Sachin at 50: Each of Tendulkar's 100 international hundreds - Part 5
The great Sachin Tendulkar turns 50 today, and on this momentous occasion, we bring you some detail of the one statistic that became synonymous with his career.
On the occasion of Sachin Tendulkar's 50th birthday, we take a look at his 100 centuries for India spanning from 1990 to 2012. We will be turning back the clock and celebrating Tendulkar’s centuries in five segments – Part 1: 1990-1995, Part 2: 1996-1998, Part 3 1999-2001, Part 4: 2002-2007, and Part 5: 2008-2012
Read Part 4 here
Part 5: 2008-2012
No 79: 154* vs Australia, Sydney, January 2-6, 2008 (Test #38)
In one of the most acrimonious Tests that India have played in recent memory, Tendulkar was at his vintage best. After India lost the opening Test in Melbourne by a 337-run margin, a fightback was required. Australia gained the upper hand in the initial stages of the Test by riding on Andrew Symonds's unbeaten 162 to reach 463 in their first innings. Tendulkar starred in India's reply of 532, staying unbeaten on 154 to nudge the visitors ahead in the contest. It was during Tendulkar's 129-run partnership with Harbhajan Singh that the controversy known as 'Monkeygate' erupted.
Tendulkar's innings was of outstanding quality, but the saga involving Harbhajan and Symonds dominated headlines in the aftermath.
Though Australia were behind by 69 runs at the start of their second innings, their total of 401/7 declared put the pressure back on India. In the fourth innings of the match, a combination of bad batting and dodgy umpiring resulted in India being bowled out for 210 with minutes to go for the close.
No 80: 153 vs Australia, Adelaide, January 24-28, 2008 (Test #39)
In mid-2007, Tendulkar's prolonged run of moderate scores raised questions of his future, with some critics declaring that he is no longer the player he was. But the tour of Australia allowed Tendulkar to silence his detractors. After scoring 154 not out in Sydney, he produced another special knock in Adelaide.
With the Indian players soaking in the euphoria of a victory in Perth, it was imperative that they didn't let the momentum go to waste at the Adelaide Oval. Tendulkar took the lead with an innings that propelled India to 526. On a flat pitch, it was only par for the course though. Australia responded with 563 for a slender 37-run lead.
Given the nature of the surface, the match ended in a draw. Australia clinched the four-Test series 2-1, but there were plenty of positives for Tendulkar and India to take from the series.
No 81: 117* vs Australia, Sydney, March 2, 2008 (ODI #42)
Tendulkar had gone 36 innings without an ODI hundred. He had scored 16 half-centuries during that period, six of which were 90-plus scores. And of those six 90-plus scores, there were three 99s and one 97.
He finally broke that streak with an unforgettable knock -- his first ODI century in Australia which came in the first final of India’s iconic CB Series triumph Down Under in 2008.
In reply to Australia’s 239/8, India were in a spot of bother at 87/3 after 19 overs. Until Tendulkar got together with his Mumbai state-mate Rohit Sharma (66 off 87) to add a match-winning 123-run partnership for the fourth wicket.
The Master Blaster hit some glorious strokes and remained unbeaten on 117 off 120, with 10 fours, as India finished with 242/4 in 45.5 overs to register a six-wicket victory.
In the second final, too, Tendulkar scored 91 as India won by nine runs to lift the trophy.
No 82: 109 vs Australia, Nagpur, November 6-10, 2008 (Test #40)
When Australia toured in 2008 for a four-Test series, it was predictably India who enjoyed the upper hand. While the first and third Tests ended in draws, India had taken a 1-0 lead by winning the second Test in Mohali.
So going into the fourth Test in Nagpur, the Australians were playing catch-up. The hosts, now led by MS Dhoni after Anil Kumble's retirement at the end of the third Test in Delhi, did not allow the visitors a way back in thanks to Tendulkar's 109 in the first innings. The Australians simply did not have the penetration required to make serious inroads into the Indian batting line-up. Debutant off-spinner Jason Krejza did take eight wickets in the first innings, but he conceded 215 runs at an economy of 4.9 while doing so.
