December 3, 2011

Why the 100th doesn't matter

An "international hundred" is an artificial landmark and we don't need to be flying into a frenzy because Tendulkar is on the brink of a hundred of those
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Had Sachin Tendulkar scored six more runs in Mumbai against West Indies, he would have climbed a cricketing Everest: a hundred international hundreds! No one has done this before, not even Bradman. And it's not as if Bradman didn't have the time: he played international cricket for nearly as long as Tendulkar has done: 20 years. I can hear pedants object that there were no ODIs in Bradman's time. So? They had Test matches, didn't they? And if he played only 52, whose fault was that? Slacker.

How many Test centuries did Bradman have? Twenty-nine. Twenty-nine? Tendulkar has 51. If he had gotten those six runs, he would have had 52 Test centuries, one for every Test that Bradman played. That would have been a record too, a minor landmark in Sachin's unmatched career.

How well I remember the great Muttiah Muralitharan's 1000th international wicket! How it was anticipated, how tense we were when he got to 999, how relieved when the great man winkled out… the name of his 1000th victim escapes me, but Cricinfo's Statsguru is bound to have it. Murali went on to take 1334 international wickets, 800 in Test matches and 534 in ODIs. The last 334 wickets were surplus to requirement because it's round numbers that count. Like a hundred hundreds. There's a ring to it. A century of centuries! My sources in a daily tell me that the paper has planned an eight-inch headline, just a single word: CEN-DULKAR! You read it here first.

Warne understood the round-number thing: the moment he got to 1001 wickets (he got the extra one because Hindus believe it's auspicious) he called it a day. You didn't know that Warne had a thousand international wickets (708 in Test matches and 293 in ODIs)? Those numbers don't trip off your tongue? And you call yourself a fan. Pah. How to explain the grandeur of Tendulkar's imminent achievement when you're surrounded by illiterates who don't know the basics about cricket?

I'm joking. The real cricketing illiterates are the people who believe that adding ODI centuries to Test centuries and arriving at a hundred gives you a heroic landmark. It doesn't. This isn't just a meaningless statistic, it's a pernicious one, because it equalises two different orders of achievement.

Making a hundred in a Test is a lot harder than making a hundred in an ODI. The opposition's best bowlers can bowl at you endlessly in Test cricket, instead of being limited to 10 overs; Test cricket features many more close-in catchers; and as the pitch deteriorates over five days, batting gets harder. Making runs quickly is harder too, because the fielding captain can set defensive fields without the field restrictions that make ODI cricket a leather hunt for the bowling side.

To club one-day centuries with Test centuries is to implicitly argue that Tendulkar's epic hundred at the WACA on his first tour of Australia, is the same sort of score as the meaningless hundreds he scored in those squalid ODIs against Pakistan in Sharjah. It isn't, and when we suggest that it is by inventing this empty category, "international hundreds", we devalue Test cricket and debase the currency of cricketing terms.

It is to speak and think like a child with 99 coins in his piggy bank, 51 made of silver and 48 of lead, who is dying to acquire one more coin of either kind because he will then have a hundred metal coins. The child can be indulged because he's too young to know better, but what of the grown men and women who follow cricket and report and comment on it, who carry on as if something monumental is about to happen each time Tendulkar crosses 50, and then mime tragedy when it doesn't? If Tendulkar played Twenty20 cricket for India, would an "international century" scored in that format count towards this century of hundreds? Even children know that winning a game of checkers isn't the same as winning a game of chess, though both are played over the same 64 squares.

When we invent this empty category, "international hundreds", we devalue Test cricket and debase the currency of cricketing terms. It is to speak and think like a child with 99 coins in his piggy bank, 51 made of silver and 48 of lead, who is dying to acquire one more coin of either kind because he will then have a hundred metal coins

So why are we going on like idiots about this non-event, this half-wit's holy grail? Why can't we be content to celebrate Tendulkar's real achievement? Fifty-one Test hundreds. Say that slowly because no one will ever score more. And if you must celebrate his 48 ODI centuries, do, but as a distinct and separate achievement. There's no such thing as an international hundred. If you do want to join his Test centuries to some other figure to bulk out his numbers, add to them his 27 first-class hundreds: at least those were made in the same four-innings format of the game.

The reason no breathless Indian television anchor is hyperventilating about Tendulkar's 78 first-class centuries is because that number doesn't sufficiently distinguish the great man: there are many batsmen who have better numbers. Tendulkar, whose 22-year career shadows India's history since economic liberalisation, has become, through no fault of his own, the totem of New India's self-congratulatory middle class. He is at once their redeemer and their guarantee of self-worth. He must, therefore, be a singular genius: in the heaven of cricket, there must only be one God: Tendulkar. And so a copywriter's meaningless catchphrase becomes a cricketing statistic: a hundred international hundreds.

Cricket does have one one true God, who lives alone in his own private heaven; unluckily for desis, he isn't Tendulkar, He is the aforementioned Bradman. Everyone else, from Hobbs to Lara, is part of a supporting pantheon of demi-gods. Tendulkar is among the most distinguished of these but he isn't pre-eminent, not even in this second-echelon host.

He isn't even the greatest cricketer of his generation. Murali's career figures as a bowler are more extraordinary than Tendulkar's career figures as a batsman, and if you think Murali's action disqualifies him, Warne makes for a pretty good substitute. And yet, I don't remember (and neither do you) anyone even noticing their thousandth international wickets. That's because they didn't have a billion consuming customers at their backs who shared a nation with them.

I believe that Tendulkar has a substantial claim to being considered the greatest Test and one-day batsman of his generation. This is a very large achievement with which he (and we) must be content. We don't need gild this lily with trashy "statistics". To use "a hundred hundreds" to winch Tendulkar up onto a pedestal is to disrespect the great players he has played alongside. Consider Jacques Kallis, who after 16 years at the top has a Test batting average higher than Tendulkar's. He also has 271 Test wickets to Tendulkar's 45, and 169 catches to Tendulkar's 110. If I was a determined South African fan looking for numbers to prove that my man was the best, I could legitimately argue that you would need to merge Sachin Tendulkar with Zaheer Khan to come up with Jacques Kallis. Zaheer, India's best strike bowler for years, has 273 wickets, barely more than Kallis. Do these numbers bear out the claim that Kallis is the more significant player? No they don't, because greatness in cricket can't always be boiled down to numbers - which Tendulkar's cheerleaders would do well to remember.

The most worrying thing of all is that the Little Master seems to have drunk his own KoolAid. For the last several innings he has looked weighed down by the pressure of this non-event. Someone should whisper in his ear that he is a great man, that this absurd quest is beneath him. If he does get a hundred the next time he plays a Test innings, he ought to see it as an oblique salute to Bradman, not an ersatz tribute to himself. There is no 100th hundred to be had: the whole, in this case, is less than the sum of its parts.

Mukul Kesavan is a novelist, essayist and historian based in New Delhi. This article was first published in the Kolkata Telegraph

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on December 6, 2011, 21:11 GMT

    Fantastic piece of writing this. In agreement with most of the things written in here. Mukul, respect!

  • BillyCC on December 6, 2011, 20:35 GMT

    @jay57870, agree that those are impressive stats by some distance and Tendulkar is truly unique in that regard. A few things to note: he has played 110 more matches (117 more innings) than Ponting to get the 30 extra centuries (a great conversion ratio it must be said) and it is likely that some current players will get extremely close to Tendulkar when they are finished. Alistair Cook in current form comes to mind if he continues to play Tests and ODIs and has the same career length as Tendulkar.

  • manav599 on December 6, 2011, 15:04 GMT

    Owww. This one really hurts. Sir Donald Bradman was undoubtedly the greatest Batsman. You talk about him not playing enough matches. He had to face a period of no cricket during World war-2. The feat he achieved in 52 tests and 338 First Class innings, I don't think Sachin,or anyone else for that matter, has achieved in as much time in terms of runs, centuries,doubles,triples, averages or whatever. Please Pay a little bit respect atleast. Sachin is the best one day player but in first class cricket, one of the brst but certainly not THE BEsT.

  • swarzi on December 6, 2011, 13:21 GMT

    'Tendulkar Globetrotting For A 100"! This would be a good headline for the press, due to the great hype being put on this event. And the irony of the issue is, his biggest criticism (that is, 'total self interest') is even more stark now in his effort to try to score this one. It is looks unreal to see a man going from continent to continent, in a multiplicity of tries, stalking a 100, though his fans used to think that he possesses some sort of wizardry in getting them. But he has to be careful that he does not repeat what once happened to him in the past, in his attempt to get this 100. There was a time when he played for nearly four consecutive years against the 8 traditional teams; batting in 45 innings and scored a single 100 (against SL); at an average of 31. He had to turn to Bangladesh who had not long ago made their debut in test cricket, to rescue his career - he mauled them. But this is the kind player they're trying to match with the Bradmans and Laras and Richards' - Crazy

  • jay57870 on December 6, 2011, 13:02 GMT

    Mukul - Do the numbers 30 & 6,973 matter to you at all? Probably not. What about 29 & 6,996? Aha! Of course it matters: Those are the great Don's career stats for Test centuries and total runs. But again what about 30 & 6,973? Hint: That's the difference(s) between Sachin's achievement and the next guy Ricky Ponting's in their international careers todate. Does it register now? You do the math: Compare Sachin's 99 tons with Ponting (69), Kallis (57), Lara (53) & Dravid (48). Again, compare Sachin's 33,294 total runs with Ricky's 26,321 & others' (below 24,000). Mind-boggling result: Just the differences of 30 & 6,973 exceed or nearly equal what the one "true god" achieved in his entire 52-Test heavenly career! Sachin's is the most dominant performance of all! The other "demi-gods" - Hobbs to Kallis - are not even in the pantheon. Kesavan once stated: "Tendulkar has a claim to being the greatest batsman in the world because he is that rare thing: an original"! How true! He is The One!

  • BillyCC on December 6, 2011, 2:38 GMT

    @afs_talyarkhan, well said. A lot of people have tried to play down the achievements of Bradman, but all have failed to come up with adequate reasons as to why he averages close to double the average of greats across all eras. Those similar people also struggle to explain why greats in the same era only average 5 to 10% better than "good but not great" players.

  • Bobby_Talyarkhan on December 5, 2011, 22:39 GMT

    Full marks to MK - I have criticised him in the past but his objectivity and uncompromising fidelity to the great game are amply in evidence here. As Adorno once wrote "All reification is a forgetting" and it is the historical perspective which is most welcome here. A batsman who can average 100 every time he walks out to bat in a test match (and 50 odd against bodyline bowling without a helmet) is on a different planet to everyone else and test cricket is always the ultimate arbiter of the good, the bad and the indifferent. Of course we can all quibble about who is the greatest we have seen in our own time - but there is no dispute about who is the greatest of all time. Sachin is one of the most consistent batsmen of all time, also one of the most durable over twenty years, and at his best in the late nineties he was incredible. But no way is he the greatest even of our time let alone of all time.

  • chaitanyaTAMANE on December 5, 2011, 20:14 GMT

    @Mukul Kesavan (writer) - You don't have to write on things you don't understand. Every form of hundred has its own importance. Getting a hundred in an ODI is difficult given the limited number of balls you face and the strike rate you need to maintain. Similarly, a 20-20 hundred is again important given the limited balls you face. An international hundred is same irrespective of the form of the game it is achieved in. Disappointing article.

  • SouthPaw on December 5, 2011, 9:53 GMT

    Finally someone had the guts to say it out! 100 "International Centuries" counted for zip when India was getting mauled in England. And people like GMNorm - please re-read the piece!

  • on December 5, 2011, 9:22 GMT

    But SRT is a record player. He likes recording, who cares if team wins or loses. Record is paramount for him and fantards.

  • on December 6, 2011, 21:11 GMT

    Fantastic piece of writing this. In agreement with most of the things written in here. Mukul, respect!

  • BillyCC on December 6, 2011, 20:35 GMT

    @jay57870, agree that those are impressive stats by some distance and Tendulkar is truly unique in that regard. A few things to note: he has played 110 more matches (117 more innings) than Ponting to get the 30 extra centuries (a great conversion ratio it must be said) and it is likely that some current players will get extremely close to Tendulkar when they are finished. Alistair Cook in current form comes to mind if he continues to play Tests and ODIs and has the same career length as Tendulkar.

  • manav599 on December 6, 2011, 15:04 GMT

    Owww. This one really hurts. Sir Donald Bradman was undoubtedly the greatest Batsman. You talk about him not playing enough matches. He had to face a period of no cricket during World war-2. The feat he achieved in 52 tests and 338 First Class innings, I don't think Sachin,or anyone else for that matter, has achieved in as much time in terms of runs, centuries,doubles,triples, averages or whatever. Please Pay a little bit respect atleast. Sachin is the best one day player but in first class cricket, one of the brst but certainly not THE BEsT.

  • swarzi on December 6, 2011, 13:21 GMT

    'Tendulkar Globetrotting For A 100"! This would be a good headline for the press, due to the great hype being put on this event. And the irony of the issue is, his biggest criticism (that is, 'total self interest') is even more stark now in his effort to try to score this one. It is looks unreal to see a man going from continent to continent, in a multiplicity of tries, stalking a 100, though his fans used to think that he possesses some sort of wizardry in getting them. But he has to be careful that he does not repeat what once happened to him in the past, in his attempt to get this 100. There was a time when he played for nearly four consecutive years against the 8 traditional teams; batting in 45 innings and scored a single 100 (against SL); at an average of 31. He had to turn to Bangladesh who had not long ago made their debut in test cricket, to rescue his career - he mauled them. But this is the kind player they're trying to match with the Bradmans and Laras and Richards' - Crazy

  • jay57870 on December 6, 2011, 13:02 GMT

    Mukul - Do the numbers 30 & 6,973 matter to you at all? Probably not. What about 29 & 6,996? Aha! Of course it matters: Those are the great Don's career stats for Test centuries and total runs. But again what about 30 & 6,973? Hint: That's the difference(s) between Sachin's achievement and the next guy Ricky Ponting's in their international careers todate. Does it register now? You do the math: Compare Sachin's 99 tons with Ponting (69), Kallis (57), Lara (53) & Dravid (48). Again, compare Sachin's 33,294 total runs with Ricky's 26,321 & others' (below 24,000). Mind-boggling result: Just the differences of 30 & 6,973 exceed or nearly equal what the one "true god" achieved in his entire 52-Test heavenly career! Sachin's is the most dominant performance of all! The other "demi-gods" - Hobbs to Kallis - are not even in the pantheon. Kesavan once stated: "Tendulkar has a claim to being the greatest batsman in the world because he is that rare thing: an original"! How true! He is The One!

  • BillyCC on December 6, 2011, 2:38 GMT

    @afs_talyarkhan, well said. A lot of people have tried to play down the achievements of Bradman, but all have failed to come up with adequate reasons as to why he averages close to double the average of greats across all eras. Those similar people also struggle to explain why greats in the same era only average 5 to 10% better than "good but not great" players.

  • Bobby_Talyarkhan on December 5, 2011, 22:39 GMT

    Full marks to MK - I have criticised him in the past but his objectivity and uncompromising fidelity to the great game are amply in evidence here. As Adorno once wrote "All reification is a forgetting" and it is the historical perspective which is most welcome here. A batsman who can average 100 every time he walks out to bat in a test match (and 50 odd against bodyline bowling without a helmet) is on a different planet to everyone else and test cricket is always the ultimate arbiter of the good, the bad and the indifferent. Of course we can all quibble about who is the greatest we have seen in our own time - but there is no dispute about who is the greatest of all time. Sachin is one of the most consistent batsmen of all time, also one of the most durable over twenty years, and at his best in the late nineties he was incredible. But no way is he the greatest even of our time let alone of all time.

  • chaitanyaTAMANE on December 5, 2011, 20:14 GMT

    @Mukul Kesavan (writer) - You don't have to write on things you don't understand. Every form of hundred has its own importance. Getting a hundred in an ODI is difficult given the limited number of balls you face and the strike rate you need to maintain. Similarly, a 20-20 hundred is again important given the limited balls you face. An international hundred is same irrespective of the form of the game it is achieved in. Disappointing article.

  • SouthPaw on December 5, 2011, 9:53 GMT

    Finally someone had the guts to say it out! 100 "International Centuries" counted for zip when India was getting mauled in England. And people like GMNorm - please re-read the piece!

  • on December 5, 2011, 9:22 GMT

    But SRT is a record player. He likes recording, who cares if team wins or loses. Record is paramount for him and fantards.

  • muski on December 5, 2011, 8:33 GMT

    Mr Kesavan- A Contradicting article in many senses. If you think that an ODI hundred is not worth its value why then such a hue and cry about the 100th International Hundred as 48 of them are from ODI's. The reference to Kallis is also quite funny. If Kallis came close to Sachin in terms of aggregate test runs, on what basis would you say that Sachin is a better batsmen. Even our great wall is catching up with Sachin on aggregate runs. When all these 3 guys hang up their boots, if a question is asked as to who was the most prolific scorer among these 3, the answer would be Sachin. However if you ask more probing questions as to who had better match temperament, better nerves, better big match player etc, Iam sure you will have different answers. As beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, the greatness of a batsmen lies in the ears of the listener who gets answers to these questions.

  • on December 5, 2011, 8:22 GMT

    I agree with the fact of this being a non event. But you cannot bear down Tendulkar's achievement by comparing him to Warne, Murli or Kallis as they always had better teams to support their cause through out their careers. Whereas Tendulkar has scored most runs against the best teams of the World. Also the burden of expectations that Tendulkar had is something they cannot even dream of. No offences to the greatness of the above mentioned cricketers, I think Tendulkar is a far superior player in his era.

  • Visangat on December 5, 2011, 8:12 GMT

    Mukul,

    Succinct article - sets the "100th Intl hundred" in perspective. Media can go berserk chasing these headlines, and it has seemingly affected the great man as well. Sachin is definitely one of the greats of two combined eras - early 90's and the new millennium. He has adjusted, redefined, re-calibrated and continued. And looks pretty fit and in the zone for many more runs. And since India has begun to win consistently (barring the England aberration); he seems happier. He must play Test matched and win us matches. All the hoopla around data points are meaningless - especially this one. And you pointed out the 1000 international wickets - that is a hard statement. Point well made! There is Bradman; and the rest follow; in order of how each one prefers it.

    Thanks for a poignant article.

  • on December 5, 2011, 7:38 GMT

    Comparisons between two players of different eras is a moot point... we would not know how the variables at that time would have compared against today. Although a warne and murali comparison makes more sense as they are practitioners of the same trade in the same time frame where the opposition sides remained almost the same.

  • on December 5, 2011, 7:28 GMT

    When there is a talk of the best batsman of 1990s and 2000s, there are of course many. Brian Lara has to be the best batsman of his time. No one, not even Don could compile such huge scores like 500s, 400s, 300s, 200s leave alone other batsmen. If you compare Lara with Sachin for the same number of tests, Lara was ahead of him. Even Kallis is head of Sachin for the same number of games. When Kallis plays as many tests as Sachin did, he will go ahead of Tendulkar if we go by the current record. Ponting also had a better record than Tendulkar in test till 2007. What about certain Gilchrist who averages 48 (and above 50 for most part of his career) in test cricket at No.7. What about Sehwag. What about certain Jaysurya who transformed the Sri Lankan team's fate. Tendulkar got more hundreds in one dayers as he opened the innings. In 100 odd one dayers where Tendulkar batted in middle order, he has only a few hundreds. Tendulkar is one of the best batsmen.

    Tendulkar had better record

  • kaustubhg87 on December 5, 2011, 7:27 GMT

    Mr Kesavan, considering your ruse that ODI and Test hundreds by the same batsman can not be compared, by that measure could you please explain how did you, while writing this article, even contemplate comparing bowlers with batsmen and all rounders. You defeat the purpose of the article by doing so. Cricinfo has a collection of lot of good articles, please do not bring down the cumulative level by writing such bad articles.

  • on December 5, 2011, 6:00 GMT

    THE GRAPE IS SEWER!! ..................................................

  • AtticusFinch on December 5, 2011, 4:59 GMT

    Like this 'non-event' as Mukul so rightly pointed out, all those people who are comparing Tendulkar with Don Bradman are complete non-entities, without a clue about the game, save for their slavering hero-worship. Absolutely brilliant article, Mukul. I especially liked the satire in the first part of the article, which our clueless hordes have not picked up.

  • JackJak on December 5, 2011, 4:43 GMT

    test cricket was much tougher when there good quality bowlers around..but that isnt the case for such a long time now..the last of the quality bowlers was Akram ..So all these statistics are all rubbish..just made for people and the media to lap it up and hype it up..keep scoring 100s on these lifeless tracks where the ball doesnt bounce more than ankle height and show off..total rubbish

  • on December 5, 2011, 4:13 GMT

    The hype - and now the griping by Mukul Kesavan - around Tendulkar's 100 international centuries are creations of the media. If there is anyone who needs to introspect at this article, it should start with Kesavan. As for the landmark, it will be one which we, his fans, will celebrate, the rest of the cricket world will grudgingly acknowledge, and a whole lot of people will actually find something to deride him about - and Kesavan already tops the list. A lot of people will remember the celebrations in Australia when Ricky Ponting passed Rahul Dravid's batting average a couple of years back. Everyone with access to a computer was declaring Ponting the best batsman of his era - frankly, if that "achievement" was worthy of so much brouhaha, then 100 international centuries is at least a genuine landmark to celebrate. If Kesavan feels so badly about it, he should find himself a nice, deep, dank hole where he is spared the joy of Tendulkar's achievement - and let us enjoy it, please!

