Keep piling 'em on
Over his 20-year international career, Sachin Tendulkar has smashed several records. Cricinfo looks at some of the important ones:
The most runs in Test cricket. Tendulkar overtook Brian Lara's tally of 11953 when he reached 15 in his 152nd Test (and 247th innings), against Australia in Mohali in October 2008. However, he hasn't scored the most runs by a batsman against any individual Test-playing nation. A greater share of his runs have come against Australia. He's scored 2748 runs against them at 56.08, and next in line are England, who've been taken for 2150 at 61.42.
Tendulkar has batted at No.4 for the bulk of his career, and is the top run-getter in that position, with 10681 runs at 56.51.
The most runs in ODIs. Tendulkar has held the record for over nine years. In October 2000, against New Zealand in the ICC Knockout final in Nairobi, he went past his former team-mate Mohammad Azharuddin's 9378 runs to become the highest run-getter in the format. Tendulkar was playing his 253rd ODI (and 246th innings). Unlike in Tests, Tendulkar has also scored the most runs against Australia (3005 at 46.23), Sri Lanka (2749 at 44.33) and Zimbabwe (1377 at 49.17). Against the teams he's played ten or more ODIs, Tendulkar averages above 40 against everyone but South Africa (31.82 in 52 games) and Pakistan (39.16 in 67 games).
Tendulkar is also the most prolific opener in ODIs. He's scored 14062 runs in the opening slot at 48.15, with 41 centuries and 70 fifties. Asked to open for the first time in his 70th ODI, against New Zealand in Auckland in March 1994, Tendulkar blitzed 82 in 49 balls and the made the position his own. In addition, he is the top run-scorer in World Cups, with 1796 at 57.93. He scored the most runs in the tournament in 1996 and 2003.
The most centuries in Test cricket. Tendulkar notched up his first century, against England at Old Trafford in August 1990 in his ninth Test and 14th innings. He equalled the record for most Test centuries - 34, held by Sunil Gavaskar - 14 years later, against Bangladesh in Dhaka in December 2004, his 119th Test and 192nd innings. He made an unbeaten 248 then, his highest Test score till date. The record was broken a year later, against Sri Lanka in Delhi when he made 109; it was his 125th Test and 201st innings.
Ten of Tendulkar's centuries have come against Australia, only two behind Jack Hobbs, followed by seven against England and Sri Lanka. He's made more centuries against Sri Lanka than anyone else. However, only 16 (38.09%) of Tendulkar's 42 centuries have come in wins. Ricky Ponting leads the list of batsmen with most centuries in wins, with 27 out of 38 (a remarkable 71.05%).
The most centuries in ODIs. He took a while to reach his first century; he'd played international cricket for close to five years before getting to the milestone in his 79th ODI, against Australia in Colombo in 1994. He equalled Desmond Haynes' record of 17 centuries less than four years later, in his 196th match and 189th innings, against Sri Lanka at the same venue, when he made 128. It took him just three more games to overtake Haynes, when he made an unbeaten 127 against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo.
Australia, again, have borne the brunt of his assault, with nine centuries scored against them, the most by any player against a single team. Tendulkar tops the list against Kenya, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, and is the joint-highest against Pakistan, South Africa and Namibia. 32 (71.11%) of Tendulkar's 45 centuries have come in wins, the most for a batsman. However, Ponting and Sanath Jayasuriya, who are next in line, has a far superior success rate; 24 of their 28 ODI centuries (85.71%) have featured in wins. (Click here for Tendulkar's ODI centuries summary.)
Most scores of 50 or above in Test cricket. Tendulkar went past Allan Border's figure of 90, against Australia in Nagpur in November 2008 in his 154th Test and 252nd innings; he had equalled the record in the previous Test in Delhi. Border, however, holds the record for most half-centuries in Tests, and Tendulkar is currently third in the list, behind team-mate Rahul Dravid.
