“Records are meant to be broken” – goes a popular saying.
When Milkha Singh clocked 45.6 seconds in the 400m event at the 1960 Rome Olympics, he beat the previous Olympic best of 45.9 and yet, missed out on a podium finish, with Otis Davis and Carl Kaufmann both timing 44.9 to set a new world record. Today, the same record stands at 43.18 seconds, held by Michael Johnson from the USA.
Pankaj Roy and Vinoo Mankad’s 52-year-old opening partnership of 413 runs for India against New Zealand was outdone in 2008 when South Africans Graeme Smith and Neil McKenzie added 415 runs for the 1st wicket, in Bangladesh.
Over the years, India has produced athletes of the highest quality, spanning every sport. At the world stage, they have made us proud, time and again, with the greatness of the records they’ve achieved.
Some of those, however, are so special that they stand the test of time, undefeated, across generations.
Let us take a look at 5 such ‘unbreakable’ records:
#5 Pranav Dhanawade
On 5 January 2016, wonder boy Pranav Dhanawade became the first person, ever, to score 1000 runs in a single innings of a cricket match.
Playing against Arya Gurukul School in an under-16 tournament organized by the Mumbai Cricket Association, 15-year-old Pranav from KC Gandhi School smashed his way into the record books by surpassing the previous best score of 628 not out which was held by A.E.J. Collins of England.
Batting on 652* at stumps on the opening day, he had already broken the Englishman’s 116-year-old record when he took the crease on Day 2. The world took notice and watched in amazement as the Mumbai-schoolboy cruised to the new highest individual score in any form of cricket.
In a knock that consisted of 59 sixes and 129 fours, he stayed unbeaten on 1009 runs off 323 balls when his team decided to declare their innings on 1465, another world record.
#4 Fauja Singh
On 16 October 2011, 100-year-old Fauja Singh set a new world record for the Oldest Marathon Runner when he crossed the finish line at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in Canada.
Singh, who was born in Jalandhar, Punjab in the pre-Independence era, clocked 8 hours 11 minutes and 6 seconds to go the distance to become the first centenarian ever, to complete a full marathon.
Nicknamed the Turbaned Tornado, Fauja Singh holds several other records in his age group which, in itself, is too unique to find a challenger for him. His extraordinary feat has elicited widespread adulation and stands unassailable to this date.
Notwithstanding his retirement in early 2013, it is safe to say that the Sikh Superman, now 105, can rest assured of the invincibility of his accomplishments in the coming years, too.
#3 Indian Kabaddi Team
Kabaddi, with over 40 countries involved today, might, soon, feature in the Olympics. A sport that pushes the limits of skill and strength in its players, Kabaddi has seen the nation reign supreme over its competitors worldwide.
India’s record in the game, at the international stage, is phenomenal.
Champions, undefeated in the 10 World Cups played till date (Men’s: 2004, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 | Women’s: 2012, 2013, 2014)
9 times’ Gold winners, across every edition it has been played (Men’s: 1990 – 2014 | Women’s: 2010 - 2014)
It is an astounding streak that the Indians have set, an equally unmatchable one at that, and it’s here to stay.
#2 Indian Hockey Team
From Amsterdam 1928 to Melbourne 1956, India won six consecutive Olympic golds in Hockey. Across seven Olympics, they won a majestic 30 matches on the trot before Pakistan pipped them in the final of Rome 1960 to clinch their first gold.
The world record for the highest margin of victory in an international match in Men’s Hockey, too, was set by the same Indian team. Dhyan Chand, the Legend himself, scored 8 goals while his brother Roop Singh notched up 10, as they annihilated the home side 24-1, at the Los Angeles Olympics of 1932.
Such domination in the game at the biggest stage for over three decades is one monstrous achievement that will easily outrank prospective contenders, forever.
#1 Sachin Tendulkar
God on Earth – sounds exaggerated when stated, but if one glanced at Sachin Tendulkar’s numbers, the skepticism would be comfortably done away with.
A saga of grit, consistency and passion, the cricket career of this Little Master has flooded the record books, far and wide. In 2010, he became the first player in 40 years of One-Day International history to reach the milestone of 200 runs in an innings. Since then, however, the feat has been repeated on five different occasions.
We, now, take a look at his records which, due to their sheer distance from getting potentially rivalled, are, without a doubt, destined to last an eternity:
Most test matches played: 200
Most ODI runs in a calendar year: 1894 runs (1998)
Maximum runs in international cricket: 34357
Most centuries: 51 in Tests, 100 in International Cricket