  • Srini_Indian on December 5, 2011, 3:35 GMT

    Bradman played in joke of an era. If he played in this era, the bowlers would have worked him over and he would be just another good batsman

  • JWaters on December 5, 2011, 3:06 GMT

    It's a disrespectful article to the best the game has ever seen and it makes me want to see who Sachin averages the most against and who "the don" had a good average against. Tendulkar has an average of 136 against Bangladesh where he has scored 5 magical centuries. Bradman averaged 178 against India in 5 matches.

  • on December 5, 2011, 2:33 GMT

    Guy, just give the poor little writer some space to breeth... all he wanted was to praise Sachin thats all and illustate the greatness of sachin... to be honest with you I am also a huge fan of Sachin but i think the writer went too far by comparing him with bradman ... now wheather his methodology was right or wrong a kid on the street can give a better answer. To me test cricket should not be compared with one day cricket.. bowlers and batsmen both have the luxury of time in test whereas in one day cricket they have to make or break within 50 overs... they come to each with different mindset.. the batsmen will apply themselves differently and so do the bowlers... We have all seen how cricket has been transformed.. the two new ball rule, the fielding restrictions, the power plays, the quality of equippments, the quality of pitches, the quality of grounds, the hotspot, the referral system etc etc.... all this is part of the transformation so Sachin should not be compared with Bradman

  • crickeyt on December 5, 2011, 0:33 GMT

    Haha, the article became a joke when the writer suggested that a first-class 100 is more difficult than an ODI 100. Even Ravindra Jadeja can slam a 300 in Ranji trophy! And it is illogical to talk about artificial landmarks and yet treat centuries, first-class or otherwise, as some measure of a batsman's worth.

  • IPSY on December 5, 2011, 0:26 GMT

    Please leave Sir Don Bradman out of this comparison with Tendulkar nonsense. It is a serious insult to the man. If the Indians somebody to compare with Tendulkar, let them tell us, 'who is presently the better batsman - Tendulkar or Darren Bravo? We just saw both of them on show in the recent series between West Indies and India. I am sure all who saw them on show would shout vociferously "Bravo". I wonder how tha Australians feel to hear the Indian Tendulkar worshippers comparing him with the true god of batting. What an insult to the Great Sir Don!

  • writehaseeb on December 5, 2011, 0:16 GMT

    Tendulkar, great batsman and a great run getter - that's what Sunil Gavaskar is know for - along with great technique, so is Sachin. Saying that he is the greatest batsman of his generation is false ... you see Brian Lara in his prime and form and you will sknow what sheer genius is. But it is great to have an entertainer like Sachin around, not many are left in world cricket.

  • Shorndrack on December 5, 2011, 0:15 GMT

    Continued: I was wondering, how come Kallis got a better average than Sachin... Then, noticed that, against West Indies, after the retirement of both Walsh and Ambrose, Kallis has scored 7 test centuries and also 8 not outs ( out of his total of 11) in 23 innings. This really boosted up the average. Not to mention his 5 centuries against Pakistan in less than 10 innings, whenever none of Wasim, waqar, Akthar and Saqlain been playing. And thats when Kallis becomes great. Wait for all the best players to retire and then boost up the statistic. And a quote to finish with from a south African player "Kallis been too hard to be approached for batting when needed help, for a long time. He has changed now"

  • Shorndrack on December 4, 2011, 23:59 GMT

    Dear Mukul,

    I completely agree to your point that Kallis is better than Sachin. And your mentioning of average to highlight the point is even better. And I thought of providing some statistic to the so called ardent fans of Sachin, why Kallis is a better batsman. Against Australia, the weakest bowling side of last 16 years, Sachin averages only 61, whereas Kallis average mighty 40. And in the flattest tracks in the world i.e. in England, Sachin averages only 54, whereas Kallis is the best with an average of 29. Against the side with the worst off-spinner of our generation i.e. Srilanka, Sachin averages only 60, whereas Kallis leads again with 33 with 0 centuries... TB C

  • Cpt.Meanster on December 4, 2011, 23:03 GMT

    First of all there should never be comparisons between cricketers from different eras. They all are great in their own ways and bring different flavors to the table. Coming back to Tendulkar, he's the BEST of his generation. There shouldn't be any arguments to that. Even Lara, Ponting and co. agree to that. Secondly, and MOST importantly, The great Sir Don himself praised Sachin and told his wife that if there is one player CLOSEST to him it is Tendulkar. This means, Bradman = Tendulkar in Bradman's own words. I don't think the world needs to offer any more opinions on Tendulkar after such words from the Don himself. Tendulkar is a LEGEND and he doesn't need to prove anything to anyone. Godspeed.

  • Legaleagle on December 4, 2011, 22:31 GMT

    Bradman is no match to Tendulkar. PERIOD!

  • Mel-waas on December 4, 2011, 22:12 GMT

    'the meaningless hundreds he scored in those squalid ODIs against Pakistan in Sharjah' I can't disagree with the above statement anymore. Sachin scored only one century against Pakistan in Sharjah in 96 that was against an attack comprising of Waqar Younis, Aaqib Javed & Saqlain Mushtaq. What about his ODI century against Namibia or 4 ODI centuries against Kenya or 5 ODI centuries against Zimbabwe. 5 Test Centuries against Bangladesh?

  • moBlue on December 4, 2011, 21:15 GMT

    bradman, yes, no argument.

    then it has got to be tendulkar... in batting... though i'd put him on par with viv richards and would not argue that maybe tendulkar was a distant second to viv in fear inspired in opponents...

    but the greatest cricketer of this generation? jacques kallis, without question... and i'd put him on par with sobers... though comparing across generations is non-sensical...

    the greatest bowler... murali. [[[and i will continue to ignore AUS fans who want to put an asterisk against his name... your warne was pretty good and i remember seeing - in slo-mo - a bend/kink even in mcgrath's action, so enough already aboutmurali's action, since both mcgrath and murali were officially sanctioned by the ICC.]]]

    does this have to be so difficult? :)

  • Harmony111 on December 4, 2011, 20:55 GMT

    Alright, even if we accept that Bradman was just lucky to have played in an era where the bowlers were not too keen to bowl and the fielders not so keen to run - how can we ignore the fact he still scored more runs at a faster pace than any one else? Why don't we use the records of his peers as the reference point? Bradman's record vs his peers' record is like a 1000 cc bike vs a 250 cc bike. That said, Sachin does have very strong claims to be the next 500 cc bike. There have been others too however. Richards and Lara are the two names that ought to be taken in the same line as Sachin if not before him. I have not seen Sobers so can't talk about him but his record was terrific too. Ponting is a great too and so is Gilly. After that the list gets murky.

  • BillyCC on December 4, 2011, 20:38 GMT

    Two myths in this forum should be dispelled immediately. The first is that because the bowling quality back in the 30s and 40s was considerably less than in the modern era, then Bradman can not be considered great. What a load of rubbish. The same applies for the batting quality. Shot selection was limited, the fitness of an average batsman was poor, full time training was non-existent because most had to work full time, and the concept of a batsman being in good form was blurry because of the long time between tours and the increased likelihood of getting sick whilst on tour or on the ship on the way to the tour. The conditions were the same for everyone and yet one batsman was able to average twice what is considered to be a great average. No other batsman has ever stood out against his peers like that.

  • Harmony111 on December 4, 2011, 20:31 GMT

    @Unmesh_cric:-

    I can't find a video for that. More imp, I find no mention of that thing in the usually so verbose Cricinfo commentary. Are you sure a run was indeed refused or is that a case of seeing too much? I can't believe that a run was refused and the Cricinfo staff or the eagle eyed readers (many watch it live too) missed it. Just to be sure, are you talking about Over 63, ball 2? As for your reply to my analogy, it is great to hear that you won't feel any pressure assuming that you already have a 90 million job. I for one feel so tense even for my status updates or PoCs leave alone the Appraisals. May be you are different than Sachin. I will try to watch that over somewhere and then see if you are correct or not.

  • simon_w on December 4, 2011, 20:15 GMT

    i'm glad someone wrote this piece. the argument that no-one noticed Murali or Warne's "1,000th international wicket" is well taken. as usual, the amount of idiocy in the comments is a source of amusement and exasperation in equal measure.

  • on December 4, 2011, 19:55 GMT

    Sure Tendulkar is one of the best batsmen we've ever seen but Seriously? You're comparing Bradman to Tendulkar? There wasn't enough cricket at that time period. If you wanna compare statistics compare averages or how the amount of centuries Bradman scored per test match on average. Bad Article!

  • CricEshwar on December 4, 2011, 18:07 GMT

    Only since you took this so seriously, you came up with such a huge article.

  • on December 4, 2011, 17:24 GMT

    truly hilarious opening paragraph, where comparison between tendulkar and bradman were made. and the arguments established there were pathetic (i.e bradman played for 20 years, so did tendulkar; bradman played 52 tests in those 20 years...so whose fault was that etc...). Well, he did play a lot of first class and scored a heck number of centuries (Match: 234, Century: 117, Avg: 95.14). And for your information, if you don't know, there was WWII (1939-1945) in his playing era... so stop comparing with bradman and tendulkar, and come to reality. there is no match between them. and don't make me to start saying about the bowlers and bowling of bradman's time...

  • on December 4, 2011, 16:50 GMT

    lolz .... such a big article ... and no sense in it at all ... saying test cricket centuries matter more than ODIs... oh come on, if best bowlers bowl unlimited in tests, so does the batsmen have 5 days ... they can defend 200 balls without anyone raising a single eyebrow ....

  • on December 4, 2011, 16:50 GMT

    just have the one arguement with the writter that iv bradman played that much test as mauch tendulkar . tendulkar can never be compared with bradman class.average and consistency...andthat time cricker was not that much fast bas today doo.

  • sagar.167 on December 4, 2011, 16:29 GMT

    though the article is nicely written..one cannot disregard that fact that it takes hours of concentration to score 1 hundred, may it be in tests or ODIs.. and in both cases, just 1 ball is enough to end that effort.. so 100 100s is definately something.. As far as Murali's achievements go, its too unfair to compare bowlers n batsmen.. Best batsmen of Murali's era (Sachin n Lara) had him totally sorted out.. Also, I wud rate Warne higher than Murali for the sheer fact that most of his wickets came in spin unfriendly pitches of Eng n Aus,at a time when Aus team had many wicket taking bowlers..!!

  • jay57870 on December 4, 2011, 15:55 GMT

    (Contd) Incidentally, India achieved a tally of 3 medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics: 1 gold & 2 bronze for shooting, boxing & wrestling. For the three superb athletes - Abhinav Bindra, Vijender Kumar & Sushil Kumar - it was a great achievement, as they stood proudly on the podium in front of admiring billions on TV. A medal is a medal in any sport! Funny Mukul prefers to use children as proxy to advance his silly argument of checkers vs Chess. LOL! We all know Viswanathan Anand is the current World Chess Champion. (No, it's not checkers.) What many don't know is that he's the only player to have won world championships in multiple formats including Knockout, Tournament, Match, Rapid & Blitz! A very rare achievement indeed. A great champion in any format! Sounds familiar? A century is a century in any format! It definitely matters, even "international hundreds"! Go Sachin! Even a child can tell Tests & ODIs from Chess & checkers. Let's not debase a child's intelligence, Mukul!

  • on December 4, 2011, 15:55 GMT

    What Bradman is to test cricket, Tendulkar is to ODI cricket. Different strengths and achievements far exceeding that of contemporaries in different dimensions. Bradman - + averages that far exceed the rest... - Not much variety in terms of countries / pitches played on, bowlers faced, representing weak teams but still winning matches, nothing to claim in bowling department. Tendulkar ... + Centuries and aggregate that far exceed that of contemporaries that proves sustained peak performance, averages at among the top, has faced variety of opposition and played in multiple conditions facing multiple types of attack, won matches playing for weak team (Won a man of the match every 8th match), and some achievement in bowling too (165 wickets). - Averages don't far exceed that of contemporaries.

  • jay57870 on December 4, 2011, 15:37 GMT

    Mukul - A 100 centuries a "meaningless statistic"? Really? I don't know who the "illiterates" are in Kesavan's hyped-up book? Ever heard of Michael Phelps? Well, this American swimmer has won 16 Olympic medals: 14 gold & 2 bronze. Now, here's the funny reality: Like Kesavan's poster child with "99 coins in his piggy bank"(!), this "grown man" wants to acquire more "metal" at the 2012 London Games - not just 1, but at least 3 - in order to beat the record total of 18 held by a Soviet gymnast. Indulgence? LOL! To Phelps, it doesn't matter if the "metal" is gold or silver or bronze (please, no lead: it's deadly with KoolAid)! What's even more ridiculous about Kesavan's pernicious argument of "different orders of achievement" is that Phelps' medals were achieved in many different formats - butterfly, freestyle, individual medley, medley relay & so on. It didn't matter if it was an individual or team event; or the degrees of difficulty or effort. A medal is a medal in any currency! (TBC)

  • Unmesh_cric on December 4, 2011, 15:09 GMT

    @Harmony111, I am not sure if you are talking about the same moment...1st Test day 4, Sachin's score 76, India 233-3, Bishoo bowling. Sachin tried to sweep, bowl went to fine leg boundary. The slip fielder ran back to gather the bowl. When a slip fielder has to run back to the fine leg boundary, there is always at least one easy run or a comfortable couple. After this moment Sachin got out lbw trying to pull a good length delivery off Bishoo. If you were watching this live, you could easily figure out why Sachin denied those runs. About your 100 millon dollar job analogy, I would probably not feel a lot of pressure if I already have a 90 million dollar job. Sachin has already scored a lot of runs for India. He is feeling this pressure only because media has created a hype by adding his ODI and Test hundreds.

  • Arun14 on December 4, 2011, 14:51 GMT

    He's the reason why Indians became obsessed with numbers.When he scores his next century SRT will celebrate like he just won the deciding test against Aus off his own bat!!!

  • on December 4, 2011, 13:58 GMT

    We have to celebrate milestones to enjoy life ......We don't celebrate enough ....15000 test runs from ST, 13000 test runs from RD .....There was an expert who was analyzing Don's batting. He said he would have been susceptible to the doosra ...Don didn't have the paddle sweep shot or the upar cut, not to mention the helicopter shot ....

  • on December 4, 2011, 13:50 GMT

    Well, Tendulkar was rated the 7th greatest cricketer and the 4th greatest batsman of all time in ESPN's Legends Of Cricket back in 2001. I know I'd take that ahead of your opinion.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 4, 2011, 13:25 GMT

    "because greatness in cricket can't always be boiled down to numbers" - that's the most sane comment I heard from any personality related to cricket in a longwhile, be it Indian or phoren! Cricket is much bigger than these silly numbers. 100th international 100 is not just silly but hilarioius! Thanks for this lovely read Mukul. Sachin seems to be weighed down - can't agree more Mukul. And he brought it upon himself by first giving a dishonest answer to a simple question. The acting had started then and there. He is just unreal. If such a hilarious number is so important for Sachin (that he gets weighed down by it and the expectation of it), I can't help but question not only his intelligence but also his committment to the team. I sincerely hope Sachin reads this article and informs himself that he is blinded by a non-event in his intense love for personal milestones. Only then can he play with a clear mind and then India doesn't have to put up with his obsession for silly milestones.

  • on December 4, 2011, 13:18 GMT

    Some1 rightly said.. Those who followed Indian cricket in 90s will knw the value of Sachin to Indian cricket.. In 90s, I am pretty sure, 95% of TV will switched OFF after Sachin got out.. Its not only coz of the disappointment r the love towards Sachin, bt also coz atleast 50% of thm knw there s very less hope in the match(esp, after he was OUT cheaply).. He had been a lone warrior until some help came around.. I could recall many matches where Indians fall like pins after Sachin's wicket, famous being the '96 WC QF.. In '98, he scored 9 centuries in ODIs.. His back to back innings in Sharjah, a magical 5 wicket haul and 100 with 7 sixes against Aus in the previous series.. A fast 41 against(4 consecutive fours against Azhar) Pak in record chasing 316 in Dhaka, 4 wicket haul and a century against Aus in Mini WC, his fast 100 against Zim by end of '98(includes a six over point) - all listed r in single year.. Oh.. according to some1 here, all these r meaningless runs

  • on December 4, 2011, 13:02 GMT

    Those questioning Tendulkar's greatness should keep in mind his track record in ODIs. 165 wickets apart from 18000+ runs is no joke. About his match winning capability - he has 62 player-of-the-match awards followed by Jayasurya with 48 and Kallis with 32. He has won a player-of-the-match award every 8th match compared to Kallis who has done it only every 10th match. The percentage of matches that India has won when Tendulkar has played is in the same range as that of Kallis and Ricky ponting. And majority of these wins have come when Team India has not been a strong team especially in the 90's and lacks penetrative bowling even today. The win performance of his teams is similar to those of other great players who have been part of much stronger teams. On averages, Kallis may be slightly better (45.48 v/s 45.16), but whether Kallis sustains this average over 135+ more matches is a question. If he does, you can call him another great at that time. For now, Tendulkar is supreme.

  • on December 4, 2011, 12:49 GMT

    since hes failing again and again to get the hundred......and u guys pretending grapes are sour.......so u saying that it doesnt matter.....hahahahahahahaha

  • IPSY on December 4, 2011, 12:20 GMT

    I watched the series between India and WI and in my assessment, I do agree Darren Bravo was by far the best batsman on show in that whole series. I think the picture we got of Bravo against Tendulkar had some apect of divine intervention - because, here we're arguing about who is the better batsman between Lara and Tendulkar; then up comes this little genius in the making, Darren Bravo, Lara's cousin, a creditable imitation of the great man. And, unintentionally he took on Tendulkar in the name of his cousin to show the world how to bat. Hence, every time he went to the wicket, just as Lara used to do, he immediately stamped his authority over all the bowlers with confidence, aggression, Lara-flair and breathtaking strokeplay from the first ball until he compiled two massive tons. Tendulkar on the other hand was his old cautious, ultra meticulous pushing and prodding self; seeming too afraid to hit the ball, fearing he would get out, but still failed after 5 tries for a single ton!

  • spiritwithin on December 4, 2011, 12:10 GMT

    @PTtheAxis,dude can u plz read the article again??seriously ppl here need to first read the article properly rather than posting comments,the author was clearly sarcastic in his first few paragraphs where he mentioned Don Bradman's 29 century,it was only to show that we dont need to make a milestone for players to prove their greatness...i hope intelligence level of fan here is high enough to understand his sense of HUMOR,the author clearly said that sachin is not equal to Don by a long distance nor does any other players...

  • spiritwithin on December 4, 2011, 11:48 GMT

    @kantipur,its not the double century or triple century which makes a player great but its the consistency which separates greats from average batsman..Gayle and Sehwag has two triple century that does'nt mean they r better than Kallis(who's one double century),sachin,dravid,ponting,sobers,and many others

  • S.Jagernath on December 4, 2011, 11:44 GMT

    @vishal.It is quite obvious that Malcolm Marshall is a much better cricketer than Gordon Greenidge.Marshall was truly brilliant,while Greenidge was good.Murali cannot be a greater cricketer than Tendulkar as Murali took most of his wickets in Sri Lanka as Sri Lanka do not enjoy touring away from Asia.Jacques Kallis though,is a greater cricketer than both Tendulkar & Muralitharan.His stats & consistent performances the world over confirm his greatness.Tendulkar is a better batsman than Kallis.

  • mmond4 on December 4, 2011, 11:36 GMT

    great article! sad how so few people on this board get sarcasm...

  • cheguramana on December 4, 2011, 11:24 GMT

    Funny how people talk abt Indian greats as 'statistical giants'. And whos the greatest of all time ? Bradman ! and for what ? for a statistical number !!! who alive today can really compare and contrast Bradman and Tendulkar ? All I know is that Sachin Tendulkar has faced the greatest bowlers all time from atleast 3 different countries : West Indies at their best, Australia at their peak and Pakistan in their prime. And the best bowlers of South Africa are not very far behind either !!! And hes made runs all around the world, in all conditions. Cricket unfortunately is a team game. For most of his career, hes had little support from the rest of the team. But even that has changed in the last few years. Its not a fluke that India were World No.1 in Test cricket. And he won the World Cup as well. He has nothing left to prove to anybody. ODI 100s cannot be belittled either. If Sachin does cross the 100 100s mark, it is a just cause for celebration ! If not, well theres nothing lost !!

  • vikash.te039 on December 4, 2011, 10:48 GMT

    As we know tendulkar is known for his work. so all these like and dislikes doesn't matter for him, he is a great player which only focus on his work, no matter wat other has done and is doing. we cann't compare other player with him. Because he is the only to achieve this position, how can we say others can also do this, if they has not done this. Look... others have to comment...good or bad....but we should focus on own works...thats tendulkar is doing........... ..............All these r because i am big fan of tendulkar.....

