who's a better cricketer. I personally think the fearless nature of Imran Khan as a leader and how he rallied his troops and carried the team forward is priceless. The rest lies in difference of opinion. Some will say Imran, others who havent seen much of him would say Sachin.

  • BillyCC on April 26, 2010, 23:37 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar has struggled in the past to win games for his country. In recent years, his contributions to victories have been more significant and that has corresponded with his side going to No.1 in the rankings. I can remember a time when India could not win a series away from home. They had enormous batting strength but could never close out a series. Sachin and the rest of the batting lineup were the culprit on many occasions, not the bowlers.

  • on April 26, 2010, 21:51 GMT

    @zxaar: You probably havent seen much of Imran. I suggest you get at some archive footage and watch some of it. Imran Khan was just pure class!

    and I really dont get why people are making comparisons over here. Both Imran and Sachin are great cricketers in their own right. I dont think theres any doubt in that. and any cricket follower should know that. simple!

    and @Sudhir29: You definitely dont know class if you dont think Imran Khan was classy.

  • on April 26, 2010, 21:27 GMT

    I have my doubt if Mr. Premachandran watched the match ( I know it is supposed to be the best i've watched).Sachin was dropped twice initially and did play and miss couple of times. The basic trouble with people like Mr. Premachandran is their tendency to glorify Sachin so much that it puts one off. No doubt he is one of the greatest ( or perhaps the greatest) batsman, but to say "While Rahul Dravid was being made to look like a fumbling amateur at the other end, Tendulkar left, cut, drove and pulled with authority" is not only going overboard but also pretty demeaning to the other great player who was at the crease with Sachin.

  • zxaar on April 26, 2010, 21:17 GMT

    "zxar do u even know about cricket. cricket starts from Imran Khan and ends at IMRAN khan sachin would b a kid infront of him. Imran Khan is the greatest, allroundr, captain and cricketer ever. PERIOD" ------------- greatest , huh. averages in 30s and had scored only 7 centuries in both forms. You want to know what allrounder is , look at kallis. Rightly no-one ever remember imran khan and give 5 more years and even you will forget about him. As far as sachin is concerned he is best modern cricket has seen. His records won't be broken so , he is going to stay as ever as you can talk about records. Imran the greatest. What a joke.

  • Sudhir29 on April 27, 2010, 17:42 GMT

    @Usman Khan : I never said Imran is not classy. I was pointing out to Sachin baiters to recognize his class and I was highlighting the point that someone made that Sachin plays for money

    But all said and done : in the top few players of all time Sachin will make it , Imran won't

  • Quazar on April 27, 2010, 6:21 GMT

    The 2 drops were half-chances; neither was off Asif's bowling and neither was in the tough first 10 overs. 1st was a powerful square cut off Rana that burst thro' Asif's hands at 3rd man for 6...maybe a Rhodes or Devilliers would catch that...Pakistan have never had any. The 2nd was down the leg side off Gul...a good keeper would take that...but then Pakistan have Akmal. Tendulkar did play and miss due to the conditions, but he got through that and then played some brilliant strokes. An innings worth watching indeed.

  • AMRUTH on April 27, 2010, 3:13 GMT

    2 catches dropped off Asif's bowling, Sachin plain lucky! laugable, no bowler can bowl same delivery twice, some times even they are lucky, ball hitting something on the pitch and deviates, part of the game. Praising Imran Khan... Good! forgot the World Cup 1999 Pakistan were plain lucky indeed, I mean Rain God saved them and Inzy made sure that they won the World Cup later on.

  • pinhead9810 on April 27, 2010, 0:47 GMT

    It's so sad to hear cricket fans argue whose the best of all time and fans slagging off cricket players because they want to, or try to prove why one is better than the other. The innings was great, granted Akmal dropped two but that happens look at all other batsman's scores where they have been dropped and gone on to make large scores. Fans love to say things that may not be true but believe its true.....the fact that Murali throws and there's no question about this bowling action, people still regard him one of the best.....so does it matter if Sachin hasn't helped in winning....not really....many of his peers regard him and Murali one of the best....stop arguing who is better.....remember Sachin is a batsman and Imran is a all-rounder....as a complete cricketer, obviously Imran is better because he bowls and bats but as a true batsman Sachin is better. One more thing to say any cricketer is selfish is stupid and indicates that you're jealous of their position.

  • knowledge_eater on April 27, 2010, 0:27 GMT

    Post your comments in 1000 characters *Enter All Cricket Time-Pass Talk Here*

  • on April 27, 2010, 0:07 GMT

    ... and some of you are forgetting that Imran Khan was a specialist all-rounder, while Sachin is a specialist batsman. So comparing the averages or wickets wont show who's a better cricketer. I personally think the fearless nature of Imran Khan as a leader and how he rallied his troops and carried the team forward is priceless. The rest lies in difference of opinion. Some will say Imran, others who havent seen much of him would say Sachin.

  • BillyCC on April 26, 2010, 23:37 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar has struggled in the past to win games for his country. In recent years, his contributions to victories have been more significant and that has corresponded with his side going to No.1 in the rankings. I can remember a time when India could not win a series away from home. They had enormous batting strength but could never close out a series. Sachin and the rest of the batting lineup were the culprit on many occasions, not the bowlers.

