Whilst 2010 has been a truly terrible year for his colleague Yuvraj Singh, it has been quite the opposite for Sachin Tendulkar, who if you pardon the pun is having the most Indian of summers in what is supposed to be the autumn of his career.
Having won the Cricketer of the Year at the 2010 ICC Award ceremony last week – amazingly his first ICC award, Tendulkar seems to have decided that he is intent on retaining the crown in 2011. His quite brilliant 214 in the current Bangalore test means that he has now scored over 300 test runs more than any other batsmen in 2010 – see full list here.
In what may well become known as his Annus Mirabilis, Sachin has already scored 1217 test runs in 14 innings at a Bradmanesque 93.61 with six hundreds. Only his fellow genius VVS Laxman has a higher average (95.50) of those that have played six tests or more this year.
With three home tests against a weak New Zealand side and two in South Africa to come before the end of the year, Mohammad Yousuf’s calendar year record of 1788 runs in 2006 is within Sachin’s sights. If he achieves this remarkable feat then it will cap off a year in which he reached 14000 test runs, became only the third batsman in history to score 3000 test runs against Australia (see full list here) scored the first double hundred in ODI history and was the standout batsman in the IPL. A fairly routine year for your average batting genius.
With the World Cup on the subcontinent coming up in the early part of 2011 and tours of South Africa, England and Australia in the next 18 months giving India ample opportunity to justify its number one test ranking, Sachin could well be around for some time yet. What price him leading India to World Cup glory and then hitting a double hundred at Sydney to earn India a series win down under? It would be a deserved swansong for one of the legends of the game.
If he does that we may even have to review our ranking of Tendulkar as the seventh best batsmen ever.