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Monday, December 24, 2012

Best of Sachin Tendulkar in ODIs

By on 1:01 PM

Deepak Balamurali looks back at Sachin Tendulkar's ODI career and picks the best of Sachin Tendulkar in ODIs. Here are his top seven innings; presenting the best of the best of Sachin in ODIs.

The cricketing world was today left poorer by the exit of a certain Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar from the shorter format of the game. Cricket pundits all over the world have been paying their tributes – some calling it premature, a few saying it was long overdue, while the majority agreeing that it was a decision forced unto him by the group of lice we refer to as critics. Being a hardcore Sachin fan, someone who used to openly pray for a Sachin special even if he was up against my own Chennai Super Kings. I somewhat find it hard to digest that the whites are the only colors I’ll be seeing him in in the cricketing field henceforth.

I too wanted to pay homage to the cricketing giant in my small way. And as I was slowly recovering from this shocking news of his sudden exit, watching vintage video footage of  Sachin, I realized something – We’ve all had our top moments…Sachin too. Here are what I feel, would be his top 7 moments in the ODI format.

1.) 82 (49 balls, 15 fours and 2 sixes) vs. New Zealand - 1994 

When Sachin walked off at 117 for 2, he had destroyed the Kiwi bowling all by himself. 
This innings, played at Eden Park, Auckland against a strong Kiwi attack comprising Morrison, Larson and the rest, was the foundation to Tendulkar’s ODI greatness. Opening because of Sidhu's neck strain, Tendulkar put on 61 with Jadeja in just nine overs, and 56 in six with Kambli. He smashed three fours and a six off Larsen's first over and Kambli was just as hard on Morrison. India on Sachin's back reached the target with 160 balls remaining!

2.) 65 (88 balls, 9 fours) vs. Sri Lanka - 1996

On a dusty evening at the Eden Gardens, Sri Lanka raced to 251, with their sights on entering their first World Cup Final. Sachin Tendulkar, the leading run-scorer in that tournament scored 65 and put on a good partnership with the captain before departing. His departure ignited a collapse, and the famed Indian batting order collapsed like dominoes. The crowd resorted to violence. Sachin and Dalmiya had to talk to the crowd and reason with them. The match was forfeited but not before the world witnessed another one of Sachin's masterclass.

3.) 143 (131 balls, 9 fours and 5 sixes) vs. Australia - 1998 

Sachin played his greatest ODI innings in the midst of a sand storm 
Operation Desert Storm, was the first of a two part brilliance at Sharjah, the Mecca of ODI cricket, a memory that will forever be etched in the hearts of all Sachin fans. The manner in which he clinically dismantled the Australian bowling attack with contempt and disregard was just outstanding. He single-handedly ensured that India, despite losing that match, went on the qualify for the final, on better run rate. A couple of days later, he gave himself and the nation, an awesome birthday gift, notching up 134 off 131 balls, ensuring that team India emerged victors.

 4.) 140 (104 balls, 16 fours and 3 sixes) vs. Kenya - 1999

Sachin looks to the heavens after completing a century just a day after his father's funeral. 
Back in England, just two days after his father’s demise, Sachin cracked a sparkling century, putting on a record partnership with Rahul Dravid. This was an emotionally high knock and is up there with the best. His gesture of removing his helmet and looking up at the sky said it all! Only he could bring out the best in him, even in testing, turbulent times, and yet, make it look all very simple. Genius at work!

5.) 38 ( 37 balls, 3 fours and 3 sixes) vs. Australia - 2000 

This might not be fresh in many a fan’s memory, but, I vividly remember this for the war of words Tendulkar had with McGrath. Tendlya then showed Glenn who the big daddy was. There may have many a battle with the bowlers that was won with the bat answering (Read decimation of Warney, Caddick and others), but this one was special for the usually calm little Master also did a bit of talking before he launched into an aggressive blitz against McGrath.

6.) 98 (75 balls, 12 fours and a six) vs. Pakistan - 2003 

Sachin made a mockery of modern days greatest pace trios - Akram, Waqar and Akthar 
Saeed Anwar had hit yet another century and Pakistan had piled up 275 against their arch rivals in a high pressure game. Out came Sachin with side-kick Viru, dispatching the bowlers and sending the Pakistani fielders on a wild-goose chase. India raced to 50 by the end of the 5th over. Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akthar were made to look pedestrian, although they were nothing short of being one of the best bowling trios at that moment! The rest, as they say, is history.

7.) 175 (141 balls, 19 fours and 4 sixes) vs. Australia - 2009 

Tendulkar - pure awesomeness indeed!
The Aussies are no small pushovers and 175 off just 141 balls, against them in the shorter format shows Sachin's class. He was struggling on 37, yet did all of his running. Yet again, his team was so close to a win and faltered as soon as he left. This was one magical innings, sandwiched between two other big knocks of his, the quickfire 163 in Christchurch, where he had to head into the hut because of the cramps and the monumental 200* against the Proteas in Gwalior, where he effortlessly re-wrote the record books ! This knock, I’d say, was what would have given him the confidence that his body would support his quest to last an entire 50 overs at the crease. Awesomeness indeed.

I am extremely sad that I’ll not witness any such knocks in the future, but, I can proudly recollect to the future generations how I was alive, kicking and jumping up and down when a certain Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar kept enthralling us with belligerent strokes day in and day out.

See a complete compilation of Sachin Tendulkar's records in ODIs here.

Deepak Balamurali blogs here and tweets here.


  1. I also attempted to compile 10 best SRT ODI memories. Some are full innings, some just individual shots, and also a bowling performance.

  2. Sachin Tendulkar is a great player...He should remain in ODIs, to see him some years more in action


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