  • on April 26, 2010, 21:51 GMT

    @zxaar: You probably havent seen much of Imran. I suggest you get at some archive footage and watch some of it. Imran Khan was just pure class!

    and I really dont get why people are making comparisons over here. Both Imran and Sachin are great cricketers in their own right. I dont think theres any doubt in that. and any cricket follower should know that. simple!

    and @Sudhir29: You definitely dont know class if you dont think Imran Khan was classy.

  • on April 26, 2010, 21:27 GMT

    I have my doubt if Mr. Premachandran watched the match ( I know it is supposed to be the best i've watched).Sachin was dropped twice initially and did play and miss couple of times. The basic trouble with people like Mr. Premachandran is their tendency to glorify Sachin so much that it puts one off. No doubt he is one of the greatest ( or perhaps the greatest) batsman, but to say "While Rahul Dravid was being made to look like a fumbling amateur at the other end, Tendulkar left, cut, drove and pulled with authority" is not only going overboard but also pretty demeaning to the other great player who was at the crease with Sachin.

  • zxaar on April 26, 2010, 21:17 GMT

    "zxar do u even know about cricket. cricket starts from Imran Khan and ends at IMRAN khan sachin would b a kid infront of him. Imran Khan is the greatest, allroundr, captain and cricketer ever. PERIOD" ------------- greatest , huh. averages in 30s and had scored only 7 centuries in both forms. You want to know what allrounder is , look at kallis. Rightly no-one ever remember imran khan and give 5 more years and even you will forget about him. As far as sachin is concerned he is best modern cricket has seen. His records won't be broken so , he is going to stay as ever as you can talk about records. Imran the greatest. What a joke.

  • Avid.Cricket.Watcher on April 26, 2010, 18:37 GMT

    That was indeed a fabulous knock! And I don't understand some of the petty / deluded comments here. I mean when bowlers (be they fast bowlers or spinners) like Warne, Donald, Bishop, McGrath, Murali, etc. have already rated Sachin Tendulkar as the finest modern batsman (either all by himself or alongside Brian Lara), then why do some fans make fools of themselves by disparaging the great man?

  • Quazar on April 26, 2010, 18:27 GMT

    @Shahzad...at least don't resort to lies! Tendulkar never nicked Asif in that innings...get a tape and watch it again, if your memory needs refreshing. And I think the great Sir Don's opinion carries a little more weight than yours...Tendulkar was the only cricketer from the last 30 years that Sir Don picked in his all-time XI.

  • on April 26, 2010, 16:15 GMT

    well first of all 2 catches droped off Asifs bowling against tendulkar in dat spell dan how is dat a gud inns? means sachin was just plain lucky in dat inns. n zxar do u even know about cricket. cricket starts from Imran Khan and ends at IMRAN khan sachin would b a kid infront of him. Imran Khan is the greatest, allroundr, captain and cricketer ever. PERIOD

  • KAZabbar on April 26, 2010, 16:05 GMT

    Anyone who even thinks about saying Tendulkar is not a masterclass must read "cricket for dummies" and then come back here. Everything this guy does is perfect, from the moment he walks into the ground till the moment he leaves, it almost seems he cant do any wrong and only himself can get SRT out. And about him winning trophies and cups, he is a single man, look at any other world cup triumph. Never did a single person win a world cup for his team, in 1992 Imran khan was helped by Wasim, Inzy, Miandad etc, 96 it was nothing but a team effort by SL, in 1999/2003/2007 Aus showed why a strong team is much better than a couple of strong performer.

  • on April 26, 2010, 15:23 GMT

    Sachin is definitely a great Player with class, style.. Some where I do agree that he might not a better finisher as you can see the IPL FINAL2010, and Indian Team tend to depend on him. Its evident from the IPL Final match, and that's being typical Indianism presented by the Mumbai Indians once the great gem fall off, No one took the responsibility, thereafter.. Not always technicality, being finisher counts. He is undoubtedly a great man, humble in his appearance, down to earth with his approach, those were better off not to be missed. A great lil Mastery Personality :)

  • Sudhir29 on April 26, 2010, 14:24 GMT

    For all baiters...Great Men are remembered for their failures and never for their achievements.

    1) Imran Khan went to Oz to play in the World Series for Kerry Packer. It was for the love of money.

    2) Imran himself rated this innings of Sachin as of his best. I have never seen Imran gush so much about any player.

    I just pity all the losers who like being critical on Sachin. You guys don't know class when you see it.

  • kanavkhanna on April 26, 2010, 13:52 GMT

    V.GOMES - Murali...?? The greatest ever???

    Since you are talking about numbers ...lets just put this in perspective

    Shane Warne: Total Test wickets: 708 ... Wickets against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh: 17.... Which means 691 test wickets against proper test playing nations..

    Muralitharan: Total Test wickets : 792...Wickets against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh: 176...test wickets against all other nations: 616...and not to mention the luxury of playing most of his matches in the subcontinent (far more conducive for spin bowling)

    Even though shane warne retired long ago and murali is still playing... warne still has 75 more wickets than murali while playing against stronger opposition

    Im a big fan of Murali..he is very unique and highly talented..but lets not kid ourselves about him being the "Greatest Ever" in history if we were to go purely by numbers.