  • sachin1088 on December 4, 2011, 10:34 GMT

    What is everyone raving about here. Numerous ODI's centuries of Tendulkar have been a treat to watch. And if it is not so hard, why doesnt everyone have 50 odi centuries. Not considering one formats achievements is stupidity

  • on December 4, 2011, 10:33 GMT

    What a brilliant article!! I didnt think many Indians would let go of emotion and look at pure-truth. from tendulkars perspective AND from indian consumerism perspective. very true. so very true. so many lines i wanna copy-paste and re-quote :) :) :) Made me happy

  • on December 4, 2011, 9:23 GMT

    lame excuses buddy ! bradman played 52 test in 20 yrs cuz thr wasnt so much cricket in those days !! ok fine u cud argue with the fact that he had only one team to play against, but on the other side, u see wat kind of bat he had, boundries were longer, un-covered pitches, i dnt thnk its fair to compare the two :/

  • on December 4, 2011, 9:09 GMT

    Stop kidding yourself ... The 100th century matters...

  • PTtheAxis on December 4, 2011, 9:05 GMT

    those like mukul making bradman pedestals should know he only played mainly against england in an era of less-evolved bowling. bowling has evolved a lot since those days. am not sure how long bradman would stay at crease with the westindies 70's 80's quartet, wasim akram etc. first time bradman faced short pacy stuff he got roughed up. let alone reverse swing slower balls etc etc. many people can have average above 100 if they play just against england. lara scored his 500 against whom ? am not raising tendulkar up by putting bradman down coz its clear tendulkar doesn't have a matchwinning mentality. just some perspective on mindless idolatory of people they never even saw bat.

  • kantipur on December 4, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    Bradman 12 double hundred in 52 test . A double hundred in each 4.33 test. Tendulkar 5 double hundred in 184 test. A double hundred in each 36.8 test.

    ..........Lol......do i have to say anything more.

  • spiritwithin on December 4, 2011, 8:59 GMT

    @swarzi,>> 'just an imitation of Lara is better than Tendulkar'!>>ur comments makes no sense buddy..for the record Lara had 50+ average only in SL apart from his home ground,Bravo is still a rookie u cant just compare a newbie with an experienced player so easily

  • LillianThomson on December 4, 2011, 8:54 GMT

    People are being too harsh on Tendulkar. At his peak, he was arguably only behind five superior players in Warne, Murali, Wasim Akram, Lara and Gilchrist - who were all clearly superior to him - and Tendulkar's fans could argue that he might have been level with the likes of Kallis and Ponting, although to be fair they had to bat on far more difficult wickets than he did and can probably also claim to be ahead of Tendulkar in the pantheon. So of the cricketers during his career (1989-2011) he can reasonably lay claim to being somewhere between the 6th and 9th best, although I suspect that Sangakkara is also superior and may drop Tendulkar down to the 10th slot in his generation. His "hundred hundreds" is not so much a mark of his quality compared with his peers as his durability and longevity.

  • kantipur on December 4, 2011, 8:54 GMT

    Sachin is lucky. He plays as a opener in Odis in some of the flattest tracks in the world. And he has played 450 matches. Even an average batsman like Jaisuriya has 28 odi hundred. So whats the big deal in it. Why do one forget Sachin has played zillion matches. Other great batsman have neither played so many matches, nor have chance of playing as an opener. Imagine viv richards clearly the best ODI batsman . how much he would have scored.

    Sachin was great until the world cup. He had the best time to retire. Now he is clearly playing for himself. Or else there was no reason for him to play ODIS. He has turned from GREAT to GREEDY. .....all the sachin supporter be ready to celebrate his 100th 100 against bangladesh next year.

  • s3ns3 on December 4, 2011, 8:49 GMT

    The tone of the article is that of apparent pent up anger, which drowns every fact made in it. It looks as though Bradman and Kallis are used in the article just for emotional reasons when in fact they truly stand out. This article reminds me of sack Ponting article.

  • kantipur on December 4, 2011, 8:46 GMT

    I used to like Sachin but i have slowly started to grow dislike for him mainly because of the baseless following and argument by sachin fans. How can they get greats like Don Bradman down? I have even heared that Bradman 334 was against one of the weakest bowling attack. Do sachin fan even know who Larwood and Maurice Tate are. Bradman survived bodyline without helmets, fielding restrictions and still averaged 56. What can we say about tendulkar? Almost half of his double hundred have come against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe and that too big not outs. Bradman hit 12 double hundreds in just 52 test. How much have have sachin hit ? Sachin isnt the best cricketer of his generation Kallis is and by a distance, and sachin even isnt best batsman , lara beats him.

  • riverlime on December 4, 2011, 8:45 GMT

    Trying to make Tendulkar's next (possible) century significant trivialises his already staggering achievements. What if he gets injured or sick on the Australia tour and retires from cricket afterwards? Would that brand him as having failed to meet expectations? Those people clamouring for the artifice of "a hundred centuries" are not true fans, but merely those seeking the thrill of a new flag to wave, rather than relishing the trophies already gained.

  • deepak_sholapurkar on December 4, 2011, 8:22 GMT

    Hi Mukul,

    You dared to say the truth. None talked about 1000 international wickets by Muruli/Warne. And no one is comparing Tendulkar's overall first class hundreds. You made valid points about comparing numbers/Kallis. With in his generation Lara is clearly better batsman than Sachin.

    Good Honest article.

  • on December 4, 2011, 8:20 GMT

    @Mukul Kesavan your article sound like , who is not happy to see love of fan's for tendulkar. it's not all about what other cricketer have done. it's also about how you involves people in your game. SRT has done that way better than other cricketer and that's separate him for legends and make him god and we all worship to god

  • tansez on December 4, 2011, 8:18 GMT

    @gruntledemployer... I said 'match winning 76s and a 94'. I never implied that the 94 came in a winning cause. Anyways I am proud to be a Sachin fan bcos of his sheer talent and mastery of the game,pray what is your excuse of hating me?the fact that he has outshone everyone of your single idol?

  • swarzi on December 4, 2011, 8:17 GMT

    Mukul, you'r spot on, I can't find superlatives to describe! But I guess you know that it's the Indian Press along with Cricnfo that is trying to overhype this event. They're now aided and abetted by the cricketing authorities in different jurisdictions to make money! You know how stupid some of us are - we allow these nonsensical hypes to overcome us; and spend money unwisely to say that we witness such non-events! Imagine the absurdity of adding Tendulkar's ODI 100s with his Test 100s in order to compare him with Bradman and Lara, trying to say that he is arguably the 'best batsman ever'! But Bradman never even played ODIs, and we've just seen a series between WI and India where he was on show against Lara's little cousin, Darren Bravo, who is 'only an imitation of Lara'. And those who watched the series can say in a 'FAIR' assessment who was the better batsman on show in the just concluded series - it was Bravo by far! That means 'just an imitation of Lara is better than Tendulkar'!

  • on December 4, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    What is this charade of comparing Bradman and Tendulkar? Has Mukul Kesavan himself seen the Don play? For all his 29 centuries in 52 matches, does anyone, including myself, know what the quality of the opposition bowling and fielding was? I have read somewhere his 334 scored was against one of the lowest-quality international bowling attacks he had faced. What we can definitely comment on his the quality of play that we see with our own eyes (including the footage that we have at our disposal since TV broadcasting of cricket started). I have a feeling, without of course having the wherewithal to back up with evidences to support it, that cricket these days is a far more organized and technically streamlined game than it was anytime before, and is a very tough sport to play now, the protective gear and other restrictions imposed on bowling notwithstanding. It was most difficult (and dangerous) during the hey-day of West Indian fast bowlers.

  • on December 4, 2011, 7:24 GMT

    even michael bevan has a better avg than sachin..so mukul means that he is a better player than sachin..perhaps michael bevan is the greatest ODI player ever according to mukul..and writing about bowlers lyk murali or shane warne, they were definitely great, but the greatness is diminished wen it is compared to sachin's greatness..look at his consistency for over a period of 22 yrs.. and u shud check the field positions during bradman's times..they used to have 5-6 slips..and c the positions now..its difficult to score a century in one dayers..because u have to score a century within a limited time..in tests u can take 20 deliveries to move from 99 to 100..and he has the best record even in one dayers..a double hundred..against south africa..

  • on December 4, 2011, 7:23 GMT

    If combining a hundred centuries scored in matches that ICC assigns the highest level to, be it ODI's or Tests or T20I's, is such a manufactured/contrived/artificial landmark, and a glowing testament to Indians' obsession with the 'round figure', pray tell me why the obsession with stringing together a hundred individual runs scored in a single innings to call it a 'century' in the first place? Surely, a 100th run too doesn't matter, and in itself, is a contrived/manufactured/artificial landmark. Also, I believe, the concept of a round-figured 'century' has been around since the inception of Test Cricket, which India didn't play till 1948, and hence, a testimonial to a general obsession with round figures, not necessarily only among Indians. Moreover, the ICC never said one format was better than the other. It is some England and Australian fans who are mighty scared their beloved Ashes series may slip deep down the gutters who are pretending to be the saviours of Test cricket.

  • Harmony111 on December 4, 2011, 7:19 GMT

    @Unmesh_cric:-

    I will admit that I did not see that innings live. What I have seen is a minor chance given by Sachin when he tried to sweep the ball at the score of 65 and the ball rolled past the BSL. If you talk about that then there were no two runs in there and even a single might have been risky since the ball wasn't far from the two fielders. Further, there was no comm. between Sachin and Laxman so how can we say that it was Sachin who had refused the single? If you talk about some other moment then please tell me more about it. If possible, share a clip. As for 100 100s being meaningless, refer to my earlier comments as to why this NEW statistic should be celebrated. May I ask you to imagine the pressure on you if you were on the verge of a USD 100 million job's final round interview? Imagine that and then decide if it is fair for us to ask why (if at all) is Sachin feeling the pressure.

  • spiritwithin on December 4, 2011, 6:15 GMT

    continue..@Rizwan Moulana,also u said that murali was found wanting when needed LOL,d u know that its only bcoz of murali that SL was atleast winning something,its bcoz of him that SL was such a daunting place to visit for any team,SL was competitive everywhere only bcoz of him,u said Aravinda won u more important matches well i advice u to plz check his records in Aus,india,pak,Eng,SA in tests,if u go by his odi records yeah he's a terrific batsman but the no. of matches won by him is still very less compared to sachin,again plz look at his averages in SA,Eng,Aus,NZ,Pak,i dont think averaging in 20's make u a match winner,yeah in few match he may won u some match but those averages shows that 80% of time he's poor,a good batsman is one who contributes regularly thats y husey's innings sacings innings may not be listed in wisden but r of great value,d u know that Man of the match is given to the match winner & impact performer and here Sachin has the highest no. of MOM..

  • on December 4, 2011, 6:15 GMT

    Comparing Kallis and Sachin is bogus! Kallis is nothing but a regular bowler for SA,Sachin nothing but a part time bowler! Kallis has more number of catches because his regular fielding position is in the slips,sachin most of the times being in the deep!

    And Sachin and Muralitharan mustn't be compared too! Both of them are wizards in their own fields! And Muralitharan's achievement didnt go unnoticed.. Maybe,it wasnt noticed by many,it was taken note of by ardent cricket fans! And,his 800th wicket was a sensation in india!

    So the comparisons made here are completely baseless!

  • on December 4, 2011, 6:11 GMT

    Nice read, but you look like an Aquaguard salesman, who wants to sell his idea/opinion, by using whatever logics suit him. e.g. trivializing ODI 100s, refering to Sachin's 1st Cls 100s (a man who joins test crk at 16, how many 1st cls 100s he can have). And saying that he is not even the greatest cricketer of his time, was clearly an overstatement.

  • on December 4, 2011, 6:02 GMT

    Not sure what you are trying to say here, exactly. In trying to joke about an absurd landmark, you have challenged Bradman's greatness. Also, being so defensive about Sachin's impending feat could also prove that you do actually care about this feat so much so that you are talking about it to death. Chill man! Sachin can score the 100th 100 in his sleep. He is toying with us... I believe in Sachin's ability to to cross the three figure mark. But as someone who understands the game of cricket, a fan knows that nothing is certain in cricket. Anything can happen. So, no need to defend the game of cricket, mate! And never say never... Records are made to be broken.

  • spiritwithin on December 4, 2011, 6:00 GMT

    @Rizwan Moulana..when does runs scored by any batsman becomes meaningless??,all runs r counted in teams total,to say that sachin has countless meaningless century here is the stats,33 of his 48odi centuries r in winning causes,remaining r in cases where other members of the team let him down,the most recent example is his 100+ against Eng and SA in WC where india lost their last 8-9 wickets for 30odd runs while batting first and later bowler fared terribly to lose the match..in Tests 20 of his centuries were in winning causes and just 10century in losing causes when again other batsman or bowler did'nt supported his efforts,india is not like Australian team where their bowler makes the effort of batsman counted..as u said many of half-centuries by other batsman r very important than a 100,yes right,i hope u remember sachin's 97 & 98 against pak & Eng in 2003WC,his recent half centuries in 4th innings in SL last year which india won,his 76 in 4th innings against WI,50+ against aus 2004.

  • on December 4, 2011, 5:59 GMT

    Gautham Kamath SACHIN is sachin.... There is nobody who can be compared with him. Come on, he plays the game with the hope of billion people on his shoulders. Kallis or warne or murali never did that......

    Well said Gautham, Sachin is Sachin & in the same way Lara, Kallis, Murali etc r also themselves. & so far the matter of 'hope of billion people' concerns, it's not Sachin's strenght, it's rather his fate & broadly it's India's weakness for they way to over rely in Cricket. They r not competent enough in other sports @ int'l arena. They r just one sport wonder & that's why Indian cricketers, not only Sachin, have to carry the hope of billions...the likes of Kapil dev,Gavaskar etc also did it, & so did Kumble, Dravid, Ganguly & others too

  • Praveenkesana on December 4, 2011, 5:51 GMT

    @Rizwan, there are numerous matches that Sachin won Single handed for India. I am NOT sure if you know that. In 2003, Sachin is the player of the Tournament. NOBODY in the world is comparable to Sachin, NOT even your Hero Aravinda. Any country you pick he showed his dominance, even away from home. You remember only the once that are won from a bad situation. However, match will never go to bad situation if sachin plays well. From Day1 , he will keep India in a Driver's seat. It's because of Sachin, India won all away series in the past 4 years. Australia, NZ ODI series wins. In Australia 2008, Ind won in both finals just because of Sachin. 2003-04 last test, 248* by him is one of his best. That was a draw due to lack of bowlers. Sachin was used for bowling too. I can PROUDLY say that SACHIN is the BEST cricketer India has EVER produced, even he is THE BEST in the WORLD, NO second thought. He contributed a LOT for India and is STILL contributing.

  • spiritwithin on December 4, 2011, 5:49 GMT

    @johnathonjosep..dude its ridiculous of u to demean sachin's no. of centuries by calling it as being made only bcoz of great number of matches,the fact is that his conversion of centuries to matches r the best after Don,look at his conversion rate of 51 test centuries and compare it to any other batsman except Don,also compare his 48 ODI centuries and compare with any batsman,i dont think anybody scores centuries in such a faster innings rate,at the same number of test innings sachin had more runs and centuries compared to ponting(the next highest centurian),lara dravid and kallis..what i meant to say is atleast try to respect a legend

  • Praveenkesana on December 4, 2011, 5:33 GMT

    @Rizwan, Do you ever heard of two consecutive centuries by Sachin against Australia in Sharja? Do you know about Sachin's century against pakistan in Chennai? I am NOT sure why the HELL Ananth Narayan did mention this 100 in his list of best. If a team loses when Sachin scores a Century doesn't mean that the century is worthless. We lost that Chennai test just because of the tailenders. They couldn't scorejust 17 runs after Sachin got out. he scored 2 centuries in WC against England & SA , which India lost. Do you think, Ind lost because of Sachin's Tons? It's just because of worthless Indian Bowling. There are many such matches which India lost because of bowling NOT because of Sachin's ton. You said about Dhoni's 90 in WC, why didn't you talk about Ghambir's 97 in the same match? Without Sachin's performance India might have lost in Semi or quaters. Dhoni didn't bat well in any of the prior WC matches. He just played that final. will cont in my next message....

  • sandeep1978 on December 4, 2011, 5:26 GMT

    I agree with what NUTTS said. Only a indian fan from the 90's can understand why SRT invokes so much devotion and passion in us. Even when he was batting well, we used to be terrified, cuz we knew if he got out, down went our hopes. This is what is meant by pressure.When he was batting at his aggressive best, we were even more terrified as we knew he would then go for that impossible shot and therein lay the danger.Truly, one of the most exciting and saddening times were the 90's.This period is where the die hard fans were born and still live.Selfish? In the 2003 final, he could have easily made a 50 off 60 balls for personal records but he still went after mcgrath in the 1st over itself as he knew that was our only chance for a win. To do this knowing that if u fail, the whole country will only blame u, takes real guts.Till today, every indian remembers he scored 4 in the final.Does any one remember what dravid or others scored? That is the life of SRT.

  • on December 4, 2011, 5:25 GMT

    So the author is saying that a diamond is just a stone and Einstein was just any other scientist just like how hundred hundreds is just statistical junk... First he says not to add up ODI and test centuries and then adds up Warne and Murali's international wickets so that he can proclaim them greater than Sachin.

    This article is a hypocritical masterpiece.

  • on December 4, 2011, 5:12 GMT

    "this,that,if,but,my frinend sachin is only one name in cricket,tell me one thing 200 in oneday get how many players ion last 40 yerars" Dear Raj Virk: Brain Charles Lara is the ONLY one name in cricket , I tell u one more thing 400 in Test, how many players has got in in over 100 years (forget 40 years, that's not even half to a 100 years)!

  • on December 4, 2011, 5:08 GMT

    "It is to speak and think like a child with 99 coins in his piggy bank, 51 made of silver and 48 of lead, who is dying to acquire one more coin of either kind because he will then have a hundred metal coins"

    It tells it all!

  • on December 4, 2011, 4:56 GMT

    Tendulkar will Hit century in Boxing day test, Infront of the Aussies where Don Bradman was the legend, His century will be tribute to Bradman

  • on December 4, 2011, 4:47 GMT

    Commenting on this issue will be like adding fuel... either ways.. those who support the article.. or then those who dont.. For me... he has been there.. done that.. He Came.. He Saw.. He conquered.. Lets enjoy what he has to offer in the last phase of his career.. Cheers to the Master!!!

  • gruntledemployer on December 4, 2011, 4:46 GMT

    @tansez match-winning 94? LOL, when the match itself was a draw, how can the innings be a match-winner? Then again, why am I wasting my time, you Sachin fanboys will invent any statistic to prove that Sachin has a right to be in the Indian team regardless of performance.

  • on December 4, 2011, 4:13 GMT

    this,that,if,but,my frinend sachin is only one name in cricket,tell me one thing 200 in oneday get how many players ion last 40 yerars

  • on December 4, 2011, 3:59 GMT

    Mukul, saying that one day hundred is not fair, since in ODIs you also have a limit of number of balls that you can play. If the best bowlers of your opposition are limted, so are your scoring opportunities. Just check how many people have more ODI centuries than test centuries, or even the number of matches per century and you will realize that ODI centuries are not meaningless. In fact, some times when the tests are boring draws, played on highways, there is less difficulty in getting the century since in ODIs, at the least you have to be urgent. I am not suggesting that the 100th century is a monumental achievement (while 99 is not), but making careless statements about no value of ODI centuries is not good. All international centuries are hard earned.

  • DIL7 on December 4, 2011, 3:57 GMT

    b'cos he cant get his 100th 100.........master time to...........

  • on December 4, 2011, 3:37 GMT

    asterix.gaul has made a very valid point......................

  • on December 4, 2011, 3:33 GMT

    In the Wisden 100 BEST TEST CENTURIES authored by Ananth Narayan , not a SINGLE century by Sachin was featured , whereas Lara' s 153 and 213 and VVS 281 was given prominence. Go figure all you Sachin worshippers.

  • on December 4, 2011, 3:27 GMT

    There are several meaningless 100s scored by Sachin .Often a half century is more important.For instance Dhoni's 90 in the world cup , Dravid's 270 , 148 and 180 and VVS 281 and numerous 50 s in the 4 innings of a test have been MATCH WIINING innings . Even my own countryman , ARAVINDA DE SILVA ( only man to score a century in world cup final while chasing ) has won important matches wheras Murali ( like Sachin) was found wanting .

  • on December 4, 2011, 2:54 GMT

    I agree with this article. With the fact that it's not a big deal. I also agree that we should stop making records for Sachin to achieve. He is already The Greatest cricketer on the planet. Though I don't agree with one thing. Bradman is the God of Cricket? Really? When Bradman siad to his wifde hey come and look at Sachin he plays like me, he was talking about Sachin at his young stage. If Bradman had taken a look at him now, he woulld easily say that Sachin is equal to him. In fact, I think that Sachin IS the GREATEST CRICKETER ON THE PLANET.

  • 9-Monkeys on December 4, 2011, 1:56 GMT

    Wow. Irony and sarcasm has been absolutely lost on so may of you.

  • on December 4, 2011, 1:53 GMT

    Very succinct, and excellent rationale. Not to diminish Tendulkar.. he's brilliant, but this is a good perspective to have.

  • Unmesh_cric on December 4, 2011, 1:01 GMT

    @Harmony111, you may want to watch a replay of that match...it was a VERY EASY single there and possibly two runs. You can not deny the fact that Sachin is feeling the burden of this possible statistical record. I am not a Sachin basher and I am not saying that Sachin only plays for records...I am just stating the fact that there is unnecessary fuss about this newly invented statistic by adding ODI and Test hundreds.