India clinched victory by 172 runs in the end to win the series 2-0. The Nagpur Test was the last of Sourav Ganguly's career.
No 83: 103* vs England, Chennai, December 11-15, 2008 (Test #41)
In a career replete with many extraordinary innings, he perhaps counts this as his most special hundred. This Test came in the aftermath of the terror attack on November 26 in Mumbai, Tendulkar's home city. England, who were playing an ODI series in India at the time of the attack, aborted the tour and went back home, but took the decision to then return for two Tests in December, a heartwarming gesture that touched Indian players and fans alike.
The Chepauk Test turned out to be a classic as the momentum swung to-and-fro right through the game.
Needing 387 in the fourth innings, the tone for the run chase was set by Virender Sehwag smashing 83 off 68 balls in the final session of the fourth day. Tendulkar built on the platform laid by the top-order, stitching together an unbroken partnership of 163 runs with Yuvraj Singh for the fifth wicket. He was eventually unbeaten on 103, guiding India to the highest-ever successful chase at home.
No 84: 163 vs New Zealand, Christchurch, March 8, 2009 (ODI #43)
A year after he scored his first ODI ton in Australia, Tendulkar slammed his first three-figure score in the 50-over format in New Zealand.
In the third ODI at Christchurch, New Zealand won the toss and opted to field first but were sent on a leather hunt. Yuvraj Singh (87 off 60), skipper MS Dhoni (68 off 58) and Suresh Raina (38* off 18) made key contributions in the middle order as India finished with a humongous 392/4.
However, it was Tendulkar who stole the show with a special effort at the top of the order, hitting a 133-ball 163, with 16 fours and five sixes, to lay the foundation for India’s eventual victory.
Opener Jesse Ryder scored an 80-ball 105 and Kyle Mills got a quick-fire half-century at No 9, but the Kiwis were bowled out for 334 in 45.1 overs.
No 85: 160 vs New Zealand, Hamilton, March 18-21, 2009 (Test #42)
Tendulkar and the other Indian batters had gone through a disastrous tour of New Zealand in 2002. In 2009 though, the conditions were not as spiteful for batting. That was evident in India's first innings of the first Test. While Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan made half-centuries, Tendulkar led the way with an innings of 160 in 260 deliveries.
It enabled India to score 520 in their first innings for a 241-run lead. In the second innings, New Zealand were bowled out for the same score as their first innings, leaving the visitors only 39 runs to get for victory.
Tendulkar won the Player of the Match, also paving the way for a series win as the second Test in Napier and the third Test in Wellington ended in draws.
No 86: 138 vs Sri Lanka, Colombo, September 14, 2009 (ODI #44)
It was the four-match Compaq Cup with India, New Zealand and hosts Sri Lanka playing just one game each against each other before the final.
India beat the Kiwis by six wickets and the Lankans by 139 runs to storm into the final. Tendulkar then slammed a gritty ton in the title clash to help his team lift the trophy.
Opting to bat first, India got a 95-run opening partnership thanks to Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid (39). Skipper MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh then struck 56 runs each at No 3 and 4 respectively as the visitors finished with a total of 319/5.
Tendulkar batted till the 46th over and scored 138 runs off 133 deliveries, with 10 fours and a six. The hosts were bowled out for 273 in 46.4 overs, and the Master Blaster was declared the player of the match and series.
No 87: 175 vs Australia, Hyderabad, November 5, 2009 (ODI #45)
Tendulkar’s 175 against Australia in Hyderabad is another unforgettable knock for Indian fans. This was his second-highest ODI score at the time, and turned into his third-highest a few months later.