    Also..the world cup win was mostly DeSilva/Jayasurya/Kaluwithrana with support from others...rather than murali .

    Cheers

  • merwtheperv on April 26, 2010, 11:10 GMT

    Dileep, please stop gloryfying tendulkar and this innings..tendulkar batted well, but kamran akmal dropped 2 sitters when tendulkar nicked asif..and dravid made to look like an amateur? please..

    even if tendulkar had batted perfectly (i.e. not given those chances), ur praise is way too over the top..this article made me nauseas

  • Kaaaaaaash on April 26, 2010, 10:34 GMT

    A man who give the new Life of cricket. such a great cricketer and a man too.

  • zxaar on April 26, 2010, 9:03 GMT

    "but I will reiterate what Imran Khan had said about him that he is not a match winner! stats prove it! he has scores he has records but he was rarely involved in match winning knocks." -------------------- or it only proves that the day he does not perform india do not win and is very much dependent on him. By the way imran who??? How many centuries he hit??? what is his average??? Nothing compared to tendulkar.

  • jnanesh on April 26, 2010, 7:05 GMT

    YES ABSOLUTELY SPOT ON ( Sachin, who is willing to risk injuries to play for his franchise, yet is not at all willing to represent his nation at the world T20.) If he is a world class batsman then how many world cup we won in his presence ? Its clearly indicates THAT he is playing for money and for himself only. WHO CARES FOR HIS HUNDREDS OR RECORD ? BETTER FORGET HIM

  • V.GOMES on April 26, 2010, 6:48 GMT

    Murali: 1 World Cup 4 Asia Cups 1 Champions Trophy 1 IPL Sachin: 0 World Cup 2 Asia Cups 1 Champions Trophy 0 IPL

    Greatness is not achieved by media, adds and write-ups. Its achieved on the field. I guess Murali is destined to be the greatest cricketer in history as he not only have all bowling records but he also continues to win at every level regardless of the team he plays with.

    Sachin seems to carry this aura of fear of loosing a final that sinks the team. Whereas, any team just feels they can't loose a final when they have Murali playing of them.

  • CricFan24 on April 26, 2010, 3:51 GMT

    In ODIs Tendulkar has 33 matchwinning Hundreds. In FINALs he averages 56 with 6 Hundreds (Ponting avgs 38, Lara 28)...Go figure

  • Humanoids on April 26, 2010, 3:40 GMT

    @kingdud dear if you remember then Shoaib had uprooted both "The Wall" and the "Master Blaster" in two consecutive balls in 1999. So leave cricket where it is! Dont be selectively amnesiac! Tendu and bowlers cannot be compared- batsmen had always had long careers! Tendulkar is a batsman of this era, but I will reiterate what Imran Khan had said about him that he is not a match winner! stats prove it! he has scores he has records but he was rarely involved in match winning knocks. There i will rate Laxman and Dravid as India's prime. Nothing away from Tendu! Like Miandad was an awesome batsman but not a good captain, does not mean Miandad was some thing less than any great of the era. Miandad and Inzi had the same things that Laxman and Dravid had, the tag of match winners! Lara was a match winner but not inspiring captain! God does not give you all! The recent 200 knock by Tendu was the culmination of his class!simply magical! The only man deservingly breaking Saeed's 194!!

  • zeb.kiani on April 26, 2010, 2:56 GMT

    Wel in this modern cricket. talking about Asia Best Batsmens: 1- Sachin 2-Jayasuria 3- Sangakara 4- Yousuf 5- Dhoni 6- Umer Akmal 7- Ghambir 8- Dilshan Best Bowlers: 1- Asif and Gul and Muralil 2-Aamer 3- Malinga 4- Irfan and Baju Best Al-rounders: 1- Shahid Afridi 2- Razzaq 3- Shakib-ul-hassan

  • shang on April 26, 2010, 2:16 GMT

    zxaar - I don't have the knowledge to compare the brilliance among players. But ultimately any sportsman who has discipline (i.e) keep away from drugs and mad night parties will ever win match for their country.

  • CricFan24 on April 26, 2010, 1:54 GMT

    The most amazing part is that after 21 years Tendulkar still dominates cricket. And guys, for every 99 who love him you will always get the 1 green with envy. Even Mahatma Gandhi got shot- Remember!

  • prajwolb on April 26, 2010, 1:11 GMT

    Tendulkar is a class above the rest. His performances in all formats of the game and on any pitches prove his genuis. For the last 2 decades, he has been mesmerising people around the world. Anyone questioning is class or abilities should either be too immature to understand this game of cricket or just plain dumb. I can't wait for him to come to Australia for the 2011 tour of India. Hail the little Master.

  • zxaar on April 25, 2010, 23:32 GMT

    "dravid did indeed look like a fumbling amateur. " --------- this is my recollection too.