  • asterix.gaul on December 4, 2011, 0:45 GMT

    The bowling equivalent of a batting 100 is a 5-fer -- and not taking 1000 wickets in all forms combined. SK Warne has 37 fifers in tests and just 1 fifer in ODIs; a total of 38. M Muralitharan has 67 fifers in tests, and 10 in ODIs, which is a total of 77. Now see Tendulkar's 100s as 100 fifers in tests and ODIs combined -- that'd be one hell of a bowler. I disagree with Mukul Kesavan's argument that a 100 100s is not really an achievement.

  • Chenthil on December 4, 2011, 0:25 GMT

    Contd. Sachin played ODIs and Tests in those years and so it DOES make sense to look at his overall career. Now if someone says 100 int'l tons are equal to 100 test tons, it is stupid I agree. But it is still a unique landmark and it deserves the celebration in its own respect. Sport is about celebrating achievements too. A 100 100s is a celebration not just of centuries but the longevity of a man in international arena, where NO MAN COMES ANY WHERE CLOSE. As a side note there are 5 bowlers close to the 1000 Int'l wickets mark but the man next to Sachin has 2/3rds of his tally. Probably that is why there was not so much hue and cry about it? You can trivialize this achievement the way you want, but reaching that 100th 100 is extra special achivement

  • Nutcutlet on December 3, 2011, 23:41 GMT

    As Mukal so rightly reminds us, there is no such thing as an international hundred. Quite so. There is, however such a thing as a first class hundred. Wisden faithfully lists those who have most of them, year after year; they are there for all time, or for as long as some nations on this planet are sufficiently civilized enough to arrange to play first class cricket. Read and wonder, and then wonder again. Hobbs (197), Hendren (170), Hammond (167) and on and on. All the acknowledged greats are there. Tendulkar is on 77 according to the 2011 edition of the Cricketers' Bible and I don't think he has scored a century since it went to press in March this year. On this list, he is 50th. Slacker. (and before I feel the wrath of so many Indian supporters for suggesting that Sachin is a slacker, may I suggest you read the article and understand that Mukal has used it ironically - about Bradman, no less!)

  • on December 3, 2011, 23:20 GMT

    Say what you will, but the truth of the matter is adding test, ODI and even T20 tons to compile an "international centuries" list is statistically 100% legitimate. The tag INTERNATIONAL centuries means 100s scored against other national teams so technically there's nothing wrong with that compilation. And about the whole Test Vs ODI thing. Well, 1 Scoring quickly is a skill as well. You don't get 2 days in ODIs to score a 100. You can't afford to leave the good balls and only attack the bad ones in ODIs. 2 Fields are more spread out in ODIs. Which means it's harder to hit boundaries. 3 If you get a grassy or low bounce wicket in an ODI, you can't wait for the wicket to ease out over 5 days. You have to score runs on that very wicket. 4 Playing a day/night ODI and having to adjust to the lights is something batsmen don't have to deal with in tests. 5. Balls used in ODIs have never been older than 50 overs (and now 35). A red ball is used for 80 min.

    So one is not harder than the other.

  • on December 3, 2011, 23:14 GMT

    i agree with most of the points that you said. but bradman being the god of cricket is not true. he is not. coz at bradmans time der was only one form of cricket that was the tests. he excellled in that, pretty much true but he had to play against only one national side, england. but sachin played and proved against all the cricketing nations that he is the best batsman in the world. he scored the most number of runs in tests and odis. most number of centuries in tests and odis. highest individual score in odis. he is indeed the god of cricket.

  • insightfulcricketer on December 3, 2011, 23:08 GMT

    Problem is in the details. Sachin the player has had great international knocks against every one of his peers going over 3 generations and at their terms. He has scored hundreds on green tops,bouncy wickets , raging turners, chasing whatever have you. He played in winning team ,losing team and achieve nothing teams.He has carried the yoke singularly for a decade till help came. Kallis and Ponting great in their own right have played a majority of their career in winning teams and never when they were the only target in the team. He had shone not only in test but odis . Anybody playing in ODI is representing his country one cannot compare gulp Hick and Ramps with Sachin.They themselves will go red-faced with shame at this very mention.

    When he does get to 100/100s that will be no mean achievement. And BTW 1000 wickets does not equate to 100/100s it will be 100 5-wicket hauls in international format.Which is still a bridge too far.

  • Zahidsaltin on December 3, 2011, 22:58 GMT

    Numbers dont tell it all. 100 is a mark set by us where a score of 99 is no where to be registered and 199 is registered as a hundred just like a score of 101. And then scores of 49 are some times 10 times more precious then a 100 on a flat wicket. In my opinion Bradmans figures are overrated figures as the playing stirps and lack of opponents will only make him best of his generation. I would have loved to see Don to face Garner, Marshel, hadlee, Wasim, Waqar, Ambrose and Imran followed by Saqlain, Murali, Qader and Kumble. The best bastman in the history of cricket has to be one of Gavesker, Richards, or Tandulkar. For me they are to be rated as Richards, Tandulkar, Gavesker, Dravid, Kalis and so on and then some where within top 10, I may place Don Bradman too. I will equate the matter to Denis Lille being projected by citizens of British kingdom, as being the best bowler . But in fact he only played on hand picked fast wickets and got thrashed in the subcontinent when ever he visit

  • BillyCC on December 3, 2011, 22:46 GMT

    Is 100 international 100s such a difficult achievement? More and more cricket is being played these days (unless a structural change or a shock to the system occurs changing the regularity of test matches and ODIs) and if a person starts young at the age of 18 and plays cricket for more than 20 years and is continuously selected in both forms of the game, they could end up playing 250 tests and 400 ODIs. They could score 1 century in 8 test innings (approximately 60 test hundreds) and 1 century in 10 ODIs (40 ODI centuries). And average under 50. So who cares? As someone has pointed out already, it is the batting average of Tendulkar combined with the longevity that counts not the number of centuries. I also read with humour that someone suggested that for every 20 arguments that states Bradman is the greatest ever, they could come up with 20 that Tendulkar is the greatest ever. I could easily do the 20 for Bradman but only came up with 3 for Tendulkar.

  • cric_freak88 on December 3, 2011, 22:36 GMT

    wow what an article , truly impressed by u mr mukul !

  • jever03 on December 3, 2011, 21:58 GMT

    Always loved your articles. And as always you have a point this time around too. I'd trade you for Harsha Bhogle anytime.

  • System_Matrix on December 3, 2011, 21:47 GMT

    I agree with most of what you are saying, but I don't buy that the Bradman is the greatest cricketer of all times. There is no such thing as greatest of all time. How many countries did Bradman played again? I don't think Bradman would have kept the same amount of average, if he would have played in current era and nor does Sachin in Bradman's era.

    You can't compare player across generations, you just see if they are the greatest of their own generations. Yes, Bradman was greatest batsman of his era. And Tendulkar is the greatest batsman of our time.

    So, really stop writing this articles about 100s and who is better and why he is better than the rest. Just consider yourself lucky that you still get to see Sachin, Dravid, Pointing, Kallis playing cricket. The thing that worries me is what will happen after all of them retire. Will cricket be the same again?

  • on December 3, 2011, 21:41 GMT

    Thanks- this artificial statistic has been bothering me as well.

  • Vilander on December 3, 2011, 21:24 GMT

    Yeah hype around 100 tons is crap. However test and ODI cricket have their own needs and are inherently different games, one is not as clearly inferior to the other as the author suggests. Fast bowlers bowl 10-15 over spells even in tests, 30 overs can make a session. If a batsman survives 2 sessions he can do well in tests. In ODI although there is no constant attacking by bowling sides like in tests, there is a far greater need to score of every ball for the batting side. Sachin is a great test batsman ( probably first/second among his equal contemporaries ) but a peerless ODI batsman.

  • on December 3, 2011, 21:23 GMT

    I do not agree with stats that comparing 1300+ wkst with 100 hundreds. If you want to compare no of runs, compare no of runs. Sachin has 33000+ runs in all. 5 wkt haul by bowler in generally matched up with a hundred in cricket. In that case, Murali has 77 intl 5 wkt haul compared to Sachin's 99 and still going strong. PLUS matching expectation that 100 crore people have from him and still delivering itself is big thing which takes Sachin miles ahead of others... SORRY disagree..

  • westbars_spireite on December 3, 2011, 20:39 GMT

    Great piece. Enjoyed reading that.

  • rushab19 on December 3, 2011, 19:23 GMT

    Mr Kesavan says that Test hundreds are much more difficult than ODI hundreds. True enough. But, he conveniently forgets to mention that while in a Test match, a batsman may very well bat till even 2 days, a batsman rarely gets more than 20 overs to bat in an ODI!

  • Harmony111 on December 3, 2011, 19:19 GMT

    They celebrate it when a batsman gets off the mark. They celebrate it when a batsman gets his maiden 100. They celebrate it when a bowler gets his maiden wicket. They celebrate it when a bowler gets his 100th wicket.

    Yet, some people tell us that we are not supposed to anticipate or celebrate the occasion of someone getting not one nor too neither 10 or 20 0r 30 but A HUNDRED HUNDREDs scored at the highest level !!!

    Is the author aware of a term called ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT?

  • vamanan on December 3, 2011, 18:38 GMT

    People try to show their talent by bashing great players. No matter what the short living writings indicate, majesty of the greats survives decades. I mean all, not only Sachin, including The Don, Sobers, Murali, Warne, Kallis, etc. If 100 international 100's is meaningless statistic, what about comparing the stat's of bowlers with batsmen. Laughing stock. I think, the writer should be content with writing novels. No one will ask anything whatever the way the characters are spoken of...But not in sports, esp. cricket ;)

  • Nutts on December 3, 2011, 18:20 GMT

    Contd. - I agree that if Sir Sachin ends his career with 51 Test and 48 ODI hundreds, he will still be the greatest batsman of our time and, arguably, all time. But it doesnt mean we should look forward to the 52nd test hundred. The farthest the man has been is to the moon. so tomorrow if someone travels to Mars, it doesnt mean we shouldnt look forward to man travelling outside our solar system one day and call it an insignificant journey.......

  • Nutts on December 3, 2011, 18:16 GMT

    Mukul, I will have to agree and disagree with you. While I agree that we fans should not put to much pressure on Sir Sachin to achieve the next international ton, I disagree that a 100 of 100s is just a meaningless number. I agree that Test 100 is much more important than ODI 100 but I disagree that Test 100 is like a silver coin and ODI 100 is Lead coin. Gold and silver coins will be more appropriate. While I agree that stats do not define the true worth of a player, but we have to agree that 100 or 200 years from now - people will remember only the stats put up by Sir Sachin. infact, even today, people who started following cricket in 2000s, do not realize the true worth of Sir Sachin. They do not know how it felt to be a Indian cricket fan in the 90s. How your own dressing room loses hope as soon as your team loses THAT one wicket. How your opponents planned not for a team but for a player. How your opponents lost not to India but to just one player.

  • Ghazanfarr on December 3, 2011, 18:15 GMT

    this is a huge acheiment of sachin tandulkar , that is going to hundred 100s. no doubt its great for india. i think, there is much less chance that any other player will reach this great one.all the cricket world is waiting this acheivemnt of sachin tandulkar. one day, he will waving his bat in air for hundred 100s.

  • Harmony111 on December 3, 2011, 17:56 GMT

    @Unmesh_cric:-

    Not the fault of mine or other fans if Murali's 1000 wickets was not given the respect it deserved. Btw, I must tell you that Wasim Akram was the first one to ever have a realistic chance of having this record and I was aware of it a long time back, so you can't say that fans were not aware of that achievement.

    At the moment of the refused run that you talk about, Ind needed about 43 runs to win and Sachin needed 24 runs for his 100. with Laxman around who is not Sehwag, it was easy to see that Sachin would have got his 100 in any case had he played till the end. Moreover, you assume that he refused that run so as to get his 100, may be he did not see a run there, esp with Laxman at the other end. There were no 2 runs there in any case, only a sharp single. No one ever takes a sharp single in a test match unless its a close match.

    If Sachin was so occupied about 100s then he would have never been stumped in the 90s. I have at least 2 such cases though.

  • JohnnyRook on December 3, 2011, 17:51 GMT

    Brilliant piece Mukul. Personally, I think century itself is a worthless piece of stat. Difference between 99 and 100 is only 1 run. Why don't we talk how many 72s or 117s a batsman has made. Statistically speaking, Sachin's greatness lies in making so many runs at such a good average at very fast clip (in ODIs) so consistently and not in his centuries. However I am not sure if Tendulkar really has gotten into all this hype himself. Sure it is something he would like to get off his back but I would think thats about it. It seems more of a viewer perception. Now SRT gets out in whatever way on whatever score, fans only think that he got out bcoz he was thinking abt the century.

  • Vishal_07 on December 3, 2011, 17:49 GMT

    I disagree that Murali is the greatest cricketer of his generation. I believe Saqlain Mushtaq to be the better off spinner (and this from an Indian), the guy who gave the world "doosra", the only spinner who has given Indians a hard time in India - not even the great Murali could do that in his career. As is the wont of Pakistani cricket board, they destroyed this wonderful bowler. In that case, you cannot by any means call Murali the best ever.

  • on December 3, 2011, 17:45 GMT

    Hats off to One Indian who had the courage to speak out the disgusting truth. Money rues. Money isn't everything but it's THE thing. Now it's no more cricket it's marketing. It's all about the billion customers as you rightly pointed out.

  • sandeep1978 on December 3, 2011, 17:32 GMT

    Hey Mukul, why this kolaveri, di? Chill. Dont watch TV then. Keep watching tests from the 60s and 70s. Keep praying to ur god Bradman...

  • on December 3, 2011, 17:26 GMT

    Couldn't have said better and the first example of Murali is classic to bring up the logic. Absolute rubbish. ODI's are not even considered as 01st Class cricket. This is the attempt of some idiotic people trying to save there seats.

  • on December 3, 2011, 17:25 GMT

    "Cricket does have one one true God, who lives alone in his own private heaven; unluckily for desis, he isn't Tendulkar, He is the aforementioned Bradman. Everyone else, from Hobbs to Lara, is part of a supporting pantheon of demi-gods."

    I think if the true benchmark for greatness is the value provided then the best cricketer ever is Gary Sobers who is better than 'everyone' else. Just like a cricketing god should be, he could do everything in Cricket. All others are just demigods being good in their respective fields. Surprised to see not even a mention of the great name.

  • on December 3, 2011, 17:18 GMT

    Mukul, love it or not, 100th 100 is a big deal and will be celebrated big time...so write whatever you want, but can't change the fact he'll be the first man. and BTW no is God including your Bradman

  • on December 3, 2011, 16:56 GMT

    Superb ...superb ...superb !!!! Mukul Kesavan in one article exposes Sachin, the fake Indian " cricket" fan as well as the great marketing game called BCCI'S Indian cricket !!!! Simply put...overall Sachin's the best batsmen of this generation but not in Tests coz dat distinction goes to Lara....not the greatest cricketer coz Warne/Kallis covets it, and finally he is not even the greatest Indian batsman cause nobody deserves the title more than Rahul Dravid !!! And mind well just because Graeme Hick and Mark Ramprakash had scored 100 first class centuries...so there's this INTERNATIONAL century concept so that atleast Sachin can claim somethin !!1

  • mehul08 on December 3, 2011, 16:47 GMT

    Good article Mr. Kesavan,

    Just a comment. If you dont count Tendulkar's One day hundreds in the same category as his test hundreds, lets play it fair and take out Murali and Warne's ODI wickets from their total count which leaves no bowlers with 1000 international wickets.

  • Godfather007 on December 3, 2011, 16:42 GMT

    Pathetic article.....Still trying to figure out what the author wants to say.

  • on December 3, 2011, 16:34 GMT

    A superb article. Yes Tendulkar is eyeing the so called hundredth hundred and is weighed down by the pressure. He should not be thinking of it at all and try to do what he is supposed to do....scoring the runs that the country needs.

  • chishtyirfan on December 3, 2011, 16:33 GMT

    Brilliant article, no disrespect Mr. Tendulkar. no doubt about one of the greatest cricketer of his generation. " Consider Jacques Kallis, who after 16 years at the top has a Test batting average higher than Tendulkar's. He also has 271 Test wickets to Tendulkar's 45, and 169 catches to Tendulkar's 110. If I was a determined South African fan looking for numbers to prove that my man was the best, I could legitimately argue that you would need to merge Sachin Tendulkar with Zaheer Khan to come up with Jacques Kallis. Zaheer, India's best strike bowler for years, has 273 wickets, barely more than Kallis. Do these numbers bear out the claim that Kallis is the more significant player? No they don't, because greatness in cricket can't always be boiled down to numbers - which Tendulkar's cheerleaders would do well to remember." it is funny GOD OF CRICKET wow

  • on December 3, 2011, 16:31 GMT

    I am not a Bradman fan. I am just surprised that a writer of your quality happened to Compare Sachin and Bradman. To be honest, both of them are legends in their own era. Only difference is Bradman was unparalleled but Sachin does have many people near his greatness. But despite that not fair to compare legends. We don't gain anything.

  • Dannymania on December 3, 2011, 16:16 GMT

    Interesting article,very interesting.I just don't understand the point of it!I mean,we aren't saying that test cricket is equal to ODIs or 20s.Actually i personally think that 20s are a waste of time.Test cricket IS the real deal.But,a century in a T20I is also an international century,no doubt about that.Now,if one century is significant,100 centuries IS an accomplishment.To reach 100 of anything in international cricket is significant so ofcourse 100 international centuries is significant and a huge accomplishment.This article is meant to meddle with people's personal opinion and their personal cricketing frame of mind.Just because one person(The author of this article in this case)doesn't understand the significance of 100 centuries,doesn't mean he should try to make others disbelieve also.Pity you Mukul,you cant really enjoy cricket if you don't have statistics in your mind,as a spectator.i honestly pity you,and feel sorry for you.

  • sachinlegend on December 3, 2011, 16:15 GMT

    If 100 100's is a meaningless statistic..why is 99.94 so much hyped?? its just an statistics... Mr Kesavan ..IT DOESNT REQUIRE A HISTORIAN TO KNOW 99.94 IS INCONIC FIGURE IN HISTORY AS NO ONE WILL AVERAGE THAT MUCH NOW DAYS .. SO IS 100'S 100..HENCE THIS ARTICLE IS ONE WHICH SHOULD BE THROWN IN GARBAGE ...NOW A DAYS ITS FAD TO WRITE AGAINST SRT AND GET PUBLICITY....AND MR MUKUL KESAVAN SRT DOESNT YOUR CERTIFICATE TO BE THE GREATEST OF GENERATION..LARA HAS SAID IT..SO HAS WARNE... N THE GREATEST CERTIFICATE WAS GIVEN BY THE MAN HIMSELF ( WHOM YOU SAY THE ONLY GOD) SIR DON..SO MATTER WAS CLOSED AT THAT TIME..

  • on December 3, 2011, 16:11 GMT

    Agreed with the overall message of the article. 100 is just another number. But then can't see the ODI bashing and Test praising for proving batsmanship. By that line of argument shall we say a bowler taking wickets in ODI and T20 is better than one taking in test. Because in the later one can bowl without any restriction. That would make a particular Afridi or a Jayasurya a greater bowler than Warne. Be it any form of the game, statstics do matter to a point. Then skill, grace, attitude0 to game, respect for game and the persons involved in it take over (well in most cases). That's why Tendulkar probably stands above his peers.

  • JohnnyRook on December 3, 2011, 16:10 GMT

    Brilliant piece Mukul. Personally, I think century itself is a worthless piece of stat. Difference between 99 and 100 is only 1 run. Why don't we talk how many 72s or 117s a batsman has made. Statistically speaking, Sachin's greatness lies in making so many runs at such a good average at very fast clip (in ODIs) so consistently and not in his centuries. However I am not sure if Tendulkar really has gotten into all this hype himself. Sure it is something he would like to get off his back but I would think thats about it. It seems more of a viewer perception. Now SRT gets out in whatever way on whatever score, fans only think that he got out bcoz he was thinking abt the century.

  • on December 3, 2011, 15:56 GMT

    It is a good article but it is misguided. No one is suggesting that sachin's greatness or maybe even the claim to be the greatest batsman ever will be diminished by not achieving the 100th century. But the landmark itself is huge. Same people who were making his 100th century a big deal are now trying their level best not make it a big deal since sachin is taking a long time to achieve the 100th century. And as a matter of fact who knows if he is ever gonna get there. No offense to sachin or sachin fans as I am one myself but one should also be realistic. Comparing his hundreds to bradman hundreds is just wrong . Does the author knows how many test bradman played and does he also know the history of the game that bradman test career was affected by wars.

  • sunny1307 on December 3, 2011, 15:51 GMT

    Best Batsmen of modern era in decreasing order-Sachin,Dravid,Ponting,Lara,Kallis and best Match Winners in decreasing order-Ponting,Gilchrist,Warne,DRavid and Laxman.Sorry to say but sachin although the best batsmen is far behind ponting when it comes to winning big matches.If you don't believe me open the cricinfo profile of both of them and scroll to the bottom and check the cricketing awards sachin has 4 icc awards compared to ponting's 12 and he was even the cricinfo's player of the decade.

  • on December 3, 2011, 15:46 GMT

    "The real cricketing illiterates are the people who believe that adding ODI centuries to Test centuries and arriving at a hundred gives you a heroic landmark." ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ohh really? so, is this a simple thing, which can be achieved by each & every batsman, Mr. Mukul "Cricketing Literate" Kesavan..? WOW! You are a real 'Genius'..\m/ Hat's-Off..!!