Ricky Ponting won the toss and Australia opted to bat first. Shane Watson (93 off 89), Shaun Marsh (112 off 112), Ponting (45 off 45), Cameron White (57 off 33) and Michael Hussey (31* off 22) all contributed as the visitors posted a daunting total of 350/4.
At the halfway mark, not many would’ve fancied India to reach the target. But Tendulkar was a man on a mission and nearly pulled off an astonishing win for his team. With 19 fours and four sixes, he slammed 175 off 141. This was the fastest ODI ton by an Indian against the Aussies at the time.
But apart from a half-century by Suresh Raina at No 6, no other Indian batter made a sizeable contribution. The hosts finished agonisingly short in the end and were bowled out for 347 in 49.4 overs, with Australia clinching a three-run victory.
No 88: 100* vs Sri Lanka, Ahmedabad, November 16-20, 2009 (Test #43)
The pitch in Ahmedabad for the 2009 Test between India and Sri Lanka was perhaps one of the flattest that Tendulkar had played on. Over the five days, 1598 runs were scored for the loss of 21 wickets. Expectedly, the Test ended in a draw.
After India scored 426 in the first innings, an innings of 275 by Mahela Jayawardene helped the Sri Lankans declare on 760/7. From that moment on, the only side in the hunt for victory was Sri Lanka.
Trailing by 334 runs, there was a bit of pressure on the hosts in their second innings. Gautam Gambhir and Tendulkar ensured a sturdy response with scores of 114 and 100 not out respectively. The main threat for India was Muttiah Muralitharan, but Tendulkar and Co made the spin wizard go wicketless in 38 overs.
No 89: 105* vs Bangladesh, Chattogram, January 17-21, 2010 (Test #44)
Like in 2007, Tendulkar notched centuries in each of the two Tests on the 2010 tour of Bangladesh too.
The century in the first innings of the first Test wasn't all plain sailing though. Tendulkar walked in at 79/2 but found that wickets were continuously falling at the other end. The biggest challenge was posed by seamer Shahadat Hossain and left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan, both of whom picked five wickets each.
Tendulkar brought up his century with a four wide of backward point against Shahadat. He had to look for the boundary given that he had No 11 S Sreesanth at the other end. Sreesanth was dismissed shortly after, leaving Tendulkar unbeaten on 105 in a moderate total of 243.
India wouldn't have expected to be put under such pressure where they needed a gem of an innings from Tendulkar to even reach 243. The Indian bowlers, though, stepped up to skittle the hosts out for 242. It was all comfortable in the end as India clinched a 113-run win.
No 90: 143 vs Bangladesh, Mirpur, January 24-27, 2010 (Test #45)
In sharp contrast to the first Test where Tendulkar's ton came in a below-par batting display, his 143 in the first innings of the second Test was one of a number of excellent knocks. Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag and MS Dhoni scored half-centuries while Rahul Dravid compiled 111 to punish the Bangladesh bowlers on a docile surface. Tendulkar top-scored again, showing his class against a Bangladesh attack not having the ammunition to restrict a player of his quality.
With Bangladesh being bowled out for of 233 in their first innings, the efforts of the Indian batting unit helped the visitors gain an enormous lead of 311 runs.
Tendulkar wasn't required to bat again in the Test as India won by 10 wickets. This was the batting great's final Test in Bangladesh, ending with a record of 820 runs in seven Tests including five hundreds at a better-than-Bradman average of 136.66.
No 91: 100 vs South Africa, Nagpur, February 6-9, 2010 (Test #46)
It isn't often that India's batters are found wanting against pace in subcontinental conditions. But that is what transpired during India's first innings in Nagpur as Steyn ran through the India line-up to finish with figures of 16.4-6-51-7.
With a 325-run first-innings deficit to overcome, a much better batting performance from the hosts was the need of the hour. Tendulkar delivered even as the other batters failed to come to the fore. He hit 100 off 179 deliveries as India scored 319 in their second innings, but it still wasn't enough to force South Africa to bat again. South Africa's victory by an innings and six runs gave them a 1-0 series lead going into the second Test in Kolkata.
