Tendulkar scales another peak

Sachin Tendulkar flicks during his 175 Getty Images

It's almost 20 years since Sachin Tendulkar played his first one-day international, but his latest innings - his 435th in this format - showed he hasn't lost any appetite for the 50-over game. His stunning 175 did everything apart from win India the match - it equalled the highest by any batsman against Australia, and was his ninth ODI hundred against them, the most by a player against a single team.

Early in this innings, he also entered another exclusive club of one, becoming the first batsman to reach the mark of 17,000 ODI runs. Next in line, in terms of ODI runs, is Sanath Jayasuriya almost 3800 runs behind. The 175 Tendulkar scored was his 45th ODI century, 17 more than the second-placed Ricky Ponting and Jayasuriya.

Apart from the sheer number of runs, what's amazing about Tendulkar is his consistency. Leave aside his first 3000, and he has averaged more than 40 in each of his 3000-run intervals. And for those who were predicting a drop in form and motivation, Tendulkar's recent numbers show none of that - he has averaged more than 47 for his last 2000 runs, and has averaged 53.28 at a strike rate of 94.43 in his 15 innings in 2009.

Some of his best innings have been against the top team of his generation, which speaks volumes about his class. Tendulkar has scored 2995 runs against Australia, which is his highest aggregate against a single team and the most that any batsman has scored against them. Among the 19 batsmen who've scored 1000 or more ODI runs against Australia, Tendulkar's average is fourth. His conversion rate, though, is the best - out of 23 fifty-plus scores, nine have been centuries.

Over these years, Tendulkar has been key to Indian fortunes - he averages almost 57 in matches that India win, but the slumps to 33 in games India lose. His 32 centuries in wins is more than any other batsman has scored in his entire career, which is a telling statistic of how far ahead of the pack Tendulkar is.

Tendulkar has also scored more than 19% of the runs that India have scored in the games which he has played. It's more than the corresponding percentage for all batsmen who've scored more than 10,000 runs in ODIs. Among the other prominent openers who haven't touched 10,000, Desmond Haynes has a slightly higher percentage - 19.58, to Tendulkar's 19.34.

Tendulkar's overall average is an impressive 44.59, but it gets even better in games in which he has opened the innings. In 312 such matches, he averages 48.28 at a strike rate of 87.68, with 41 centuries and 70 fifties - that's a 50-plus score every 2.8 innings. The average is the highest among openers who've scored 3000 runs, but the strike rate is exceptional as well - only Virender Sehwag, Shahid Afridi, Adam Gilchrist and Sanath Jayasuriya have scored faster, but none of them average more than 37.