  • Vishal_07 on December 3, 2011, 15:39 GMT

    Overall, this is a good article but one thing that doesn't make any sense is how do you compare a bowler to a batsman - Murali better than Tendulkar because of numbers?? That is like saying Malcom Marshall is a better cricketer than Gordon Greenidge is. If you want to compare two different artists, compare the impact they have had on the sports. And by that token, none of his contemporary players come close to Tendulkar!

  • Indian_Chargers007 on December 3, 2011, 15:39 GMT

    @Harmony111- I totally agree with you as if it were not for the numbers/new statistical records; who would remember that Don Bradman? he is mostly known for his 99.94 career average...so all the Sachin bashers should stop!!!

  • Vishal_07 on December 3, 2011, 15:35 GMT

    If I am not mistaken, it was cricinfo which started hyping the 100 100s first, and now after seemingly a "long" wait they are publishing articles to counter that. I guess as media they have to write something but in the process increasing expectations of literally millions of fans. As great the stats are, to me Tendulkar is a great person more than a great cricketer. Carrying expectations of Indian fans, who won't be satisfied until he gets the moon, is not an easy task - day in and day out. And to stay humble, and good family person amid all this crap that goes around him says a lot about Sachin R. Tendulkar, the person.

  • ElZoZo on December 3, 2011, 15:33 GMT

    Haha, are you trying to convince yourself or Tendulkar that the 100th doesn't mean anything? There was massive pressure on Ramprakash to get 100 first class hundreds and we're talking about international hundreds here. I think the selectors missed a trick by not letting him play the ODI's against WI. He would have got his 100 and gotten it out of the way and been under no pressure in Aus. Here's hoping for a career ending injury before he reaches it.

  • on December 3, 2011, 15:30 GMT

    excellent article.....i agree to each and every point mentioned above and luved the way kallis and tendulkar were compared....legends for their respective teams

  • on December 3, 2011, 15:21 GMT

    No record is unbreakable. At the the end of the day irrespective of the record what stand out truely is how one played for his country and how many times he takes it to the glroy.

  • on December 3, 2011, 15:17 GMT

    Is it the 100th article in Cric Info about Sachin's 100th Hundred? I think all media, including Cric Info are actually the ones who are creating this artificial frenzy as it is one more chance for them to churn out number of articles and cover stories and make more money.

  • aschisch on December 3, 2011, 15:16 GMT

    fantastic mukul, have never seen a better article in cricinfo n for that matter anything relating to cricket. the patriotic,the idiotic n the jingoistic lot of sachin-worshipper is going to have a field day. best of luck

  • swarzi on December 3, 2011, 15:06 GMT

    Great article. I asked recently which hundred is more international: One made by a batsman in a match between India and Bangladesh; or One when a Hampshire team made up of Viv Richards, Ian Bothom, Mohammed Azheruddin, Joel Garner, one Australian, one South African, etc. played against a Middlesex team made up of players like Dennis Lilee, Mike Proctor, Javed Miandad, Farouk Engineer, Bishen Singh Bedi, Alvin Kallicharan, Ian Chappell, Imran Khan, etc? I don't know why is only now they're givingso much importance to this rather stupid terminology about 'International hundreds'; and if so called international hundreds are so important, so many people have made them so ong ago!

  • Sudhir29 on December 3, 2011, 15:03 GMT

    Don't understand the article at all.

  • yoohoo on December 3, 2011, 15:02 GMT

    Everybody except Sachin seem to be worried about his 100th 100. If he had cared so much for that milestone, he could easily have played the 5 ODIs against WI and made the landmark. But in typical sachin style, he didn't utter a word and let his actions speak for him. He chose to go early to australia to acclimitize than hit his 100th 100 against the WI.

  • shillingsworth on December 3, 2011, 14:59 GMT

    Excellent article. 48 ODI hundreds is a fantastic achievement. So is 51 test hundreds. These two numbers happen to add up to 99.

  • Unmesh_cric on December 3, 2011, 14:56 GMT

    @Harmony111, as Mukul points out..how about Murali's 1000 "international" wickets then? why didn't we create a hype then? Nobody else had reached that landmark much like Sachin's coveted landmark, right? My point is these days every run that Sachin scores is looked at in a statistical point of view...the sad part is Sachin is feeling those statistical pressures too...did you watch Sachin deny a run (actually 2 runs) that were leg byes in the recent Test? He was afraid that he will miss his hundred since the target was small.

  • on December 3, 2011, 14:55 GMT

    AtheedThameem Bravo Bravo...sorry guys i just missed out the paragraphs regarding the demi Gods..:( n now i m so embarrassed abt that but still ma 1st and 3rd point still stand ..

  • on December 3, 2011, 14:48 GMT

    One of the best articles I've read on Cricinfo. The fans are obsessed with the meaningless statistic but its even sadder to see Tendulkar himself under pressure to achieve it. Any true professional would say that 100 is only a number. The difference between getting out on 99 and 100 is same as 100 and 101.

  • sameer111111 on December 3, 2011, 14:41 GMT

    "Little Master seems to have drunk his own KoolAid".Sachin was always destined for greatness. When he first started out, he was the epitome of what a batsman should be. Best batsman in the team, total team player. But with time he started to believe the thrash his fans started spitting out. He started getting more concerned with landmarks than with the team result. The change grew quite apparent around 2002-03. His obsession for landmarks would not have been so obvious had some of them not been achieved at the cost of team results. One perticular example was in South Africa where Sachin was repeatedly exposing the tail in order to remain not out after his century or in England where Dravid had to open the innings. In contrast, Dravid and Laxman have been performing consistently in crunch situations and have won more important matches than Sachin has in his 20+ years career. The only difference is that the duo has not changed with the adulation they have got from fans unlike Sachin.

  • Champ2000 on December 3, 2011, 14:39 GMT

    I agree with every word written here. thi sis is somethign i had been telling to all my friends and colleagues, just not in these superb word. i like the comparison with kallis as well. And yes I am big tendulkar fan..

  • IPSY on December 3, 2011, 14:24 GMT

    Mr K, this article is so ultra brilliant. I hope that people worldwide who love cricket and have sense can read and understand. Your greatest points are: (i) He isn't even the greatest cricketer of his generation. Muralitharan's career figures as a bowler are more extraordinary than Tendulkar's career figures as a batsman, and if you think Murali's action disqualifies him, Warne makes for a pretty good substitute. And yet, I don't remember ... anyone even noticing their thousandth international wickets. That's because they didn't have a billion consuming customers at their backs who shared a nation with them; (ii) Cricket does have one true God, who lives alone in his own private heaven; ... he isn't Tendulkar, He is ... Bradman. Everyone else, from Hobbs to Lara, is part of a supporting pantheon of demi-gods. Tendulkar is among the most distinguished of of these but he isn't pre-eminent, not even in this second-echelon host. I've been singing this same tune for a long time now. Thanks

  • khuram13 on December 3, 2011, 14:16 GMT

    There is no doubt about the greatness of Tendulkar. and it matters a lot for him and for every person who has a least interest in cricket. 100's 100 will be a rare event in the history of cricket.

  • Harmony111 on December 3, 2011, 14:03 GMT

    @Unmesh_cric:

    We did not celebrate it for Ponting since Sachin got there first. Do we still celebrate it as much when someone lands on the moon?

    This stat is now coming into existence because Sachin is the only one to get there. It was out of realm before him.

  • Harmony111 on December 3, 2011, 13:59 GMT

    May I tell everyone, whether a Sachin fan or not that hitherto the total international hundreds was not considered to be a statistic BECAUSE no one had ever come close to it and no one other than Sachin ever will. It is only because of Sachin that people are now waking up to this fact. When someone begins to make a record every time he plays and then goes one up by creating a whole new category of records - thats when even a noob would realize the true stature of the player. Btw, Ponting is being said to be OUT OF FORM because he has not scored a 100 for many months now. So 100s and the total number of 100s do matter a lot for all of us. Hope this shuts out the Sachin bashers for a long time now.

  • Fakh_36 on December 3, 2011, 13:58 GMT

    Good point by writer that odi and test 100s are not the same but its absolutely absurd to say that odi hundreds are meaningless.and how stupid is the writer while making following comparisons 1. tendulkar better than Kallis. 2.Tendulkar having same no of hundreds as the number of matches SIR DON BRADMAN played ...dear MUkul plz go and check out the 100z per innings sachin scoring 51 100z in 303 innings and DON scoring 29 in 80 outings ..at this rate if DON had played as many matches he would have scored a staggering 110 international test hundreds...mate do u really know what you r talking about when you mention Sir Donald Bradman? 3.how many meaningless centuries did sachin score against pakistan in Sharjah? and the Answer is Mighty 1...how did you get to conclude that pakistan bowling attack including waqar younas ,saqlain Mushtaq Aqib javed and ata ur rehman was a meaningless one for you.i wonder if india could bring in such an attack even now.please MR MUKUL research b4 u utter..

  • Pacevsspin on December 3, 2011, 13:56 GMT

    Contd...Mukul, Why would you want to combine Test + ODI wicketsfor Warne and Murali when you dont want the same to be done for Sachin'sHundreds.You are cool with comparing first class centuries withTest centuries because the format is similar? What about the class of thebowling attack? I found it a really pathetic article. And yes one more thing,if "centuries of centuries" was not a big thing, you would not havecome up with an article on it..This statistic may have been over-hyped, but Tendulkar has done nothing but good for the game, and every time he (or any other player) is being celebrated, the game and its importance is being celebrated. That's fine be no, no matter how pointless people may feel the stats are.

  • Pacevsspin on December 3, 2011, 13:54 GMT

    Contd...If the ODI cricket is meaningless why to celebrate WorldCup Win.Why Kallis could not score hundreds on regular basis at good strikerate.Why is there any need to compare Sachin and Bradman, thosetwo are in completely different eras.I don't deny Kallis is the ultimate batsman to bat foryour life but he is hardly as complete as Sachin.No batsman has possibly beenas complete as Sachin possessed every component- be it technique,innovativeability,capacity to win and save matches and ability to adapt to the bestbowling attacks and the worst pitches.Sachin has scored in all forms of games against allbowlers in all pitches for 22 yrs, can you say the same about any other batsmanor bowler for such long period of time?.Ponting 's record in india is poor. Kallis's record in Australia is worst.BothWarne and Murali's record in India is not good.

  • Pacevsspin on December 3, 2011, 13:52 GMT

    A really pathetic article which talks about all the greats and devalues each one of them one by one. You have used amazing double standards to prove your point of devaluing the HUNDRED HUNDREDS thing. Wont you celebrate a person's 100th birthday in a grand manner than the 99th. You will because IT IS significant. And so is Tendulkar's 100th century.This is a very in-consistent comparison. A hundred is a batting milestone across all formats of the game T20/one-day/tests. A similar bowling milestone would have been no. of 5Wkt/10Wkt hauls. Instead, just comparing the total no. of international wickets taken with a no. of 100's is ridiculous Sachin is God of cricket,because he won hearts of millions of cricket fans not only in India but alsoaround the world. No Cricketer has made the impact Sachin has made in the last2 decades. No crickter has faced as much pressure be it Bradman.You think Murali as a greatest cricketer, he is only SLwicket specialist.

  • on December 3, 2011, 13:51 GMT

    Well as you rightly wrote in the last paragraph "For the last several innings he has looked weighed down by the pressure of this non-event".... as far as most of us would agree cricket is also more about mental toughness and handling pressure... when tendulkar is compared as one of the greatest it's also his ability to perform and deliver when a billion(and counting) expectations are there on him..... That is one of the sole reason which makes this man standout... I am sure there are many others too... but then i really dont need to repeat those here....

  • shaylin on December 3, 2011, 13:50 GMT

    Who is doubting Sachin's greatness in the game? But this must be at least the 100th Bradman-Tendulkar comparison cricinfo article this year...enough already

  • fanfromcanada on December 3, 2011, 13:48 GMT

    While this hoopla by the Indian media is nothing but blatant "news creation", the statistic of 100th international 100 cannot be undermined. In no way is a ODI hundred sub-par than a test 100. While in tests you have conditions and no-restrictions to cope with, in ODIs there is the scoring rate and ultimate fitness standards that one has to achieve. No way an ODI hundred is a "lead coin"!

    I have seen quite a few county games and their standards (barring major counties like Lancs, Yorks, Surrey, Sussex, etc). On similar arguments, Jack Hobbs's 199 first class hundreds (a feat universally regarded as a pinnacle of batting excellence) would consist of 15 gold coins, and 184 wooden coins; or similarly WG would have only 2 gold coins (gasp!) and 122 wooden coins!

    Mukul, the media and fan frenzy is right to comment on, but by comparing Tests and ODIs like you have done, you sound like an amateurish cricket writer.

  • BravoBravo on December 3, 2011, 13:40 GMT

    @Shafique Rehman Chattha: please read the article carefully. Mr. Kesavan is saying the same thing which you complaining about. He is testifying and arguing for little known facts about Kallis (SA), MM (SL), Warne (AUS). The first two paragraphs of his article are a sarcasm, witty one too and further highlighting the invincibility of (Late) Mr.Bradman. The morale of the article is that we need not to be carried away by few cricketer of our generations, we should enjoy the game rather than focussing on 'statistics' of the game. CRICKET game is bigger than any individual player of it. Good article by Mr. Mukul Kesavan. I would like to see more articles from you.

  • ayon_duke on December 3, 2011, 13:28 GMT

    SIR bradman lovers, for your kind information,bradman never had the experience of facing the best bowllers of the world like wasim,holding,murali,warne-.-he scored most of his runs in the home condition against the same team,england!at that time teams like srilanka,new-zealand,even south africa were minow teams:p so never underestimate sachin's achivement as its quite phenomenal :)

  • sumder on December 3, 2011, 13:28 GMT

    Don Bradman was best batsman in his time and Sachin is best batsman ever. Sachin plays over 20 years in tests and odi regularly, a huge number bowlers he had faced not only that he face all the best bowler in last 20 years whereas Don played only 52 tests and not require to face best bowlers at that time bcoz they were belongs to Aus teams. As that time had no computer that can be describe the weak area of a batsman, no modern camera that can giving out a batsman by third umpire.

  • bumsonseats on December 3, 2011, 13:24 GMT

    while the rain was on in india ind v wi. sky in the uk were talking. ian ward asked jimmy adams wi and rob key eng who they thought was the better batter st or b lara. key said both were great but if pressed just st. when jimmy was asked, who he though this was he his answer he could not split them. but then added if the question had been who was the greatest bat, then viv richards would be the best ever. when pressed his answers were both st and bl could be great but both could be checked, either by the wicket condition or the match situation. it did not matter the score situation viv would play the same. with st stuttering along with 99 100s its effecting his game for indias sake he neets to score it soon if not until he does, india will struggle in aus. for my take viv was better than either of those 2 great players. dpk

  • AtheedThameem on December 3, 2011, 13:20 GMT

    Shafique, Kesavan was being sarcastic when he was talking about the fact that Tendulkar will have the same number of hundreds as the number of matches that Bradman has played. He said it knowing fully that Bradman will have far more hundreds than Tendulkar if he had played the same number of innings, but people don't seem to get the sarcasm.

    As for the article, I would have to agree with Kesavan, for the most part anyway. The only thing is, ODI hundreds are not something that people just come by, and credit must be given where it is due. Tendulkar has 20 hundreds more than ayone else in the format, and this must be recognized. The rest of the article is spot-on, I think; people would do well to remember that bit about Kallis. Sure, the man may not have played as long as Tendulkar, but he DOES have a higher average than him, and has the same number of wickets as the best fast bowler in India. We need to understand that there are things more important than a 100 "international" 100s.

  • on December 3, 2011, 13:15 GMT

    I honestly dont feel it is a good beginning to the article. The arguements are really bad. Comparing Bradman and Sachin is madness

  • Chupaa_Rustam on December 3, 2011, 13:02 GMT

    Its very high and mighty of you Mukul.........that you think that a 100th 100 is an "artificial" statistic.....

    Mate if its so easy, then please show us the way buddy.......

  • Gupta.Ankur on December 3, 2011, 12:53 GMT

    I really don't see any merit in the argument.........A 100 International 100 is "Rarest of Rare" sporting landmark, which can stand along different sports and hold its own...

    We as cricket loving public, must recognize the importance of this landmark and appreciate that Tendulkar's achievement is no smaller than winning 7 F1 titles or 16 Grandslams in tennis...

    He is a Global Sporting Icon who stand alongside likes of Pele,Rod Laver,Schumacher, Mohd.Ali as a true Sporting great...

  • on December 3, 2011, 12:36 GMT

    Good point by writer that odi and test 100s are not the same but its absolutely absurd to say that odi hundreds are meaningless.and how stupid is the writer while making following comparisons 1. tendulkar better than Kallis. 2.Tendulkar having same no of hundreds as the number of matches SIR DON BRADMAN played ...dear MUkul plz go and check out the 100z per innings sachin scoring 51 100z in 303 innings and DON scoring 29 in 80 outings ..at this rate if DON had played as many matches he would have scored a staggering 110 international test hundreds...mate do u really know what you r talking about when you mention Sir Donald Bradman? 3.how many meaningless centuries did sachin score against pakistan in Sharjah? and the Answer is Mighty 1...how did you get to conclude that pakistan bowling attack including waqar younas ,saqlain Mushtaq Aqib javed and ata ur rehman was a meaningless one for you.i wonder if india could bring in such an attack even now.please MR MUKUL research b4 u utter...

  • sandipnair28 on December 3, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    While there is some merit in saying that you cannot compare Test match centuries with ODI centuries, the fact still remains that scoring a 100 of them even when put together is a stupendous achievement. Otherwise superman Jacques Kallis should have had 200 of them by now! And extending your own argument, Murali's 800 and Warne's 705 wickets in Test matches are not as great an achievement as their534 and 293 in ODIs because they had unlimited number of overs to bowl, quite a few close-in fielders and no field restrictions. And like someone rightly pointed out, if their countrymen did not celebrate their achievements, that's their loss. We are proud of our own.

  • on December 3, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    Kallis always had the support of a strong middle order in SA line-up. Hudson, Gary, Cronje, Rhodes, Mcmillan, Cullinan, Klusener, etc. Mind you till late 2004 odd, he was a decent bat if not phenomenal. He recently has been guiding the likes of De villers, etc and in that quest, he has achieved the numbers that he has now.

    Kallis is an essential all rounder while Sachin is the typical batsman who has good bowling skills. Dont compare the two. Tendulkar always had and has a burden and expectations of more than a billion people, something Kallis never had and will never have.

    Give Tendulkar his due. At one point, he averaged 58 odd.. Now its 56 odd.. He has come out of various injuries and form difference a stronger man.. the no.100 will come soon. Give him patience. These are his last 2-3 years in international cricket.. Give that man a respect before he bows out.. For once he hangs up his boots, cricket will not remain the same game despite the likes of Sewhag, De Villeirs, etc.

  • varunrallapalli on December 3, 2011, 12:29 GMT

    There is no comparison between Gold and Lead,they are two separate entities and have different importance.One day Internationals has its own importance in today's cricket,it has come out of Test cricket's shadow long ago. A century on a batting paradise in Sharjah may not match upto the quality of a century on Fast bowling pitch in Perth, but still it has its own importance.It is also International cricket,but its a different format where rules are different,conditions are different from test cricket. The writer seems to lower- grade ODIs on comparison with Test cricket.Sure Tests may be purest form of cricket,but sometimes ODIs offer more entertainment value than test cricket.The writer seems to forget the common man(without whose support and patronage cricket would have died long ago) who sometimes may not have time to witness the vagaries of test cricket,but come home a happy and satisfied man after witnessing a close ODI result on its day.

  • on December 3, 2011, 12:28 GMT

    Just read the comment of indian fans..

    well the thing is no one wants to know the truth :)

    Keep on shouting sachin fans..truth remain truth :D

  • Harmony111 on December 3, 2011, 12:26 GMT

    The article made sense till the author said that it is easier to score an ODI 100 than a Test 100. Further, he just doesn't give much imp to a T20 100. His analogy of silver and lead coins is flawed. A better analogy would be 51 USD + 48 Pounds. Anyone who thinks that ODI 100s are easy ones needs medicines. If that was so then why ALL the players have more Test 100s than ODI 100s? (Barring Ganguly). Why don't we see 2-3 T20 100s per match? I think we see more 100s scored per test than per ODIs in general. No one says Don is not a God. He is the greatest ever. But because Kallis averages 0.87 runs more than SRT, he is greater? And Zak has played only 79 tests as opposed to Kallis' 147. What kind of comparison is that? Sachin has only 78 FC 100s cos he has not played too much FC cricket, he is mostly busy for the national team. Funny to see that the author is saying that Murali /Warne are greater cos of 1000+ wickets - he is contradicting himself there.

  • kasyapm on December 3, 2011, 12:17 GMT

    @jimbond, enjoyed your comments more than the article.

  • on December 3, 2011, 12:08 GMT

    Some very interesting and worthwhile points made here not least the irrelevancy of combining statistics from two different forms of the game. I would however take issue with you with regards to your criticism of Don Bradman. Have you heard of the Second World War? Were you aware that all test cricket was suspended for the duration of hostilities? With Bradman reluctantly agreeing to tour England in 1948 at the age of 40, he clearly lost what would have probably been his best years to the war. Obviously such statements as this are purely speculative, however I like to think that had the Don had a full uninterrupted 20 years of test cricket, his figures would be even more remarkable.