  • Mystikal89 on April 25, 2010, 21:39 GMT

    @Shahzad Firdous: I specially logged in after reading your comment to reply to you. In my opinion, your mentality is completely biased towards your own countrymen. I think Sachin is better than any of those Pakistani players you have mentioned by leaps and bounds. What the man has accomplished speaks for itself. I am confident that even if it was a test match, Sachin would have easily seen off Mohammad Asif. If Mohammad Asif could not get out Sachin in the 10 overs he bowled, what are the odds he would have done it in 20 or 24... in a test where you can take your time (and leave balls) than in an odi where overs are limited.

    To summarise, I think Tendulkar is easily and undoubtedly the best Asian cricketer and I find your comparisons laughable. They are funny on another level.

  • zxaar on April 25, 2010, 20:45 GMT

    "Tendulkar cant match the briliance of IMRAN Khan, Wasim Akram, Saeed Anwar, Saqlain Mushtaq, Shoaib Akhtar,Asif , Inzamam and many others." --------------------------- you are obviously biased. By the way why shoaib was taken out of attack in that world cup match??? Tendulkar can't win match. Ha ha ha.

  • zxaar on April 25, 2010, 20:42 GMT

    "he got away cus it was an odi n der is a limit on number of overs a bowler can bowl. had it been a test match , he would have sooner or later got out ot Asif like he did during entire test series." ---------- tendulkar is still playing asif is free to take his wickets if he is still in team. Is asif in pak team or his career is already ended due to poor form or performance enhancing drugs??? Got the point.

  • kingdud on April 25, 2010, 20:38 GMT

    @ Prithvi Reddy

    I watched that game and with the movement asif was getting that night, dravid did indeed look like a fumbling amateur. I remember thinking wow dravid, the master of defence is struggling whereas sachin was confidently leaving and swaying. He knew exactly where both ball and off stump were. Just so you know, I am a big fan of Dravid and grew up watching him bat for Karnataka way before he even made his international debut. The author of this article is spot on in his assessment.

  • kingdud on April 25, 2010, 20:34 GMT

    @ Shahzad Firdous - you must be insane if you think shoaib akhtar is a better cricketer than tendulkar. Remember Ind vs. pak WC 2003? That should tell you who was boss. Imran and wasim are the only ones in your list who even merit comparison. Longevity speaks volumes. Saqi and Shoaib may have been brilliant for a very short time, but were very ordinary afterwards. Despite the fact they both made their debuts after sachin, neither one is still playing whereas the little master still is, and exceptionally well at that. That should tell you something.

    Hell, if a blind partisan like you hates him so much, he has obviously done something right over the years.

  • on April 25, 2010, 20:14 GMT

    I heard some people saying sachin is not able to deliver when it is needed.....I would like to show this innings to them.....He's not good in some pressured finals.But because of his super performance only India is able to enter into finals....

  • gr8_sachin_fan on April 25, 2010, 19:59 GMT

    Here is a man who is willing to risk injuries to play for his franchise, yet is not at all willing to represent his nation at the world T20. The same man when not in much form in 2007 gave the excuse of playing the 2011 world cup for his country, in a bid to prolong his career. His 20+ yrs career is littered with instances of his choice to first play for himself, money and the last priority is the team and nation. Even after all this, if someone claims to be a Sachin fan, they are just that. They are Sachin fans but certainly not cricket fans!!!

  • Hari19 on April 25, 2010, 19:53 GMT

    Great great great great great great great

  • 8ankitj on April 25, 2010, 19:51 GMT

    I am happy to see that someone mentioned this innings. It was certainly one of the better innings Sachin played while chasing score. Asif and Gul were breathing fire when Sachin provided solidity and also kept required run rate under check. Real gem of an innings. Pitty though, that he was not given MoM for that innings. That was terrible decision by the jury.

    As for the best cricketer sub-continent has produced, to me that will always be Imran Khan. Next two are Muralitharan and Tendulkar (I am an Indian btw)

  • nlambda on April 25, 2010, 19:13 GMT

    @shahzad firdous: you failed to mention that Tendulkar just can't match the brilliance of Aamer Sohail, Rameez Raja, Rashid Latif et al. Why leave these people out from list of Pakistanis clearly better than him? :-)

  • on April 25, 2010, 16:26 GMT

    he got away cus it was an odi n der is a limit on number of overs a bowler can bowl. had it been a test match , he would have sooner or later got out ot Asif like he did during entire test series. ploy adopted by indians was see off Asifs overs den dey could score against a weaklink like rana naved.but in tests dey could not get away from Asif!

  • on April 25, 2010, 15:54 GMT

    Well, someone said here that TEndulkar is d best Asian cricketer but in my view its a joke cus Tendulkar cant match the briliance of IMRAN Khan, Wasim Akram, Saeed Anwar, Saqlain Mushtaq, Shoaib Akhtar,Asif , Inzamam and many others. he has always failed to win games against us. Infact, as it was a oneday he managed to see off Asif spell quitely. Had it been a test match, he wont have goten away as hapened in the entire test series. Asif would have got him sooner or later

  • contextswitch on April 25, 2010, 13:22 GMT

    I think people are crazy at times..when they question about master's ability. It's so embarrassing..man!! he is Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar...got it!!.Now,just keep waiting for the master to complete 100 centuries...a landmark to be marked in history!!.We all indians owe you a lot (SRT).