No 92: 106 vs South Africa, Kolkata, February 14-18, 2010 (Test #47)
With victory imperative for India to bounce back and level the series, the bowlers restricted the South Africans to 296 in the first innings. India responded with four centuries when it was their turn to wield the willow, one of which was scored by Tendulkar. The other centurions were Virender Sehwag (165), VVS Laxman (143 not out) and MS Dhoni (132 not out).
Not for the first time in their careers, Tendulkar allowed Sehwag to play the dominant role in their third-wicket partnership of 249. With Sehwag in his characteristically belligerent mood, Tendulkar knew that he had to be patient and keep Sehwag company as India racked up 643/6 declared with more than two days to spare. After that, their innings-and-57-run victory was a mere formality.
No 93: 200* vs South Africa, Gwalior, February 24, 2010 (ODI #46)
South Africa. Gwalior. 200 not out. The first man to score a double-century in ODI cricket (Australian great Belinda Clark was the first player to hit an ODI double-ton, she scored an unbeaten 229 against Denmark in 1997).
Tendulkar broke umpteen records in his legendary career. And this historic knock stands right up there with his greatest feats.
South Africa toured India in 2010 for two Tests and three ODIs. The Test series ended in a 1-1 draw, before the hosts clinched the ODI series 2-1. It was in the second ODI that “the Superman from India”, as Ravi Shastri put it on air, went where no other man had gone before him.
India won the toss and opted to bat first and lost the wicket of Virender Sehwag early. But Tendulkar then added a 194-run stand with Dinesh Karthik (79), an 81-run stand with Yusuf Pathan (36), and a 101-run unbroken stand with skipper MS Dhoni (68* off 35).
India finished with 401/3 and it was Tendulkar’s 200* off 147, with 25 fours and three sixes, that stole the headlines. He batted in god mode, hitting Dale Steyn and Co to all parts of the Captain Roop Singh Stadium.
The Proteas were then bowled out for 248 in 42.5 overs as India completed a 153-run victory.
No 94: 203 vs Sri Lanka, Colombo, July 26-30, 2010 (Test #48)
With Sri Lanka scoring 642/4 declared in the first innings after electing to bat, riding a double ton by Kumar Sangakkara and centuries by Tharanga Paranavitana and Mahela Jayawardene, it became apparent that the surface was placid by the time the Indian innings started.
But there was still pressure on India, who had lost the first Test, to come up with a creditable riposte. Tendulkar led the way with a knock of 203 -- the fifth double century of his Test career -- helping India score 707 and take a slender lead. The defining partnership of the innings was between Tendulkar and debutant Suresh Raina, adding 256 runs for the fifth wicket.
The match ended in a draw.
No 95: 214 vs Australia, Bengaluru, October 9-13, 2010 (Test #49)
Tendulkar's final Test century at home came against the Aussies at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. After a nerve-racking opening Test in Mohali where India triumphed with one wicket in hand, this was a fairly comfortable seven-wicket win for the hosts.
The victory was set up by Tendulkar's 214 in India's first innings. Responding to Australia's first-innings total of 478, Tendulkar barely put a foot wrong during his 363-ball innings, comprising 22 fours and two sixes. It helped India take a 17-run lead in the first innings.
While the pitch in Bengaluru had negligible assistance for the bowlers, the quality of the Australian attack wasn't quite what Tendulkar had encountered in previous battles. In the pace department, Ben Hilfenhaus and Mitchell Johnson could be erratic at times while debutant Peter George didn't have the skill to make the ball move in the air or off the surface. Off-spinner Nathan Hauritz was also far from convincing, which is perhaps why he didn't play a Test thereafter.
No 96: 111* vs South Africa, Centurion, December 16-20, 2010 (Test #50)
Typical of Indian teams on overseas tours, the MS Dhoni-led side was shot out for 136 in the first innings of the first Test. The Indian batters simply didn't have the answers to the pace duo of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, prompting fears that this tour could end in misery for the visitors.