  • shadab732 on December 3, 2011, 12:04 GMT

    if getting odi hundreds is that easy then why there is a huge gap of hundreds between sachin and the rest including Kallis.Getting odi hundreds is an art and tendulkar has mastered it.people like gilchrist,jayasuriya,gibbs too opened the innings but couldnt match sachin's tally of hundreds.In an odi u need to give the team a quick start and then consolidate to make a hundred.Kallis and co. couldnt do that because they lack the skills to make odi hundreds,but tendulkar has mastered it,because he can give u quick starts and then get u big hundreds as well.

  • Praveen89 on December 3, 2011, 11:56 GMT

    This is an excellent article. All the media in India are creating unwanted hype. Nobody can take back what Sachin performed in illustrious career. i think Sachin needs to talk to the media a lot more and let everyone know he doesnt care about these sorts of things.

  • cric4india on December 3, 2011, 11:52 GMT

    @CJobsIndia: YA right. That's why he has a better average outside India. True.

  • on December 3, 2011, 11:52 GMT

    I just don't get that how the writer compared Don Bradman's 20-year career with Tendulkar's 22-year career. The writer perhaps doesn't know that Bradman didn't play Cricket at all for eight years - between 1938 and 1946, perhaps due to World War. And in those days, Cricket wasn't as much as it is now. Players hardly used to get 10 Tests a year. So its bit absurd to say that Bradman played nearly the time Tendulkar has but didn't reach 100 centuries.

    Secondly, while talking about the figure of 1000 Wickets. I think reference of Wasim Akram's legacy (916 Wickets) could easily be set-in.

  • nnvv on December 3, 2011, 11:51 GMT

    How stupid the article is... To say that it is much easier to score ODI hundred than to score test hundred, is ridiculous. Remember, in ODIs, a player has to keep up with scoring rate. And no matter what you do, opposition will have atleast 4 legitimate bowlers who will try to bowl at you with full intensity. In test you can have your own time. If a batsman has enough patience and technique, he surely can get a test hundred. Well, I am not implying that scoring a test hundred is easier. It isn't at all. I just want to say that both games have their own challenges, and scoring hundreds of taking 5-fers are the most difficult part in either format.

    The most important thing that cricket 'experts' forget is that any ind-pak ODI is more important to Indo-pak fans than any test match. There is huge pressure on both sides whenever they meet in ODIs or tests, more so in ODIs as there is no possibility of 'draw'. ODIs are big deal in India, wake up now. This is not 70s...

  • Ykesh on December 3, 2011, 11:50 GMT

    Wonderfully written, must read from end to end. Indeed, Sachin's100th 100 would be a huge milestone, but never more important that Teams' win. To answer why Sachin's 100th 100 sounds bigger than Murali's or Warne's 1000 wickets, is simply because we are accustomed to celebrate our personal achievements more than our team's / countries. You shouldn't forget, in Bradman's days, batsmen did not have protective gears like today, he played almost no cricket because of World War, and in that respect his accomplishments appears far more glorious. Sachin may rightly be called the best ODI Batsmen and of his era but anything more than that would be an over statement.

  • kasyapm on December 3, 2011, 11:44 GMT

    @gruntledemployer, Sachin is not extending his career to achieve some stats and he, along with Dravid & Laxman, is still one of the best batsmen in the country. Leave alone the spots occupied by these 3, no one has claimed the spot left alone by Ganguly. And if you think the Rainas, Sharmas & Kohlis are performing better (just being talented does not guarantee anything), just watch the few deliveries Kohli faced in the 2nd ODI against WI to know of his woes with short balls, any test in the recent Ind-Eng series to know of Raina's woes with the short-pitch bowling. They are without doubt the future of Indian batting, but have a long way to go before they can replace a Sachin/Lax/Dravid in form.

  • tansez on December 3, 2011, 11:42 GMT

    @gruntledemployer... And why sir should Sachin hang his boots? bcos he is only making match winning 76s and a 94?its people like you that think a batsman is only successful when he scores a 100 and then when he does u accuse him of playing for records. Sachin has always made way for youngsters coming into the team by resting in low profile series where the pressure would be considerably less for a youngster to perform. Kohli and Raina have yet to prove their worth in tests and Sharma has to be a lot more consistent in ODIs. Every player has to earn his place on his performance and not on his age.

  • on December 3, 2011, 11:37 GMT

    Great article and puts his point across wonderfully. Sachin is great no matter what the stat says but murails achievement is greater.

  • kasyapm on December 3, 2011, 11:35 GMT

    I agree with almost all the points in the article except for the comparisons made. Agreed, 100th century is a meaningless stat, test centuries should be more valued that ODIs' & Tendulkar doesn't need a new stat to claim his greatness. After making so many valid points, the author starts making some unnecessary comparisons. Why on earth should we even try to compare legends like Murali, Warne, Kallis with Sachin and deduce who is the best. How can you say that Murali was a 'better' cricketer than Sachin or Sachin was a better one than Kallis? Is there a scale for this? There is a reason why Sachin is considered a god in India and that is not just because of his cricketing achievements. So, let's not get into god-demi god discussion. Finally, about Sachin himself being weighed down by the pressure, he is also a human, has his limitations and, with due respect, does not need a lesson about managing pressure from the author, me or some one else.

  • doublestrike on December 3, 2011, 11:34 GMT

    This gives opportunity to our novelist friend to add yet another article and more TV chit-chat going into the Australia series. Sachin has been a glorious success (no doubt) but he has also been mercilessly over-hyped by the Mumbai crowd. For example, I have an overwhelming distaste listening to a certain TV presenter last night re Rohit Sharma. Totally unfair to abuse others to show your favourite in good light.

  • on December 3, 2011, 11:26 GMT

    When u say u cant add odi hundreds to the test one...then why do u add kallis bowling to his batting to campare him wid sachin...thts what u need to do tht just to be able to compare him wid sachin... N what the hell has kallis achevied for SA?? SA have nothing at all in cricket no world cup or no domination in the test...whr sachin has done both for india...

  • on December 3, 2011, 11:18 GMT

    SACHIN is sachin.... There is nobody who can be compared with him. Come on, he plays the game with the hope of billion people on his shoulders. Kallis or warne or murali never did that.... for that matter even Sir Bradman never did that. For 20 years he s been playing cricket and still we want to see him continue.... He is doing that.... for me this is an achievement... So many cricketing careers started and ended during this period... But sachin is still unshakable.... And then we have somebody even calling it "Meaningless"!!!????? The urge for us to see him continue playing cricket is his REAL ACHIEVEMENT... This is what Sachin means to me.....

  • tansez on December 3, 2011, 11:05 GMT

    @HEARTOUT.. your argument that a batsmen's achievement should be measured by his stats against strong oppositions strengthens Sachin's case rather than weaken it.His runs have been scored against the strongest of teams like Aus and SA at their peak.I would like you to give an eg when Sachin's 100 dragged down the team's cause.As per you he scores at a strike rate of 100 when the Req rate is 12, dont you think that might be because others have not contributed or do u mean to say that the opp team scored at 12 runs per over to set a target.One eg of sachin's 100 came in a losing cause is his most recent 100 vs SA in WC when the other guys let down the team.

  • prabaharanaece on December 3, 2011, 10:59 GMT

    So what are you trying to say???

  • gruntledemployer on December 3, 2011, 10:51 GMT

    I have a bad feeling that the fans, the media and (most unfortunately) Mr. Tendulkar himself will be so obsessed with this record that we will find dragging the man his international career will beyond its expiration date just to meet expectations.

    Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, with all due respect to your statistics and your records, your time is up. Hang up your boots, and let the next generation of Indian cricket (the Kohlis, the Sharmas and the Rainas), who have already proven to be far more talented than you ever were, take over.

  • on December 3, 2011, 10:24 GMT

    Of course it matter. Are you hoping the little master reads this and thinks "Oh great - pressure off then, some journo says it doesn't matter - I can relax" It's exacly analoguous to Bradman's average of 99. It one fact that those even outside the game remember about him. Stats matter - to a lot of people cricket IS stats. 99 is more interesting to talk about...100 is many times better for the player involved. To deny that is to live in cloud cuckoo land.

  • on December 3, 2011, 10:22 GMT

    Oh my god YES!!! You have expressed my point of view far better than I could ever have myself. The great tragedy is that Indian cricket has come down to nothing more than "When will Tendulkar get his hundred". At least if you listen to the media, that is the impression you will get. SACHIN IS NOT GOD.

  • GMNorm on December 3, 2011, 10:19 GMT

    @jonathanjosephs 1.In your comment nobody cares about 1000 wickets or 100 centuries - clearly some people are including MK who has written about it & you who have commented on it more than once in this thread.If it was that meaningless to you why would you do do .2. I dont understand what you are saying in referring to sea travel- pls specify. 3. I dont think sachin takes 100th 100 that seriously as his fans 4. In your analysis of Sachins % centuries resulting in wins please remember than cricket is a team game with bowlers and fielders and SA has bowlers like Donald, McMillan, Steyn etc and fielders like Rhodes. The stat of % centuries leading to win is a fallacy.

  • on December 3, 2011, 10:13 GMT

    Thank you Sir! This is what is expected by the true cricket followers. Test Matches is what is counts. What is only outstanding in Sachin's case is his consistency and nothing else.

  • on December 3, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    Good article but do not just ASSUME that sachin is getting bogged down with the expectation to score this ton! He has said many times, that he is not thinking about that and that it is just a number!!! I think, the great man commands the respect so that we atleast belive in his words!

  • on December 3, 2011, 10:07 GMT

    Hats off to you for calling a spade a spade.

    "I could legitimately argue that you would need to merge Sachin Tendulkar with Zaheer Khan to come up with Jacques Kallis."

    Perfectly put. It can be proved there are at least 5 cricketers of his era that were equal or better with their averages, wickets and what not. Also, Kallis averages 57 playing 50% of his games on pitches where a par innings score is around 230. Sachin plays on pitches where a par innings score is 450.

  • cricketpurist on December 3, 2011, 10:00 GMT

    Writing like this u are creating a divide between cricket lovers, its like elite class v/s the indian mass.. u d'ont have to be a maths profressor to watch cricket. yes we love love to scream and shout for every runs scored by the god, v dont know a squarecut or a cover drive but v will celebrate 100 100s and that we consider as a mindblowing milestone. Gold coin and metal coin is equally important for me,

  • on December 3, 2011, 9:53 GMT

    How many 100s Tendulkar has scored against Pakistan in Sharjah ? 1 .. Meaningless, well if he hadn't scored that 100 India won't have won. So I understand why it was meaning less for you :P

  • on December 3, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    if u r dominated by the fact that the achievement of warne and murali was not appreciated or taken into account thats the fault of their country's people as CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME if they were not interested in their players achievements why would we.........we love and respect SACHIN for the passion and dignity with which he plays the game and why not this an achievement nobody ever has done this whoever he may be-Sir Don Bradman,Sir Viv Richards or Sachin's era legends-Brian lara or kallis or ponting

  • ghostcall on December 3, 2011, 9:36 GMT

    did any one forget the epic score of 200 in ODI's against South Africa??

  • Rajlakshmanan123 on December 3, 2011, 9:20 GMT

    Fantastic article .Great work Mukul .

  • on December 3, 2011, 9:15 GMT

    I struggle to see how you can compare Muralitharan and Tendulkar, and conclude either is better than the other. Yes, this statistic may have been over-hyped, but Tendulkar has done nothing but good for the game, and every time he (or any other player) is being celebrated, the game and its importance is being celebrated. That's fine be no, no matter how pointless people may feel the stats are.

  • mscommerce on December 3, 2011, 9:03 GMT

    Mukul's situation in India is now the same as Veena Malik's in Pakistan :)

    Dear fellow readers, Mr. Kesavan is being ironic in the first paragraph, when talking about Bradman, but not in his second mention. There is only one god in cricket, and his name is Donald Bradman.

    Terrific article. I'm surprised that no one in India has dared point out what Mukul Kesavan has pointed out. We used to be an outspoken and sceptical people, with blind admiration for none, but I suppose those days are long gone.

  • on December 3, 2011, 8:58 GMT

    Ricky Ponting is far greater than Sachin because even when he played only 13 years compared to Sachin's 22 years He is the only batsmen to come close to Him.He was also a captain(which is a lot of pressure) and has won 2 World cups for his team.Sachin is not a team player and wilts under pressure.Rahul Dravid is far better than him and is undoubtedly a match winner and a team player.Sachin is terribly overrated.

  • pruthvi_b on December 3, 2011, 8:58 GMT

    Good thoughtful article...!! Sachin has already told that its mere a one more Ton For Him..!! But for the fans it is one more moment of Joy with Pride and Honor..!! Cant Underestimate that magical moment of Sachin getting Century of Centuries...!! Another thing is Comparing Sachin and Kallis is a very bad Idea even comparing the batsmen of different Eras is also not the correct things..!!!

  • krickrazy on December 3, 2011, 8:53 GMT

    Excellent.For the first time I found a fellow Indian, articulating my exact views as a passionate fan of Indian cricket articulated so well..

  • Chapelau on December 3, 2011, 8:49 GMT

    Great article - helping us to return to reality. @ Mr. Kataria - you clearly have no idea of what cricket is really about - it certainly isn't about ODI's - first class cricket is more meaningful! I must disagree with saying that no one will get more than 51 test hundreds though - life teaches us ...... never say never.

  • SanjivSanjiv on December 3, 2011, 8:48 GMT

    To me it is just a comical writing. Just read it and appreciate Mukul who could think differently than most of us. It is absurd to state Tendulkar after his 22 years of entertainment which we have enjoyed the most and envy those who hates him.

    I think cricket would have been void, had he not played it. Sanjiv Gupta, Perth, Australia

  • johnathonjosephs on December 3, 2011, 8:27 GMT

    @GMNorm 1. Nobody cares about 1000 wickets or 100 centuries. Nobody celebrated Warne/Murali's passing of 1000 wickets, so why now? 2. Yes it is difficult comparing across generations. Keep in mind that there were no ODI's that time and tours took months (they did not have airplanes but took a month long trip by sea), but I don't get ur point in this article. 3. Tendulkar himself has said the 100th 100 is meaningless, so why would he try to play against West Indies to get it? 4. Tendulkar notoriously has the worst record of not scoring when the situation demands. For example look at the percentage of his ODI centuries that have resulted in a loss for India. It is around 67% (among the lowest in the top 10), now look at Kallis, his percentages are in the high 70%. Strike rate has no meaning if one is scoring at 6 runs an over when the situation is 12.

  • on December 3, 2011, 8:21 GMT

    ya have to agree with those saying one of the most meanigless article ever odi hundred too require skills it is not stastical achievement 100 th 100 but it is cricketing achievement which u need to be a special player to break and with 51 test huundreds and 14 odi hundred highest run scored in both formats he is still the greatest doesnt matter does or doenst he get that 100th 100

  • johnathonjosephs on December 3, 2011, 8:14 GMT

    and for all you who still dont' believe my arguments, just take this. Tendulkar himself has said it doesn't mean anything to him and asks why people are getting so riled up for. Sounds like a milestone that the Indian Media has overhyped into many people's minds.

  • on December 3, 2011, 8:13 GMT

    How is the author different from the rest of the fans, I'm thinking. It is his opinion, and if the tendulkar fans' opinion about the 100th 100 doesn't matter, so is the case with this opinion too. To belittle this achievement, the author has pulled out some of his best literature, tried out comparisons with the other greats' achievements, but at the end of the day what was the point. It is just another opinion. If Murali's and Warne's achievements weren't celebrated as much, it can possibly mean that there were more fans for the batting form of cricket. Bradman cannot be the only god, then who are these people who went on to climb these peaks, when other greats given the same opportunity were not able to do so. The numbers 99.96, 100th hundred, 1334, 1001 are only godly numbers...there isn't any need to give an oblique salute from one to another. both saluted the game, a honest one at that, and that's what matters...to the fans too...

  • HEARTOUT on December 3, 2011, 8:10 GMT

    The greatness of any cricketer of any era dependant on the quality of sides against he has mostly performed through consistent period of time and most importantly how many Win are being achieved here Sachin is far below from many players who scored less runs but have contributed so much in wins and that has made his all records only for books and to his names. We all know that anybody who's Indian think about Sachin as great hero due to media attention he gets everytime he bats but no commentator or writer have courage so reveal this fact that other Player Rahul Dravid is far more superior in winning matches for India and due to this his all efforts have been shade out by Sachin. Sachin may remain in the books for records but for sure he will not win hearts of fan around the world other then those cricketer who played for their teams.

  • Kreacher_Rocks on December 3, 2011, 8:10 GMT

    While I agree with the premise that a hundred international 100s is a non-concept, the rest of this article ought to be consigned to its rightful spot - the trash. First off, a 1000 international wickets is a meaningless number, just like 30000 international runs. A better comparison is, has any bowler got to 100 intl 5-wkt hauls (MM has 67 in Tests + 10 in ODIs, SW has 37 + 1)? By completely discounting ODIs Mukul is pissing on Viv Richards' thankfully unwritten epitaph as the best ODI batsman. SRT's 50 centuries were celebrated. And make no mistake, if he gets 2 more in ODIs, that will be celebrated with more gusto than 100 100s. With the high number of tests today 51 centuries may get overtaken. But 50 in ODIs? No way. Even if SRT retires today with 48 in ODIs, that figure will live. But 50 in ODIs would be a nice figure to have. And guess what? Coincidentally he will cross 100 100s. And he will cross round figures all across. Bradmanesque=99.94 avg. Tendulkaresque=50/50 centuries

  • johnathonjosephs on December 3, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    All the cricket experts know that 100th 100 is very very meaningless. The only people who are arguing it isn't are the Sachin Fans/people who only watch Indian cricket. ODI hundreds in the future will be meaningless. Soon people will be having T20 hundreds included in the future. Ridiculous? Yes it is. Artificial landmark? yes it is... Don't believe me? Look at the stats for any player on any site. There are averages, strike rates, hundreds, but anywhere is there international hundreds/fifties? Do they have international matches played? Its ridiculous to even do so. What makes it even more meaningless is the sheer amount of games Tendulkar has played. 430+ ODIs + 160+ (300+ innings)Tests? Man who plays 750+ international innings makes 100 centuries? Hmmmm

  • mlkt on December 3, 2011, 8:00 GMT

    tendulkar fans have all the rights to anticipate and celebrate his100th ton(whenever it comes)..it will be celebrated by every cricket lover....but what needs to be reminded is that....india could have actually whitewashed WI in the test series which would also have been a historical thing...had our batsman made those 240+ runs in 2nd innings at mumbai....and there tendulkar managed ONLY 3 RUNS.....maybe we as indian fans are more concerned about those personal milestones....

  • on December 3, 2011, 7:57 GMT

    so Mukul congrats u have got so many comments on ur article..isnt that the whole point of it....ridiculous on part of cricinfo as well...fast moving towards India TV kinda generalism....

  • ansram on December 3, 2011, 7:57 GMT

    I agree that adding ODI and test centuries is a meaningless record, and actually demeans the more meritorious test acheivements. Sachin is obviously equally great even with 99 centuries. One century ( or the lack of it) cannot change the aura of his talent and acheivements.

    On the other hand if Sachin scores another 10 test centuries or racks up a couple of double hundreds or scores a triple ton in matching winning effort against quality opposition, then he would have added another feather to his glorious cap.

  • thebrownie on December 3, 2011, 7:50 GMT

    Sorry to say this, but this must be one of the most ridiculous article on cricinfo. I have no words to describe someone who says that an ODI century is not as valuable as a test century. Have you considered the rate at which it needs to be scored in ODIs or the pressure if it is in the second inning? have you considered the conditions or the opposition while scoring a test century? Records are set by the number of centuries you make, not the 90s and 80s. IT is a landmark no one has ever achieved and probably no one will ever. So savour the moment when it happens!

  • on December 3, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    People from all over the world agrees that Sachin is the best batsman. Did anyone scored 200 runs in ODI? ther r lots and lots, which our country is proud about him. Ther may be rare like Mukul who simply writes his own idea, but feel pity that very very rare who gonna agree with him. Obviously there is heaven and hell so !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • on December 3, 2011, 7:34 GMT

    hundredth 100 will bring srt in different league so it actually counts....... imagine d scenario if SRT had scored 199 runs in that odi against sa he wud hav still broken anwars record bt wud he still hav nt regret 4 scorin dat 1 extra run.... i m sure d fans wud hav regrets nd d cricket wrld wud still be waitin 4 d frst odi double century..... u can imagine d same scenario to laras 400..... so my dear author warever logic u can give bt d 100th 100 actually counts

  • on December 3, 2011, 7:34 GMT

    I am bored of people telling me how the hundrendth hundred doesn't matter. It honestlydoesn't matter to me either, but I don't enjoy this being shoved down my throat every time I visit cricinfo. Sachin is on a break, Indian test cricket on a break, the fans are on a break, the writers should take a break too. Simple.

  • brittop on December 3, 2011, 7:34 GMT

    Agree that 100 international hundreds is a statistical quirk and doesn't really add anything to Tendulkar's many excellent achievements. On the other hand, why not celebrate quirkiness? It's adding to the human drama - it does seem to be affecting him a bit and it's certainly affecting fans! Agree that test cricket is greater than ODI cricket. On the other hand, does it debase test cricket to join their hundreds together any more than giving prominence to any test 100 over lower scoring test innings regardless of the situation both were scored in? We do this be highlighting number of test centuries scored in a career.