  • on April 25, 2010, 13:03 GMT

    I remeber this game,, Being a pakistani,,i feel no shame in admittin he is/was/will b the best player ever frm Asia and the Second best in the world(Don Bradman is considered to be best)....this game was true example of this class and Talent...Love the Man for his skills...And I hope v all have the pleasure to c him bat for many many more year...not Only for the Indians but fr the whole people who love the game called 'Cricket'

  • on April 25, 2010, 13:01 GMT

    You must be kidding me.. i absolutely agree that this was a gem of an innings by tendulkar... But to say that Rahul was an amateur at the other end is unbelievable..as far as i remember Dravid was equally good at the other end.. if I'm not wrong he was run out on that game and wasnt dismissed by a bowler.. Just to glorify this performance of Sachin it isnt fair to undermine the performance of the others.. and that too a legend like Rahul..

  • on April 25, 2010, 12:34 GMT

    @ Mohammed Mehdi : it's a Million-dollar comment Mehdi, because the problem with all our new cricketers is the same: they can't contain their popularity, and faded away!

  • cric4india on April 25, 2010, 12:08 GMT

    Thanks Mark or 00..whatever your name be. Like sweetspot just mentioned, you are just "glorifying" him more. What a man! He still invites criticism when he has only one thing to prove- "he is a human and can fail". This is the literally the only think left. I won't tell more. Others are there to ground u more Mark! I sometimes feel people criticize Sachin on such forums so that people reply and enhance their stature! Phew!

  • Bengaluru_baay on April 25, 2010, 12:07 GMT

    I didn't know the late Sir Don Bradman was going around with an alias like Mark00...coz in reality, no one else even qualifies to comment on the great Sachin...Hey Mark00...hotshot...do you even know the game mate? coz clearly the Ambroses, Walshes, Akrams, Younises, Donalds, McGraths, McDermotts were not great enough fast bowlers according to you...ASTOUNDING!

  • on April 25, 2010, 11:59 GMT

    It's not surprising to note that an article on Sachin has appeared here.

  • Punter_28 on April 25, 2010, 10:49 GMT

    Whoever is saying Tendulkar cannot hook must be really joking to say the least...He had deliberately taken away that shot from his repertoire because of the high risk involved with that shot...the same used to be said about his mentor Sunny before who also eschewed that stroke for a long time because he was the primma-donna of India batting...but once when that pressure was off in last part of his career, he also dusted that out from his chest to hook his way to that memorable innings at Delhi & A'bad against the like M/S Marshall & Holding...you might see that also from SRT once he approaches the twilight of his career which is not far away.

  • on April 25, 2010, 10:38 GMT

    He is the greatest there is no doubt and still going strong.Hope he gets out of the IPL scandal clean!!! Asif is a great bowler same goes for a lot of Pakistani cricketers who are extremely talented but wild!!!!Mohammed Aamer is an example.This lad will make a name for himself if he can contain his popularity which should not get into his head.Good Luck Pakistan for the T 20.Mehdi - Singapore

  • screamingeagle on April 25, 2010, 10:18 GMT

    This one for the double ZERO mark. :-P The first poster here.

    You really do not need to search too hard for tendulkars gems against fast bowlers. Look at the series against SA and earlier against AUS.

    Maybe he should now make sure the opponents get good fast bowlers and then bat well to prove himself.

    Oh, and the bouncer is supposed to be a surprise weapon, else it is called bodyline..don't you think?

    Sad to see there is always someone to pull people down.

    Get a life, dude.

  • on April 25, 2010, 10:05 GMT

    Asif is really the best medium-fast bowler in the world. Hope for his come back like Gayle and strom. Karachi and the one He played in Sri Lanka (where he took 11) arehis best matches so far..... and Tendulkar....... master, nothing needed to say in his praise, is obviously the best around now a days.....

  • Vikramaditya100 on April 25, 2010, 9:55 GMT

    Hey Mark00, if Tendulkar is over-rated what about Ponting, Hussey and all other Aussies. Tehy can't play a spinner. And as far as You saying Tendulkar cannot hook i don't think thats necessary to judge how good a batsman is. In his prime he was more of a puller and he's pulled the likes of Ambrose, Walsh, Donald, McGrath, Wasim, Waqar etc. Pulling fast bowlers of such caliber is more difficult than hooking. And if you say Tendulkar cannot pull, I think either you don't watch cricket or you are some biased Aussie or English fan.

  • Rohan1 on April 25, 2010, 9:08 GMT

    Tendulkar at his Best- is the Best. Any format, any where, any condition, any time. The GREATEST BATSMAN OF ALL TIME- We Bow to the Master

  • Idol on April 25, 2010, 8:40 GMT

    Cant help but laugh at some of the comments, especially Mark00. I am sure there will be enough comments here to show him his place, so I will let it be. To me the most interesting aspect of this feature is the fact that when we ( as in the common, average Indian cricket fans such as me) sit down to list Sachin's most memorable innings - this will not be one of them. It shows two things to me - a) How we feel that a great century ( like the one in Sharjah where India lost) is also a great innings, just because its a century, b) And how important it is to Sachin to play an innings that leads to victory. Thanks for this, Dileep. Like many here I did not remember anything about this one, so it was nice reading

  • disco009 on April 25, 2010, 8:35 GMT

    Mark00, Tendulkar is only rated. neither under or over. what makes you think he cant hook. There is no such stroke he cannot play. May be he cannot play some shots with relative ease but thats same with all batsmen. He has played ambrose,walsh,imran khan, waqar, wasim akram, donald, mcgrath, shoaib akthar and bretlee. he has good success rate. one per over is sufficent. else you wil see batsmen ducking it and Cricket will be more criticised.