Tendulkar, though, set an example for the others in India's second innings by showing that the South African attack could be handled. He scored an unbeaten 111 off 241 deliveries, taking India to a total of 459. Tendulkar had toured South Africa on four occasions previously for Test cricket, and he brought all his experience into play for a remarkable innings. It wasn't enough to avoid an innings defeat, but it provided the Indians more than a glimmer of hope for the two remaining Tests.
The century was Tendulkar's 50th in Tests.
No 97: 146 vs South Africa, Cape Town, January 2-6, 2011 (Test #51)
It was going to be hard to top his innings of 111 not out in the first Test, but Tendulkar managed to do so with his 146 at the picturesque Newlands in Cape Town. In testing conditions against an attack breathing fire, he produced an epic that should count as one of his finest centuries ever.
His duel with Dale Steyn, the best bowler in the world then, was particularly gripping. In the morning session of Day 3, they went at each other like two boxers striving to make the knockout punch. During his spell, Steyn consistently produced searing outswingers that threatened the outside edge, but Tendulkar stayed compact and showed great defensive skill to negotiate the challenge.
Tendulkar would later tell ESPNCricinfo that the spell of play was "one of the best sessions of my life in Test cricket". That's telling for someone who came up against many great bowlers in a 24-year career.
No 98: 120 vs England, Bengaluru, February 27, 2011 (ODI #47)
The 47th ODI ton of his career, his 98th overall in international cricket, and his first-ever in a tied game.
The 2011 ODI World Cup will remain one of the sweetest memories for Indian cricket fans. And expectedly, Tendulkar played a huge role in that epic triumph. He hit two centuries in that tournament and finished as the second-highest run-scorer (482 runs at an average of 53.55).
The first of those two tons came against England at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. India won the toss, opted to bat first, and posted a mammoth 338 in 49.5 overs. Gautam Gambhir (51) and Yuvraj Singh (58) got crucial half-centuries at No 3 and 4 respectively, but it was Tendulkar’s effort that was the highlight as he slammed a 115-ball 120 with 10 fours and five sixes.
However, India couldn’t get the win as England rode on skipper Andrew Strauss’s 145-ball 158 at the top of the order to tie the score.
No 99: 111 vs South Africa, Nagpur, March 12, 2011 (ODI #48)
This was Tendulkar’s second century at the 2011 ODI World Cup, and the last of his six tons in the tournament overall.
India elected to bat first and got big contributions from their top three. While Virender Sehwag slammed a 66-ball 73 and Gautam Gambhir scored 69 off 75 at No 3, Tendulkar top-scored with 111 off 101 with eight fours and three sixes.
However, from 267/1 in the 40th over, India suffered a dramatic collapse and were bowled out for 296 in 48.4 overs. Dale Steyn returned with figures of 5/50 and was eventually declared the player of the match as the Proteas finished with 300/7 in 49.4 overs.
No 100: 114 vs Bangladesh, Mirpur, March 16, 2012 (ODI #49)
The final act. The one that got him to 100 international centuries. A staggering, unbelievable record that may never be matched. After his 99th ton, Tendulkar waited 12 months and 47 innings across formats to complete this one-of-a-kind century, with a heartbreaking 94 at the Wankhede in November 2011 thrown in.
Perhaps the wait did drag on for a bit too long but once he got there, one couldn’t help bow to the icon.
Asked to bat first, India finished with 289/5. Virat Kohli (66 off 82), Suresh Raina (51 off 38) and skipper MS Dhoni (21* off 11) made important contributions but once again, it was Tendulkar who top-scored with 114 off 147 with 12 fours and a six. Bangladesh’s batters fired in unison to help their team chase down the target. But that result is not what that match will ever be remembered for.
- Sachin Tendulkar