  • srikanths on December 3, 2011, 7:29 GMT

    I also agree that there is too much hype on this. It is exteremely difficult fro sachin not to be affected by it unless you are a Buddha or Mukul Kesavan.

    You can not devalue ODI s completely. On the other hand , Mukul Kesavan is saying that First class hundreds have better clubbability than ODI.Difficult to agree. ODI also calls for certain set of skills.

    While a majority of the fan crowd and media are making a big hype about the event , there is anti establishment minority who revel in being anti establishment for sake of being a rebel. While criticsing the hype is good, being hyper crititical and carrying extreme arguments to prove the point i also not on.

  • nav84 on December 3, 2011, 7:29 GMT

    Artificial landmark? Seriously? Has this guy ever watched cricket? And if he did was he able to comprehend it?

  • on December 3, 2011, 7:27 GMT

    Hmmm, Good analysis mr. Kesavan. But I dont understand one thing, you are suggestin not to combine test hundreds with hundreds scored in ODIs, But you say murali is the greatest of great cricketors of this era, because his achievements are greater (1000 + international wickets) which is a combination of TEST and ODI wickets!! So dont combine test achievements with odi achievements is only for batsmen is it? :)

  • on December 3, 2011, 7:25 GMT

    Agree with every single point except one - Tendulkar is a better batsman than Bradman. It just seems uncouth to say so, but the truth is the truth. Sachin is *demonstrably* a better batsman than Bradman - 99.94 notwithstanding. Yes, because of 51 Test 100s, 48 ODI 100s, 182 Tests, 453 ODIs, 200 n.o, 16 years old debut, 1.2 billion fans and the whole shebang. Enough of the Bradman encomiums. Sachin is greater. Period.

  • on December 3, 2011, 7:21 GMT

    A very good article to read out......

  • NikhilDave on December 3, 2011, 7:15 GMT

    Sorry Mr. Mukul. I understand what you were trying to say but I disagree with you in most of your arguments. First, it is ridiculous to call any cricketer a god. Even Bradman. If you have twenty arguments about Bradman being the greatest, there are twenty argument saying Sachin is the greatest so lets not debate that. Sam with Murali, Warne, and Kallis. When people look at Sachin and talk about hundred 100's, they admire the fact that we have gotten to see a cricketer who is the best at both formats of the game. Also, keep in mind that some of Sachin's greatest innings have also been in ODI cricket. Can anyone really argue the fact that Sachin's hundreds in Sharjah against Australia are any less tough or lesser than any test hundred he has made. We celebrate the fact that our nation has a cricketer who has made 48 ODI hundreds and 51 test hundreds, a clear distance away from anyone else in the game. A record unlikely to be beaten.

  • Rajesh. on December 3, 2011, 7:15 GMT

    Why doesn't Mukul Kesavan write more often for Cricinfo !?

  • yuio3456 on December 3, 2011, 7:11 GMT

    a lot of people reading this article would be misinterpreting it. it is written in a sarcastic, mocking tone, to emphasise the writer's point that it is an artificial landmark. dont take this article as literal as it sounds.

  • on December 3, 2011, 7:09 GMT

    This is a very in-consistent comparison. A hundred is a batting milestone across all formats of the game T20/one-day/tests. A similar bowling milestone would have been no. of 5Wkt/10Wkt hauls. Instead, just comparing the total no. of international wickets taken with a no. of 100's is ridiculous. If the author wants to celebrate 1000 international wickets then a similar batting statistic would be Sachin's total number of runs in one-day + tests...As i remember sachin's never raised his bat when he reached his 30000 International runs nor any cricket fan was worried about this stat.

  • Ashique129 on December 3, 2011, 7:03 GMT

    Thank you, Mukul! Finally, some sanity into this madness. This matter is contaminated, and so is the article for some people. It may have started some fist fights somewhere. This matter has apparently contaminated the little master's thinking as well. Fortunately, he has come out strong from far greater 'crisis' over the last 22 years, and this is an artificial one to start with anyway. By putting the 1-dayers where they really belong, you have now won the wrath of many. But it can never be wrong to speak the truth, even when it is sour. Thanks once again. People who criticize you for daring to compare Warny and Murali's 1000 with sachin's 99 didn't get the point really. Why? Putting statistics aside, see how their teams' performance in tests before and after their retirements. My question to the Sachin worshipers - what will happen to India's performance in tests if Sachin retires? The writing is on the wall, my friend :) Once more, great article! Keep up the good work!

  • on December 3, 2011, 7:01 GMT

    Tendulkar has 51 Test centures in 184 Tests.Century after 3.6 matches and Bradman has 29 in 52 Tests.A century after 1.7 matches. Its half the Tendulkar's achievment. Please dont disregard the Don just to make Tendlulkar look bigger. Tendulkar is definitely one of the greatest batsmen but there are other greats and some played fast bowling better than him. He is a great great player but all the players deserve respect and Don is the greatest Test batsman.Period. Viv is the greatest ODI batman.Period. Sachin, Lara and Ponting are the greatest batsman along with Jacques Kallis, who I dont like much but he has achieved alot and deserves respect. No harsh feeling anyone. I apologise if I hurt anyone's feelings. Peace

  • on December 3, 2011, 7:00 GMT

    A really pathetic article which talks about all the greats and devalues each one of them one by one. The author has used amazing double standards to prove his point of devaluing the HUNDRED HUNDREDS thing. Wont you celebrate a person's 100th birthday in a grand manner than the 99th. You will because IT IS significant. And so is Tendulkar's 100th century. IT IS. Say is slowly and may you realize. It is not his fault that other great sportsmen don't get the same adulation as he does. But every person of India prays for him when he goes out to bat. Can you name a single person for whom the entire country prays when he/she represents India in a sport or any other profession. This century is important not only because of the number, but because it will be achieved by a great person. I agree there's a lot of anticipation about it but it is not fake. It comes from within.

    Regarding you comparisons, Please do not insult cricket by making such illogical and dumb statements.

  • gilly007 on December 3, 2011, 6:59 GMT

    This could have been a very good article. Bradman couldn't play cause for a lot of years cause of the world war. His 29 100s were in 52 tests. Sachin's 52 100s in 184 tests. See the complete picture. And as the others have pointed out, ODI 100s do matter. Consider the fact that even kumble and harbhajan have scored test 100s.Instead of taking a neutral, balanced view of the 100 100s, trashing ODI 100s and dragging other greats made the article terrible.

  • on December 3, 2011, 6:59 GMT

    age is catching up with you mr. kesavan. 100 centuries is not a big no. according to him, centuries in ODIs is not a big achievement, he says that scoring a 100 is more difficult than scoring them in ODI, by which he means that several of his test 100's against bangladesh or zimbabwe are far greater than the centuries he has scored against AUS, SA, SL, PAK etc. in trying conditions and yes mr. kesavan, india's 1st 300 plus score in a meaningless match against arch rival pakistan at a venue which has continued to haunt india when they are playing against them. let aside sachin, what u mean here is tht ponting or gilchrist or viv richards or de silva's centuries in world cup finals hold no importance in ur eyes and yet winning a world cup for u must hv held utmost importance as much as it meant to millions of indians. Then y make a fuss abt sachin nt scoring century in finals (he has abt 6 of them though).Grow up sir. see the joy behind those numbers, if intangibles meant anything to u.

  • on December 3, 2011, 6:57 GMT

    Really Mukul?? A hundred in an ODI is of no worth? Bradman played for a couple of decades.. could you please check how many tests did Australia play in those world war ridden years of which Bradman was not a part of the team? I am sure Statsguru has the answer for that too.. What about the non availability of helmets? No mean thing is it? How many people do you know who have scored 48 ODI centuries? 100 cricketers i guess? You are cool with comparing first class centuries with Test centuries because the format is similar? What about the class of the bowling attack? I found it a really pathetic article. And yes one more thing, if "centuries of centuries" was not a big thing, you would not have come up with an article on it..

  • on December 3, 2011, 6:56 GMT

    There are so many objections that can be raised to this article..

    For sure 78 first class hundreds does not make for a great advert because there are many who have crossed 100 first class hundreds... But to say that those who have scored those 100 or more first class hundreds actually have a more favourable record than Tendulkar simply does not make sense... For example, How many of Mark Ramprakash's hundreds were ever made against quality opposition? Am sure that many of Sachin's ODI centuries would have a higher quality rating than Ramps' first class hundreds..

  • on December 3, 2011, 6:55 GMT

    But Mukul, Why would you want to combine Test + ODI wickets for Warne and Murali when you dont want the same to be done for Sachin's Hundreds...

  • harshthakor on December 3, 2011, 6:42 GMT

    Would Viv Richards have been as great without his one day knocks?Infact his impact was greatest in the one day version like his 189 at Old Trafford in 1984,his 153 not out at Melbourne in 1979-80 and his 138 in the 1979 World Cup Final.Similarly Zaheer Abbas's best bating also came in one day cricket where he averaged 47.62.Infact Sachin's finest international innings have been in the one day game be it at Sharjah in 1998 or against Pakistan.Can you write off such achievements?

    Where Sachin towers is that he posesses every ingredient -perfect technique and temperament combined with the ability to tear apart the best attacks on the most difficult wickets.

    However I must say that great batsman like Jack Hobbs or Gary Sobers may have equalled Sachin's test haul but apart from Viv Richards and Bradman I doubt anyone could have reached 100 International Hundreds.Today the ultimate criteria is the combined merits in both forms of the game.

  • on December 3, 2011, 6:41 GMT

    I am afraid you are one of those "old heads" who is trying his level best to convince that Test Cricket is the ultimate game. I disagree. For a bowler ODI is more difficult. Answer a simple question. If you are hit 30 runs in an over does it make a difference in the whole match in a Test? any affect on a single session? No! but guess what? it changes the game from victory to defeat in ODIs. A fast bowler has to maintain economy rate and then get wickets. He cant bowl bouncers over and again. Power plays to screw his economy and change the whole scenario. Its utmost lack of knowledge to say Test is the ultimate. Counter these few (I can name many many more for bowlers and batsmen likewise) arguments that I have mentioned and then speak. I know old cricketers prefer Test, because they couldnt strike like some of the blokes who do it in death overs.They serve their ego and self esteem. Give logic.Counter ODI difficulties and then put your case.

  • srikanths on December 3, 2011, 6:39 GMT

    Some like Mr Truth havn't possibly grapsed the fact that Mukul Kesavan is saying that Bradman is the only God . First part of the write up is ironical denigration if there is a term like that

  • CricFan78 on December 3, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    Isnt it easy writing from behind the computer and say "100 international hundreds dont matter". And is it Sachin's fault that he was only able to play 70 odd tests in 90s when Aus team played 111 Tests during same time period? He has scored in all forms of games against all bowlers in all pitches for 22 yrs, can you say the same about any other batsman or bowler for such long period of time? The author sound just once of those Indians who have inferiority complex. Can you imagine an English or an Aussie targetting Sachin's milestones in this manner if he was one of them?

  • yuvraj_singh on December 3, 2011, 6:37 GMT

    Brilliant article. But honestly Mukal you need to put in place a Satire watermark on your articles for all these buffoons trolling the comments section.

  • on December 3, 2011, 6:34 GMT

    Excellent Article...........

  • Abhijit_cd on December 3, 2011, 6:21 GMT

    Mukul , if you think Murali as a greatest cricketer , lets check his wickets and strike rate outside SL. In Australia , he barely able to take wicket , in India his avg and strike rate shoots up same is the case in SA and PAK , so basically the so called greatest Cricketer ,according to you, is only SL wicket specialist. And if the ODI cricket is meaningless why to celebrate World Cup Win ... If One Day cricket hundred is so easy why your favorite , Mr. Kallis , could not score hundreds on regular basis. So wake up Mukul. Why is there any need to compare Sachin and Bradman , those two are in completely different eras. Last thing ,If you think its meaningless , then let it be and I do hope you are not watching any ODIs as these are meaningless.

  • on December 3, 2011, 6:20 GMT

    pls don't drag Bradman everywhere,he scored 117 centuries in 234 matches he played,maintaining batting average of above 95,Sachin is great,among the best cricket has ever seen with no doubt,but underestimating Bradman is not going to make ur arguements more shiny,coming generation might say that Tendulkar escaped playing International T20 and has no good show in the single match he ever played.....so arguments can be misleading.Bradman didn't play ODI,it was not his choice,but Sachin escapes International T20 willingly,so please stop comparing on number of matches and varities of format,lets say Sachin is a Legend,it doesn't matter if he scores a 100 or 5 fifties in 5 innings.there is no need to show Bradman inferior to him.in 52 test matches Bradman made 2 triple centuries with a 299*,but in the huge number of matches Sachin played,he has never crossed 250,even in first Class cricket.So please let these two legends stand aside,they are on the top,no comparison or milestone matters for

  • on December 3, 2011, 6:18 GMT

    well this is massive achievement then why has he wasted so much time and energy writing this article if it was not important the next person is at 69 31 centuries behind how many people get 31 international centuries a legend like VVS doent have that many he is 9 short so this is a big big big big big big big biggggggggggg milestone

  • on December 3, 2011, 6:15 GMT

    "Novelist, essayist and historian based in New Delhi" - really? Sorry Mukul, you don't seem any of that. You do have opinions, like the rest of us, but instead of forcing them upon readers, learn to just express them. You think Tendulkar is a creation of middle class craving for self worth in the times of economic liberalization? Wow! I am not sure how you define worth, but your definition must be a terribly narrow one. Tendulkar is a creation of himself. Period. Don't ever suggest whispering into his ears. He will seek advice when he needs it. In fact, just don't talk about pressure. Can you even comprehend what he goes through? You are comparing him to Bradman, Murali, Kallis...? Wait, do you think you are the first one to do that? Or did you do it any differently in this article? Let me see... ah no. His fans have matured. Its time you should too.

  • harshthakor on December 3, 2011, 6:06 GMT

    I would always rate Tendulkar above Kallis as he has hardly made the impact Sachin has made on games.Tendulkar's batting literally defined the modern era while apart from the first part of his career Kallis hardly performed with the ball.Kallis's stats may have surpassed Gary Sobers but he has never performed outstandingly with both bat and ball in a test match or series apart from his first 4 years.Infact Kallis's slow batting has even denied possible wins for his team.I don't deny Kallis is the ultimate batsman to bat for your life but he is hardly as complete as Sachin.No batsman has possibly been as complete as Sachin possessed every component- be it technique,innovative ability,capacity to win and save matches and ability to adapt to the best bowling attacks and the worst pitches.No stats can purely define his genius.Infact his Muhammad Ali style comeback in 2010-11 with 10 centuries makes him overall the best cricketer ever after Bradman,Sobers and Shane Warne.

  • Baddabing on December 3, 2011, 6:05 GMT

    Well said, if we added up all the numbers in different columns across different formats for every player we would certainly get some pretty amazing results and completely rewrite the record books, but it really just doesnt make any sense.

  • INDRASAI on December 3, 2011, 5:59 GMT

    Sachin may not be a Greatest player but arguably the greatest batsman ever. 1)When we see the batting averages of some greats in away matches, Ponting-47.2, Sangakkara-51.5, Dravid-54.71, Kallis-55.2, Sachin-55.74. The stats itself says.2)We all know that Indian bowling attack is worse than the other big teams and India has more flat tracks than any country in the world. 3)I don't think any other batsman in the world has ever faced more number of bowlers and played in more number of grounds. He has his stampage in all countries unlike some other batsmen having their records persist to few grounds. He may not have made higher percentage of runs in winning matches and in pressure situations but can still sit on top because team is not all about one man, 11 play it and so if a team needs to win, all players have to contribute somehow. More than all, "NO ONE HAS EVER WON BILLION HEARTS THAT SACHIN HAS WON".

  • Fredo_H89 on December 3, 2011, 5:56 GMT

    Really good article, good points well made. Also, fairly sure the Bradman bashing here is sarcastic, fellow cricinfo dwellers. No need to your knickers in a twist.

  • ns_krishnan on December 3, 2011, 5:55 GMT

    Agreed that the media and the fans are giving too much of an importance to the landmark, but belittling the landmark as artificial is too much. This landmark was mentioned about 7 or 8 years ago by Steve Waugh. Perhaps Mukul knows more about cricket than him. An ODI 100 may be easier than to get than a Test 100, but it is certainly much tougher to get than a first class 100.

  • harshthakor on December 3, 2011, 5:55 GMT

    Overall Mukul, I feel you make valid points but overall you are unfair to Sachin Tendulkar.No Cricketer has made the impact Sachin has made in the last 2 decades bar Shane Warne and no great batsman has faced as much pressure be it Bradman or Viv Richards.Infact it is all the more remarkable that he has coped with the both the rigours of the test and one day formats.It requires remarkable skill to adjust to both types of games ,particularly when so much cricket is played in the modern era.Infact if Sachin is judged as the greatest it is because of his combined one day and test match efforts and not just his test match performances.In the modern game one day Internationals almost have equal importance and are also a great test for a batsman's skill and mental tenacity or organisation.

    What will set Sachin apart is this landmark of 100 international and such an article derides an accomplsihment that will possibly never be equalled.

  • on December 3, 2011, 5:49 GMT

    this taking on mukul shud need to understand the first 2-3 paras were mocking and srcastic to set up his later argument...

  • abhi_cricinfo on December 3, 2011, 5:43 GMT

    Every achievement in sports is an 'artificial landmark' . This man is most worshiped sports person in history of sports, so naturally expectations are high and he has tendency to get out in 90s and when you combine these two facts you may get little bit of delay that is it . Its not the media who wants SRT to achieve 'artificial landmark' but it is fan pool . Talking about Kallis , you have to consider his 'artificial landmark' as factor to rate him as best all-time all-rounder . Who is better spinner Murali/Warne/Kumble ? again compare 'artificial landmark'. Bradman got duck in his last innings , why it is so famous , because he missed 'artificial landmark' ie Avg-100 . You don't see a cricketer getting 100th 100 daily so don't miss any of the SRT's innings and forget about this article. This article brings no conclusion ..

  • atthipatti on December 3, 2011, 5:42 GMT

    @Mukul Kesavan.....Your writing is good, but why did you miss the plot completely??? Why compare Warne & Murali with SRT??? Does these 2 have the "same" following in their countries as SRT in India??? Were they considered geniuses inside 1 year of their careers??? Were they still considered dependable in the twilight of their careers (Some may say yes to this. OK let me give!)??? Please answer!

  • Sankara on December 3, 2011, 5:39 GMT

    Well written Kesavan. But dont think it will change the attitude of some of the fans. Need an occasion to trumpet, will find one.

  • srikanths on December 3, 2011, 5:38 GMT

    I agree with Mukul Kesavan that there has been too much hype about this , so much so that it has started affecting Tendulkar.Difficult for someone to remain completely insulated from the hype. I pity Tendulkar. But completely devalueing ODI is not correct at all. If he felt that ODI ,has its quota of meanignless , up and down bowling, the best is not allowed to bowl etc, First class matches in India or any other place , just because they are 4 day format, does not mean can be clubbed with Test cricket. The bowling and fielding standrads would be way down. ODI also has its skill set requirement, may a bit different from Test but still it does require , like consitent stroke play, working around the field etc. As someone mentione mentioned , why is it that a Sehwag struglles.

    Even in Test cricket , scoring or bowling against a Bangaldesh or a West Indies or a Zombabwe ( at least the past 10-15 years ) can not be equal to scoring /taking wickets against Aus/Eng/SA.Sri Lanka.

  • sashank on December 3, 2011, 5:25 GMT

    @MrTRUTH

    I've been to many stadiums across India to watch us play. Let me tell you, Sachin is one of the most committed person on the field. He may position himself in the outfield but he runs hard and gives his full 100% for every ball that comes his way no matter the the match situation. He may not be spectacular but he rarely drops catches. And he doesn't use the 12th man much too. Our team mostly uses the 12th man for the fast bowlers. It's really unfair to a committed cricketer when you say he slacks off. You have to realize that he's got enough records and enough money to just relax for the rest of his life. To choose to show up for practice day in and day out, stay away from his family and go through the rigors of each match - you need to really love the game. If anyone thinks otherwise, it just shows their attitude if they were playing for the country i.e. thinking about records rather than the pride of helping the team win.

  • vijaypalli1 on December 3, 2011, 5:24 GMT

    Tell me mukul, how many other greats have scored 48 odi centuries and 51 test centuries. The answer is a BIG ZERO. The reason fans are celebrating this is because no one has ever scored a 100 centuries and no one will ever score a hundred centuries. They celebrate because he will achieve a feat no mere mortal can achieve. writers like you just write articles on the GOD to get identified, otherwise you'd be a nobody. people like are disgusting. That's all i've got to say.

    PRAISE THE GOD. AMEN

  • jimbond on December 3, 2011, 5:24 GMT

    By the same logic Mukul, why do you bother about centuries either. A good 90 or 99 in the right context would be worth ten hundreds in irrelevant causes, and what is 100 afterall, a mere number. And cricket statistics in general is meaningless, afterall how does it matter whether the WI or Australia in their prime were wiinning so many tests in a row. And if merely the fight between a ball and a willow is the only thing that is important, why do you Mukul write on test matches and international matches. Why dont you just go to the first class and club games and enjoy the engrossing contests?