  • CricFan24 on April 25, 2010, 8:34 GMT

    Read on another blog.And seems so true: Future generations will recognise cricket as having been divided into 2 periods- BT and AT, i.e BEFORE TENDULKAR and AFTER TENDULKAR!

  • sweetspot on April 25, 2010, 8:25 GMT

    After so many years, it is still a tribute to Sachin that he invites criticism. It is true to this day, when the IPL final starts a few hours from now! How much does he alone have to deliver? Asif vs. Tendulkar - the most classical of contests, yes, that was fantastic. When Sachin licks his wounds and always comes back stronger, unfortunately distractions get the better of most of his challengers. Most of us thought Asif was God's gift to fast bowling, but like Wasim Akram says, he alone is responsible for his mess. Can't wait to get some quality bowling attacks in place or else the trade will go one way only - down the hill but filled with sixers.

  • prashant1 on April 25, 2010, 8:23 GMT

    @Mark00.Maybe,maybe not. The point and the question actually is "Who is Tendulkar over-rated by"? That is the real question. If you ask the genuinely fast bowlers of the generation(150 k +)- Akram, Waqar, Donald,Lee etc you will get a unanimous answer- "Tenduklar is the best batsman they have bowled to"...The real issue here is that some people from a particular geographical location are envious of genius.

  • prashant1 on April 25, 2010, 8:21 GMT

    And when , if ever,will some dodos realise that this was particularly the new ball spell being talked about. Dravid himself commented on it. The author actually SAW it - but the typical sick anti tendulkar brigade will come to their own pathetic conclusions by looking at the scoreboard...some things never change

  • prashant1 on April 25, 2010, 8:18 GMT

    Yeah,I remember the injuries almost finishing Tendulkar from 03 onwards. In '06 everyone thought Tendulkar was finished and would soon retire. Suddenly, the lara's,pontings,dravids,kallis's had similar stats- within the place of a few years!! BUT wadda comeback by the Master!

  • on April 25, 2010, 8:06 GMT

    Mark, Tendulkar is playing for last 20 yrs...so stop telling anyone that he cant hook a cricket ball. From 2000 he stopped playing hook shot to cut down the risk. he has played against wasim,waqar,ambrose,walsh,donald,mcgrath,shoiab,lee,mcdermot, bishop,bond,flintoff...try telling anyone that these are not fast bowlers. I am sure if he cant play a hook shot these greats would have showed it by now...

  • Go_F.Alonso on April 25, 2010, 7:48 GMT

    @Niraj13, unfortunately its not true with Chennai or any fans. It's only bcos of Tendulkar that being a DD/DC supporter, I want CSK to win. I'm sure there are thousands of us out there. Infact as long as he does what he does with India - score for himself while the team loses - I don't need to worry. Cheers.

    @xylo, Mark00 - completely agree with you guys.

  • AB99 on April 25, 2010, 7:34 GMT

    A century and a great 95 in the same ODI series against a very good bowling attack - and not if form .. this the expectations from Tendulkar and the greatness of the man ... whether he can hook or not - who cares ... and none of the experts in hooking have got 47 test 100's and nearly 14000 runs

  • kauldheeraj on April 25, 2010, 7:31 GMT

    Mark, you are right in stating the 'He' can't hook to save his life. He just reached 37 yesterday, and has a history of a severe back injury, after which, we gradually stopped playing those hooks and pulls. Just switch on to youtube, and search for "Tendulark's Sixes", you will certainly find one of the best hooks and pulls, sailing the ball outside the boundary beautifully. No offense meant, but he is playing in today's era, and is a Master in the game that is being played in today's generation. There is absolutely no point imagining how he could have played in a match featuring six fast bowlers. Agreed he ever succeeded in such matches, but at the same time, he never failed.

  • akhilhp on April 25, 2010, 7:00 GMT

    Dear xylo please go to this page to see what dileep meant by that. http://www.cricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/236809.html?innings=2;page=1;view=commentary Second it is not about glorifying one person it is about the best Dileep has watched. As you can see he even does not have any mention of how Sachin batted after Asif spell.. He was to highlight the tussle between the bat and ball thats all. See all other articles in this series and then you will understand what this series 'Best I have Watched is ábout.

  • Quazar on April 25, 2010, 6:54 GMT

    Fascinating contest that indeed! And @Mark00...Tendulkar has virtually stopped hooking in the last 5 years only because he doesn't want to or need to exert himself physically...instead he has perfected the ramp shot over slips to hit 4s at will! He used it brilliantly against Lee, Johnson and Tait during the 2008 Oz Tests (esp. at Perth) and ODIs, as well as in SA against Ntini, Nel, et al. In his 20s, he used to smash pulls & hooks for 6s against the best in the sport...3 of the most unforgettable for me personally were against McGrath (pulled right out of the stadium at Kenya in the 1st ICC knockout trophy), against Fernando - bowling at >90mph - (hooked out of the ground in the Natwest Triseries, in Eng in 2001) and vs Caddick (again smashed out of the stadium at Durban in the WC of 2003)!

