5 greatest knocks of Sachin Tendulkar in ODIs
In a glittering career spanning almost a quarter of a century, Sachin Tendulkar conjured several magical knocks with the bat in ODI cricket. He has scored as many as 49 centuries and has played a lot of match-winning knocks for India.
Match-winning knocks doesn't mean that it has to be centuries. Even a crucial score of 60 when the strings are down could be as worthy as a century.
In this article, let us look at the five greatest knocks played by the diminutive master in ODI cricket.
5. 163* vs New Zealand, 2009
The venue for this classic was the AMI Stadium in Christchurch. India won the toss and decided to bat first.
Sachin Tendulkar seemed to be totally ‘in the zone’. In a magnificent knock studded with 16 fours and five sixes, the little master displayed his complete repertoire of shots against the likes of Kyle Mills, Jacob Oram and Jeetan Patel.
Tendulkar was in such form, that he never looked like getting out. And indeed, Sachin’s innings would be stopped as he had to retire hurt when he was on 163. He helped India post a match-winning total of 392, and India went on to win the match by 58 runs.
4. 98 vs Pakistan, 2003
There was tension and anticipation in the air. India were taking on arch rivals Pakistan in a high octane clash at the Super Six stage of the 2003 World Cup. Pakistan batted first and posted 273/7, helped by a patient hundred from Saeed Anwar.
India needed to bat extremely well to overhaul a very challenging target against a bowling attack consisting of the likes of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar and Shahid Afridi.
It was in this match that the fastest bowler in the world, Shoaib Akhtar was smashed to pulp. In the second over of the match, Shoaib Akhtar bowled a short ball at over 150Km/hr. Tendulkar slashed at it hard, and it flew over backward point for six. The next ball, Akhtar tried to compensate by bowling a little fuller on middle stump.
Tendulkar moved towards the off stump and just flicked the ball past mid-wicket for a boundary. In the last ball of the over, Tendulkar just punched the ball down the ground, but the timing was so good, that the ball sped away to the boundary.
If there were any doubts as to how India would fare against the deadly pace bowling trio of Wasim, Waqar and Shoaib, then they were all put to rest by the ethereal display of Tendulkar with the bat.
And in the end, the master batsman had conjured a magical 98 off just 75 balls, including 12 fours and a six, and had paved the way for a famous Indian victory over their arch-rivals.