It does suggest that Tendulkar has an excellent conversion rate. He scores a century 44.21% of the times he goes beyond 50, while Ponting, who has 86 scores of 50 and above, is not too far behind with 44.18%. Again, in terms of success rates, Ponting is way ahead. 60 out of his 86 such scores (69.77%) have come in wins, while Tendulkar is significantly lower with 32 (33.28%). Also, against no Test-playing nation does he rank highest in the number of scores of above 50. He's passed 50 on 21 occasions against Australia (including ten centuries) and 17 against England.
The most scores of 50 or above in ODIs (45 hundreds, 91 fifties). Tendulkar went past Haynes, who had held the record with 74 (57 half-centuries and 17 centuries), against Sri Lanka in Sharjah in October 2000; it was his 257th ODI and 250th innings. Tendulkar achieved his first 50-plus score, against the same opposition ten years prior, in his ninth ODI, when he made 53. Both Tendulkar and Vivian Richards have cashed in against Australia, with 23 50-plus scores, the joint-highest; Richards has more half-centuries. Tendulkar heads the list against Sri Lanka (he's also scored 15 half-centuries against them) and West Indies, and is joint-highest against Zimbabwe.
Tendulkar also holds the record for most half-centuries in the ODI format with 91. Inzamam-ul-Haq was the owner of the record before him with 83; Tendulkar surpassed him in his 399th ODI (and 389th innings), when he made 79 against Australia in Chandigarh.
He has a conversion rate of 33.08% in ODIs, better than any player with over 80 scores of 50 or above. The figure would have been significantly higher had Tendulkar been better at handling the nineties; he's been out on 17 occasions between the scores of 90 to 99, far more than anyone else.
But again, Ponting outdoes him by a distance when it comes to success rates; 63.23% (86 out of 136) of Tendulkar's 50-plus scores have come in wins, while the figure for Ponting is a staggering 83.16% (84 out of 101). Jayasuriya, Inzamam and Jacques Kallis, too, are ahead on the list in terms of percentages. (Click here for Tendulkar's 50-plus scores summary.)
The most Man-of-the-Match Awards in ODIs. Tendulkar is followed by Jayasuriya with 48. Tendulkar's first such award came a year into his international career, when he grabbed two wickets and made 53 against Sri Lanka in Pune in 1990. Two among the 60 awards have been a result of his bowling; he took 4 for 34 against West Indies in Sharjah in 1991, and 5 for 32, his maiden five-for, against Australia in Kochi in 1998. (Click here for the match list.)
He's also won 14 Man-of-the-Series Awards, the most for any player; he was the Player-of-the-Tournament in the 2003 World Cup, where he was the highest run-getter (Click here for the series list). In Tests, Tendulkar is No.10 on the list, with Kallis taking the top honours for matches and Muttiah Muralitharan for series.
The highest partnership for any wicket in ODIs. Tendulkar hammered a career-best 186 not out, the highest score by an Indian in ODIs, to crush New Zealand along with Dravid, who contributed 153, in Hyderabad in 1999. The stand was for the second wicket and it surpassed the previous best of 318, set by Dravid and Sourav Ganguly in the World Cup the same year, against Sri Lanka.
Tendulkar formed a hugely successful combination with Ganguly in the limited-overs format. The two have added the most runs together in ODIs - 8227 runs at 47.55 with 26 centuries and 29 fifties between them. They're also the most productive opening duo, with 6609 runs at 49.32.
In Tests, he's added 5507 runs with Dravid, the most for an Indian pair and third in the all-time list; they are the most successful third-wicket pair in the longer version, while Tendulkar and Ganguly top the charts for the fourth wicket.
Amid the severe plunder he's inflicted on bowlers, Tendulkar has been bowled on more occasions than anyone else in ODIs. Among players currently active in the international circuit, Dravid is next in line with 56 and he was left out of the ODI series against Australia. Like many of his other records, Tendulkar is likely to hold on to this one for the long haul. (Click for Tendulkar's dismissal summary in ODIs and Tests.)
All stats as on November 15, 2009
Siddhartha Talya is an editorial assistant at Cricinfo