  • on April 25, 2010, 6:49 GMT

    SACHIN SI GREAT BATSMAN

  • on April 25, 2010, 6:29 GMT

    it is one of the top 5 innings played by him i ODI's...others being 2 innings in Aus, one against pak in WC. I still remember Imran Khan saying that it is one of the best he had seen

  • zxaar on April 25, 2010, 6:29 GMT

    "Tendulkar is over-rated. He can't hook to save his life. Thanks to bouncer restrictions, he'll never have to. It's no surprise that there are no real fast bowlers these days." ---------- yes you are correct, there no fast bowlers now a days. Lee, shoaib , steyn etc are all spinners. Back then every bowler used to ball 100miles/hr. Twenty years this over-rated guy made mockery of bowling all around the world was simply because no-one ever bowls any bouncer to him. Look at old times how many players used to get out head-before-wicket. In fact bouncers resulted in most wickets for bowlers. You were spot on about tendulkar being over-rated and bowlers not bowling bouncers.

  • kayarr on April 25, 2010, 6:29 GMT

    Right Mark00 - and you are a better judge than the Don, Lara and many other greats. Mere ability to hook doesn't make one a great (Andy Hilditch..). It requires judicious use of the hook/pull along with impeccable judgment to duck / weave / leave the ball alone. If one plays long innings paceman still have a number of balls to have a go at the batsman.Even with bouncer restrictions we have seen many a top batsman being bounced out and that list does not include SRT.

  • don_quixote on April 25, 2010, 6:17 GMT

    Why doesn't someone find out who wrote that "Endulkar" comment and ask that "wise man" for his opinion now. If not at least print an article on how stupid he was...

  • RHARKI on April 25, 2010, 6:12 GMT

    It is simply amazing how we keep forgetting such once-in-a-lifetime innings that this man has played so many times in his life. Yet, at even the faintest of opportunities, we don't forget to remind everyone of how he bats badly in run chases and high pressure matches. It always seems that we keep creating new standards for him to scale to impress us and as on so many occasion in the past 21 years, the master obliges. And all this with such humility, I don't remember when even God has so humble himself!

  • lcx2k on April 25, 2010, 5:59 GMT

    Yes, Asif is a wonderful bowler. Too bad he took performance enhancing drugs.

  • Rahul_78 on April 25, 2010, 5:44 GMT

    Ah the feeling of the nostalgia. I remember this encounter very well. Dileep has been little understated in his mention of asif. That day asif was making the ball talk. He was swinging and seaming it at will and at good pace. He was relentless. If it wasnt for sachin and rahul indian might have bundled up in first 15 overs. And what an encounter it was. Sachin also played and missed a lot. But u cld tell frm his body language that he was up for it as he knew he had to see out asif if india had any hope. And the master played like a master. And what is it abt Rahul, why does this remarkable guy features in every noteworthy partnership off the decade for india. Pity most of the time he has been mentioned as robin to some other batmen. Thx dileep for rekindling the memories.

  • niraj13 on April 25, 2010, 4:57 GMT

    Good article, Dileep! I remember those times when Tendulkar was going through a lean patch and his critics were growing in number and happy that he was not the same guy, who used to rip any and every bowler in the world. But there were still some faithful fans (including myself), who had faith that their hero will come back strong and silent his critics. We all know today that he did. This season, there is such an overwhelming support for him that everyone, regardless of where they come from India, want Mumbai to win the IPL. I wouldn't be surprised to see Chennai fans supporting Mumbai. I hope he recovers for the finals and fins the final for MI.

  • xylo on April 25, 2010, 4:57 GMT

    a) I can't help but notice this at the end of the score-card ("MS Dhoni† not out 72 (46) 13x4 0x6 SR:156.52"). b) This paragraph - "While Rahul Dravid was being made to look like a fumbling amateur at the other end, Tendulkar left, cut, drove and pulled with authority. There were moments of luck, edges to third man, and the odd mistimed drive, in an innings otherwise marked by patience and terrific shot selection." - deserves special mention. I am sure with the exception of the balls where Dravid was "amateur"ish, Dravid's innings was marked with patience and terrific shot selection as well!

    For heavens' sake, this is a team game. Stop glorifying individuals.

  • Herakles on April 25, 2010, 4:41 GMT

    I was there to watch this innings. While he was playing it, I did feel it was one of his best. There was a straight drive off one of the medium pacers (Razzaq perhaps) which showed he was getting there in terms of form. The signs were there in the lost Test at Karachi when in the second innings, he scored an attacking 20+ which included a pull off Akhtar. This was also the series where the Yuvraj-Dhoni middle-order partnership began to bloom.

