Greatest ODI innings by Indian batsmen post-2000 that wasn't a century
In a batting obsessed country like India, individual centuries are given much more credit than an innings that did not breach the three-figure mark, even if the latter held much more value. Fans are often swayed by centuries and hence more important and valuable innings are often forgotten just because of the fact that these innings weren't converted into centuries.
In several cases, it's these 70's, 80's and 90's that have helped team India lift several important trophies and have led to cherishable moments in Indian cricket history, which have now become a part of legendary folklore. These innings hold much more value for the larger benefit of the team when compared to individual tons.
Here we have a look at some of the high impact innings by Indian batsmen in ODIs post the year 2000 that did reach three figures:
#1 Sachin Tendulkar's 98 vs Pakistan
Perhaps Tendulkar's greatest ever non-century innings in his ODI career, this innings sits there right at the top of the list of the greatest innings played by Indian batsmen in ODIs. The fact that it came against arch-rivals Pakistan, that too in a high octane World Cup clash, against the likes of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoiab Akthar on a bouncy Centurion track makes it all the more special.
Chasing a highly competitive 274 for yet another World Cup victory against Pakistan, Tendulkar provided the best possible start for India as he toyed with the star-studded Pakistani bowling line up. The second over of the Indian innings where he plundered Akthar for 3 consecutive boundaries, including a six, was the turning point of the match. His six off Akthar over point is still remembered with pride by Indian fans.
India did suffer a hiccup in the middle when Waqar Younis removed Sehwag and skipper Ganguly in back to back deliveries, reducing India to 53-2. Tendulkar, however, was largely unperturbed as he continued trampling upon the hapless Pakistani bowlers, scoring boundaries at regular intervals. His 102-run partnership with Kaif steadied the ship for India.
When Tendulkar got out, India still required almost 100 runs for victory. However, the damage had already been done by that time and it was only a matter of time before Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh romped team India to a memorable victory.