  • MrTRUTH on December 3, 2011, 5:22 GMT

    Cricket is a game of winning and traditionally winning with class. It doesn't matter how many centuries one has, but it matter how many have come when needed. Jayasuriya score 26 out 28 centuries in a winning cause. Some might argue that Mr Ten played alone; yeah, with Azharuddin, Jadeja, Sehwag, Dravid, ganguly, Laxman, Yuvraj, Dhoni throught out his career to suppor him. How many where there to support Gavaskar?

  • on December 3, 2011, 5:20 GMT

    Finally Somebody who makes sense, and other stupid people commenting who dont get that mukul was just trying to show how stats can be manipulated to say a bunch of stuff that doesnt matter including 1000 international wickets, its almost as if sachin supporters are blind and dumb when it comes to anything legitimate said that doesnt add more stars to his name, people are idiots if they think your article is demeaning to sachin.

    Great article! Its apples and oranges people!

  • on December 3, 2011, 5:20 GMT

    @Pranob: Dude, read the whole article before commenting. In between the writer says, "Cricket does have one one true God, who lives alone in his own private heaven; unluckily for desis, he isn't Tendulkar, He is the aforementioned Bradman. Everyone else, from Hobbs to Lara, is part of a supporting pantheon of demi-gods. Tendulkar is among the most distinguished of these but he isn't pre-eminent, not even in this second-echelon host. " The above was btw my fav para and its so true. Tendulkar, Lara, Warne and Murli have been the 4 latest demi-gods in the last 20 years. We are still waiting for the next one. I believe, to qualify in this category, one has to bear the burden of being the best batsmen/bowler in the world for most part of his career. Which all the above have. Just plundering some stats won't put one in this category. Such as Kallis, Ponting, Hayden, Dravid.

  • Dale-force_winds_steyn_the_pitch on December 3, 2011, 5:14 GMT

    That awkward moment when Kallis is really just as good as Sachin.

    Anyway, decent article, I feel that whilst reaching 100 is just a number, it is also a landmark that we have created. I totally agree that the 100 100's thing is overplayed, but don't try to discard 100s as a milestone.

    May I add that imo its harder to score a ODI hundred than a Test hundred, and this will be backed up by statistics that I am to lazy to dig up. One example I could find by sifting through this article is that SRT has batted in way more ODI innings than Test, but has less ODI centuries than Test ones.

  • go.hawkeyes on December 3, 2011, 5:14 GMT

    I completely agree with this article and have myself argued the same point with friends. 25,000 international runs also sounds very nice. Nobody cared about that. The 1000 international wickets has already been mentioned. Is anybody tracking international 5-fers? International ducks? Any other "international" category?

    For people saying a 100 is a 100 no matter where; quick, who was the fastest to 50 international hundreds?

  • on December 3, 2011, 5:11 GMT

    Super article, Mukul. Glad that somebody at last pointed out the lunacy surrounded with this non-event called the 100th ton.

  • on December 3, 2011, 5:08 GMT

    This entire article seems biased.. Im sure the person who wrote does know a lot about cricket... but seriously? You have only used figures which makes Sachin look bad when compared to some of the other greats is just stupid.

    'This isn't just a meaningless statistic'? Really? So you are telling us that because scoring test centuries is more difficult, that ODI centuries dont mean a thing? Well if the upcoming landmark is so meaningless how come we dont see people scoring their 100th centuries ever so often?

    The aim of the article seems to be to downgrade Sachins position using carefully chosen figures that dont tell the entire story. How come when talking about bowling you look at the wickets and when talking about batting you look at average and not runs?

    THATS RIGHT. Because had you spoken about runs you wouldnt be able to throw so much negativity onto Sachin. Is it just a meaningless figure that Sachin has been able to score over 15000 test runs?

    Sachin is in his own league

  • Engle on December 3, 2011, 5:05 GMT

    If Tendulkar expects to be known as a great batsman, he should retire before accomplishing the 100 International Centuries mark. After all, Bradman did so. He retired at 29 centuries, avg. 99.94 and 6996 runs, thereby proving that he was beyond numbers. Greatness transcends numbers.

  • Percy_Fender on December 3, 2011, 5:03 GMT

    While I agree with Mukul that the 100th century is only a number, it is not irrelevant for people in Inda who live of such landmarks. In a country which is not too much on the sportsmap of the world, cricket is an exception. What is more is that India has even been No1 for nearly 3 years apart from having won the World Cup, in 1983 when no one expected them to and in 2011, when many people, mostly from the subcontinent were deep in prayer that India does not win.While we may have had the Vishy Anands and the Mike Ferieras, it is names like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid that gives people something to be proud of. In such a situation, to hold that the100th does not matter is perhaps too simplistic an observation to convince the expectant millions.For me the column of missed hundereds matter as much I think Sachin and Rahul have a very high number of dismissals in the 90s as well. But then it is not the real thing.Sachin will get there probably at the SCG in Jan 2012.Good luck to him.

  • Anshuman_Rai on December 3, 2011, 4:58 GMT

    Agree with the author that its just a number and moreover we are desrespecting the currency of cricketing terms.

    Just to add a different flair to the word 1000th international wickets.. does the a single wicket from 999 to 1000 account similar work from 99th ton to 100th?

    on the one hand author is just stating that Bradman didn't even played more than 52 tests in career and on the other hand he says that the cricketing god is bradman? Could you please clarify it a bit more?? or you yourself is confused?

    Coming to the point about kallis.... yes he is the best all rounder... and thats it

  • on December 3, 2011, 4:58 GMT

    Wow, Mukul. Sir I am a fan now. You put things in perspective in a great way. Given, Tendulkar is great, but not the greatest. He has the numbers, but contemporarily Dravid and Kallis are equally good (or even better).

  • pranavcrazyguy on December 3, 2011, 4:44 GMT

    I hated the way you devalue ODIs. ODIs require a different set of skills, like the ability to score fast on a consistent basis, better pacing of an innings, good running between the wickets, and on the other hand, better fielding standards, more blockhole or slow balls, and so on. You have trashed ODIs as if they are a joke. . It would have been different if you gave a 60-40 weight to Tests and ODIs.

    I also don't remember the "meaningless hundreds" Sachin made in Sharjah. One of them helped India score their highest ODI score at the time. They are meaningless because they are ODI hundreds? Were the 143 and 134 against Australia also meaningless? Scoring hundreds in ODIs is much easier? Ask Sehwag why he can't do it really often then.

    And how are Warne and Murali better cricketers than Sachin? What scientific measure did you employ to conclude that their 1000 + wickets is a bigger achievement than 100 centuries? Or were they as good at batting as Sachin is, and thus better overall?

  • anoopshameed on December 3, 2011, 4:43 GMT

    Cricket is a game of numbers-so numbers do matter. It's not like Tendulkar is weighed down by the 100th 100 and gets out of the first ball he faces-he has been scoring consistently. I have no problem if Sachin goes on scoring those 80,90s and gets out-not everyone can do it. And if the 100th 100 is not an important milestone, why write an article like this? Watson is finding it difficult to convert his half-centuries into centuries-why no article was written about him? This article proves that the writter himself is aware of the landmark and it's imminence. About Kallis, he is one of the greatest allrounders, perhaps the best, but he is not compared to Sachin because you won't find the same beauty of batsmanship in him-Sachin is not about numbers, it's the beauty of his batting, the ease with which he can do it! Now for a stat. reason Kallis does have slightly better avg that Sachin, but his strk rate is considerably low. The lines about Warne and Murali, nice try but I am not buying!

  • gopi_dhillon on December 3, 2011, 4:42 GMT

    so true ! i completely agree with this article

  • jonesy2 on December 3, 2011, 4:41 GMT

    but really do like the article. i think tendulkar needs to talk to the media a lot more and let everyone know he doesnt care about these sorts of things, by staying silent he doesnt do himself any favours.

  • on December 3, 2011, 4:40 GMT

    i couldn't believe my eyes as i read those things about bradman..yeah sachin is great but criticizing bradman to say so is utter rubbish and stupidity..it is bizzare how just to amplify sachin's stats he condemned bradman's miraculous stats...

  • jonesy2 on December 3, 2011, 4:39 GMT

    this is a strange article and i dont really understand it. but i think i agree in that the whole 100 hundreds thing is completely irrelevant and is completely meaningless, ODI's are not tests, therefore stats in the two cannot be linked

  • pranavcrazyguy on December 3, 2011, 4:34 GMT

    Dude, whatever you say, a century of centuries matters. Perhaps it's only because he is a demi-God. Perhaps only because "century of centuries" rhymes so well (millennium of wickets doesn't!).

    Or perhaps it's because it's an incredible achievement.

    Even if you tried to devalue this fact, Mr. Mukul, the fact is that it's a hundred centuries - A HUNDRED CENTURIES. Say that again. It's big. 1000 international wickets was big too, sadly no one cared. But they should have, it deserved the respect and hype. ONE THOUSAND WICKETS. Say that again. It was sad that Murali or Warne did not get the adulation they deserved.

    You can't club centuries is two different forms together? That's like saying that if I were to get Mahatma Gandhi and Diego Maradona together, the news guys shouldn't be making headlines. Or if I got the world's 100 most known personalities together. Because each of them was DIFFERENT.

  • on December 3, 2011, 4:30 GMT

    very well written article.

  • MrTRUTH on December 3, 2011, 4:28 GMT

    Mukul you should understand that Bradman's era was engulfed in TWO WORLD WARS, plus Great Depression. They didn't play much and traveled by Sea, a trip lasted for couple of months, to play. What was unique about HIM was that he gave hungry people something to smile and dream about!!! Thank you for noticing Kallis, who like Dravid, also fields in slips. I haven't seen much of Tendulkar on field in the last 6-8 years.He is either given a non-busy position on the field or substituted by a 12th man, so that he is well rested to only bat. Basically, he is Indian team's poster child, who will just bat for records. No player has given such a treatment; hence, I personally don't care for his records or centuries. It is artificially inflated by the Indian team. I haven't gotten into talking about batting pitches and weak attacks.Oh yeah, and selectively resting when the bowling attack is hard.

  • its.rachit on December 3, 2011, 4:16 GMT

    JUst like 100 centuries is a milestone just for the heck of it , this article has been written just for the heck of it ... does not prove or point anything ... and 100 international IS a major milestone ... a 100 is a 100, test or odi ... and 100 of those do make a milestone ... whether u agree or not ... and by writing this article you have shown how high you are flying in the frenzy ...

  • vineetkarthi on December 3, 2011, 4:13 GMT

    Finally, a sensible article on the topic of "100 International Hundreds". It is at best an "indirect milestone" and of no significance whatsoever. Equally stupid is the discussion about Greatest Batsman of all time. It is no different from "My Daddy is Strongest" slogan. Unfortunately, MK, the author, has fallen prey to that by celebrating DB as the best of all time. Why so? Has he seen him bat, has he seen enough and compared him to everyone who played after that to say that DB was the best. I am sure, almost no one who writes on CricInfo would be able to claim that. Most would not have been born when DB played. So how about being fair to cricket and cease celebrating a meaningless statistical aberration called Don Bradman.

  • on December 3, 2011, 4:09 GMT

    Very thought-provoking article! One wonders if this obsession with whole numbers has to do with the game per se or with India in general. The people of this country are more hell-bent on round figures. Had Murali and Warne been Indians, they would have had similar pressure to reach their 1000th wicket. Tendulkar, on the other hand, would have gone past his 100th hundred long back, almost unnoticed- had been playing for any other nation!!

  • on December 3, 2011, 4:09 GMT

    *A to Z Qualities that every person to be learned from Sachin:

    A: Admiration, Adulation, Attention B: Belief, Brave C: Charity, Commitment D: Dedication, Devotion, Durable E: Encouragement, Endeavor F: Fearless G: Gratitude H: Humanity, Humble, Honest I: Intensity, Innovation J: Jive K: Kind L: Loyal M: Motivational, Master N: New ideas O: Overhaul P: Peace Q: Quality R: Respect S: Steady, Silent T: Temperament, Technique U: Undertakings V: Volatile W: Wonderful X: X-treme Y: Youthful Z: Zero Gravity (Down to Earth)

  • on December 3, 2011, 3:55 GMT

    When Bradman played, diving in the field to stop the ball was something miraculous. The English would consider it 'dirty' to spoil their uniforms. To play 20 years and probably 2 or 3 tests a year, was not his fault, but to play almost 9-10 tests a year, with around 20-25 ODIs with one full pack of the recent IPL in a year is not a joke, and not Sachin's fault.

    Who knows what physical and mental fitness it requires to stay at the peak for 20 years. Is it easy to maintain yourself for 3 tests a year or to maintain yourself for a year full of cricket. Chuck all that. How easy is it to predict what Badman would have done if he was born in a country where people expect him to score a century, and not stop with a century, every time he walks down to bat.

    What you feel to compare ODI and test centuries, is what I feel to compare Sachin and Brandman. ABSURD ! There is no way to compare people of 2 totally different generations.

  • on December 3, 2011, 3:53 GMT

    Excellent article. Sachin surely know this.

  • itsjustcricket on December 3, 2011, 3:51 GMT

    well said Mukul. This is just a media creation. Many fellow Indian fans may take offonse to your statements, but Murali should be considerd a better cricketer overall, Kallis too, as you rightly point out. Tendulkar as a batsman in test/ODI combined is probably a shade ahead of all his peers like Lara/Ponting/Sanga/Waugh/Dravid etc, but not by much.However I do believe the pressure he has faced, not necessarily on the field but more off the field from the sheer weight of expectations, is underestimated by most. He has dealt with this from the time he was 15 and no other cricketer in the world has had to deal with anything close to what he has.

  • Adityaroy on December 3, 2011, 3:50 GMT

    Absolutely Spot On... Ludicrous Hype about an Non-Existent Landmark... Especially Given that a 100 in ODI's is so much about opportunity... If you bat at the Top for 350 Odd Innings, you are bound to get a Few 100's, consider that a Hit or Miss and Largely Over rated Cricketer Like Sanath Jayasuriya has scored 28 ODI 100's! Mostly because he batted at the top of the order for 300 Odd Innings. The Fact that Tendulkar himself has bought in to his hype and seems to be feeling the pressure of the so called "Landmark" is the more puzzling thing....

  • longlivewoodoo on December 3, 2011, 3:48 GMT

    definitely right ! slapping some by hands and kicking by legs cann't be added as hitting him equally. #PseudoIntellectualsShowingDiffirent

  • on December 3, 2011, 3:47 GMT

    Finally, somebody who talks sense. Tired of this manufactured hype over an irrelevant, non-existent landmark. What if he had 99 ODI hundreds and 1 test century? Would such a person be considered a batting legend for his 100 'International hundreds'?

  • on December 3, 2011, 3:44 GMT

    I doubt about writer's knowledge about cricket. One of the paragraph he tells that ODI hundred is easier to get , as the best bowler bowl only 10 overs, and in test cricket endlessly(I saw avg of 20-25 a day for seamer and max 30 overs for spinners), Mr. writer, in test cricket we have TIME to score century, not in ODI, which lasts just 50 overs. I guess you just studied statistics of few players and wrote the article. How can you compare Kallis catches with Tendulkar ... it totaly depends upon what you field position, and more importantly how your bowlers bowl. And of course no point comparing Bradman with Tendulkar... Two greats of different era.

  • veira on December 3, 2011, 3:37 GMT

    It gives a different perspective in a very refreshing way. While some comments in between may not go down well with a Tendulkar fan, the hundredth hundred is predominantly a market creation. The timing, the advertising, the money etc which goes with it, is phenomenal. For a genuine cricket lover, the very fact that Tendulkar has achieved so much is good enough, and would be pretty sure he will indeed get one more, but not dictated by pressures of where and when he should get it.

  • doesitmatter on December 3, 2011, 3:34 GMT

    so why write? Mukul Kesavan

  • Unmesh_cric on December 3, 2011, 3:31 GMT

    You are spot on Mukul! I was talking to my friend a couple of days back...and we were wondering who came up with this idea of adding Test and ODI hundreds. When we talk about any other batsman, we never add Test and ODI centuries..then why do it just for Tendulkar? Are we trying to invent new statistical criteria just create a hype? Why didn't we create a hype when Ricky Ponting reached his 50th "International" hundred?

  • GMNorm on December 3, 2011, 3:30 GMT

    1) Why is Kesavan celebrating 1000 hybrid wickets but decrying 100 hybrid centuries .Shuld be consistent.Both are either meaningless or meaningful .Be consistent. 2) Difficult to compare across generations. Lets look at 2000's vs 1930s. Standards in athletics improved over time. Standards in tennis have improved over time.Standards in swimming have improved over time.See the timings, speed of serve etc. Do you think Rocky Marciano is the greatest boxer of all time because the gap between him and his rivals was largest? 3) Kool aid comment - surely he should be playing in this West Indies ODI series if he was so keen on the 100th.Why leave it for Australia? In your own book an ODI century is easy so he should be playing this WI series which is a gimme for the 100th. 4) Kallis runs tend to come at a pace of his own choosing,sometimes not at a pace the situation demands. thats why he is not rated as high as other greats in his era.There is a stat called strike rate.

  • on December 3, 2011, 3:14 GMT

    Good Writer. Bradman fans will surely be hurt. lol

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  • on December 3, 2011, 3:14 GMT

    Good Writer. Bradman fans will surely be hurt. lol

  • GMNorm on December 3, 2011, 3:30 GMT

    1) Why is Kesavan celebrating 1000 hybrid wickets but decrying 100 hybrid centuries .Shuld be consistent.Both are either meaningless or meaningful .Be consistent. 2) Difficult to compare across generations. Lets look at 2000's vs 1930s. Standards in athletics improved over time. Standards in tennis have improved over time.Standards in swimming have improved over time.See the timings, speed of serve etc. Do you think Rocky Marciano is the greatest boxer of all time because the gap between him and his rivals was largest? 3) Kool aid comment - surely he should be playing in this West Indies ODI series if he was so keen on the 100th.Why leave it for Australia? In your own book an ODI century is easy so he should be playing this WI series which is a gimme for the 100th. 4) Kallis runs tend to come at a pace of his own choosing,sometimes not at a pace the situation demands. thats why he is not rated as high as other greats in his era.There is a stat called strike rate.

  • Unmesh_cric on December 3, 2011, 3:31 GMT

    You are spot on Mukul! I was talking to my friend a couple of days back...and we were wondering who came up with this idea of adding Test and ODI hundreds. When we talk about any other batsman, we never add Test and ODI centuries..then why do it just for Tendulkar? Are we trying to invent new statistical criteria just create a hype? Why didn't we create a hype when Ricky Ponting reached his 50th "International" hundred?

  • doesitmatter on December 3, 2011, 3:34 GMT

    so why write? Mukul Kesavan

  • veira on December 3, 2011, 3:37 GMT

    It gives a different perspective in a very refreshing way. While some comments in between may not go down well with a Tendulkar fan, the hundredth hundred is predominantly a market creation. The timing, the advertising, the money etc which goes with it, is phenomenal. For a genuine cricket lover, the very fact that Tendulkar has achieved so much is good enough, and would be pretty sure he will indeed get one more, but not dictated by pressures of where and when he should get it.

  • on December 3, 2011, 3:44 GMT

    I doubt about writer's knowledge about cricket. One of the paragraph he tells that ODI hundred is easier to get , as the best bowler bowl only 10 overs, and in test cricket endlessly(I saw avg of 20-25 a day for seamer and max 30 overs for spinners), Mr. writer, in test cricket we have TIME to score century, not in ODI, which lasts just 50 overs. I guess you just studied statistics of few players and wrote the article. How can you compare Kallis catches with Tendulkar ... it totaly depends upon what you field position, and more importantly how your bowlers bowl. And of course no point comparing Bradman with Tendulkar... Two greats of different era.

  • on December 3, 2011, 3:47 GMT

    Finally, somebody who talks sense. Tired of this manufactured hype over an irrelevant, non-existent landmark. What if he had 99 ODI hundreds and 1 test century? Would such a person be considered a batting legend for his 100 'International hundreds'?

  • longlivewoodoo on December 3, 2011, 3:48 GMT

    definitely right ! slapping some by hands and kicking by legs cann't be added as hitting him equally. #PseudoIntellectualsShowingDiffirent

  • Adityaroy on December 3, 2011, 3:50 GMT

    Absolutely Spot On... Ludicrous Hype about an Non-Existent Landmark... Especially Given that a 100 in ODI's is so much about opportunity... If you bat at the Top for 350 Odd Innings, you are bound to get a Few 100's, consider that a Hit or Miss and Largely Over rated Cricketer Like Sanath Jayasuriya has scored 28 ODI 100's! Mostly because he batted at the top of the order for 300 Odd Innings. The Fact that Tendulkar himself has bought in to his hype and seems to be feeling the pressure of the so called "Landmark" is the more puzzling thing....

  • itsjustcricket on December 3, 2011, 3:51 GMT

    well said Mukul. This is just a media creation. Many fellow Indian fans may take offonse to your statements, but Murali should be considerd a better cricketer overall, Kallis too, as you rightly point out. Tendulkar as a batsman in test/ODI combined is probably a shade ahead of all his peers like Lara/Ponting/Sanga/Waugh/Dravid etc, but not by much.However I do believe the pressure he has faced, not necessarily on the field but more off the field from the sheer weight of expectations, is underestimated by most. He has dealt with this from the time he was 15 and no other cricketer in the world has had to deal with anything close to what he has.