  • vaidyar on April 25, 2010, 3:59 GMT

    I remember this series. The ball kept doing things in almost all the matches. But while Inzy and Mohd Yousuf came down and more down the order letting the others see out initial spells, Tendulkar and Dravid did most of the grub work for Yuvraj and Dhoni to finish it off. Tendlukar was nowhere in peak form, but still kept belting away matchwinners at will while not shirking from doing the hard work required.

  • Mark00 on April 25, 2010, 3:31 GMT

    Tendulkar is over-rated. He can't hook to save his life. Thanks to bouncer restrictions, he'll never have to.

    It's no surprise that there are no real fast bowlers these days. Without being able to bowl bouncers it simply doesn't pay to be a genuine fast bowler. It used to be different.

    There was a time when a single match would feature six fast bowlers, all of whom were, more fearsome than any today.

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  • Mark00 on April 25, 2010, 3:31 GMT

    Tendulkar is over-rated. He can't hook to save his life. Thanks to bouncer restrictions, he'll never have to.

    It's no surprise that there are no real fast bowlers these days. Without being able to bowl bouncers it simply doesn't pay to be a genuine fast bowler. It used to be different.

    There was a time when a single match would feature six fast bowlers, all of whom were, more fearsome than any today.

  • vaidyar on April 25, 2010, 3:59 GMT

    I remember this series. The ball kept doing things in almost all the matches. But while Inzy and Mohd Yousuf came down and more down the order letting the others see out initial spells, Tendulkar and Dravid did most of the grub work for Yuvraj and Dhoni to finish it off. Tendlukar was nowhere in peak form, but still kept belting away matchwinners at will while not shirking from doing the hard work required.

  • Herakles on April 25, 2010, 4:41 GMT

    I was there to watch this innings. While he was playing it, I did feel it was one of his best. There was a straight drive off one of the medium pacers (Razzaq perhaps) which showed he was getting there in terms of form. The signs were there in the lost Test at Karachi when in the second innings, he scored an attacking 20+ which included a pull off Akhtar. This was also the series where the Yuvraj-Dhoni middle-order partnership began to bloom.

  • xylo on April 25, 2010, 4:57 GMT

    a) I can't help but notice this at the end of the score-card ("MS Dhoni† not out 72 (46) 13x4 0x6 SR:156.52"). b) This paragraph - "While Rahul Dravid was being made to look like a fumbling amateur at the other end, Tendulkar left, cut, drove and pulled with authority. There were moments of luck, edges to third man, and the odd mistimed drive, in an innings otherwise marked by patience and terrific shot selection." - deserves special mention. I am sure with the exception of the balls where Dravid was "amateur"ish, Dravid's innings was marked with patience and terrific shot selection as well!

    For heavens' sake, this is a team game. Stop glorifying individuals.

  • niraj13 on April 25, 2010, 4:57 GMT

    Good article, Dileep! I remember those times when Tendulkar was going through a lean patch and his critics were growing in number and happy that he was not the same guy, who used to rip any and every bowler in the world. But there were still some faithful fans (including myself), who had faith that their hero will come back strong and silent his critics. We all know today that he did. This season, there is such an overwhelming support for him that everyone, regardless of where they come from India, want Mumbai to win the IPL. I wouldn't be surprised to see Chennai fans supporting Mumbai. I hope he recovers for the finals and fins the final for MI.

  • Rahul_78 on April 25, 2010, 5:44 GMT

    Ah the feeling of the nostalgia. I remember this encounter very well. Dileep has been little understated in his mention of asif. That day asif was making the ball talk. He was swinging and seaming it at will and at good pace. He was relentless. If it wasnt for sachin and rahul indian might have bundled up in first 15 overs. And what an encounter it was. Sachin also played and missed a lot. But u cld tell frm his body language that he was up for it as he knew he had to see out asif if india had any hope. And the master played like a master. And what is it abt Rahul, why does this remarkable guy features in every noteworthy partnership off the decade for india. Pity most of the time he has been mentioned as robin to some other batmen. Thx dileep for rekindling the memories.

  • lcx2k on April 25, 2010, 5:59 GMT

    Yes, Asif is a wonderful bowler. Too bad he took performance enhancing drugs.

  • RHARKI on April 25, 2010, 6:12 GMT

    It is simply amazing how we keep forgetting such once-in-a-lifetime innings that this man has played so many times in his life. Yet, at even the faintest of opportunities, we don't forget to remind everyone of how he bats badly in run chases and high pressure matches. It always seems that we keep creating new standards for him to scale to impress us and as on so many occasion in the past 21 years, the master obliges. And all this with such humility, I don't remember when even God has so humble himself!

  • don_quixote on April 25, 2010, 6:17 GMT

    Why doesn't someone find out who wrote that "Endulkar" comment and ask that "wise man" for his opinion now. If not at least print an article on how stupid he was...

  • kayarr on April 25, 2010, 6:29 GMT

    Right Mark00 - and you are a better judge than the Don, Lara and many other greats. Mere ability to hook doesn't make one a great (Andy Hilditch..). It requires judicious use of the hook/pull along with impeccable judgment to duck / weave / leave the ball alone. If one plays long innings paceman still have a number of balls to have a go at the batsman.Even with bouncer restrictions we have seen many a top batsman being bounced out and that list does not include SRT.