Reliving Sachin Tendulkar's ODI centuries (41 to 45)
Sachin Tendulkar is one of the most famous names in India. For large parts of his 24-year cricket career, he carried the burden of the Indian team, often the lone warrior of the team. He was by far one of the best ODI batsmen of his era and his records justify that. 18426 runs in 463 games at an average of 44.83 including a staggering 49 One-Day International hundreds to add to his 51 Test centuries.
Tendulkar made his ODI debut in 1989 but scored his first ODI ton only in 1994. But since that year, he has scored an ODI hundred every year thereafter. And by the time he retired from the 50-over format in December 2012 (though he played his last ODI in March 2012), he ended up with a record 49 ODI hundreds.
Thus, we continue to look back at his ODI centuries and here we relive centuries 41 to 45.
Century No. 41 – 100* vs West Indies (Vadodara – January 2007)
The preparations for the 2007 World Cup were in full flow when West Indies toured India for a 4-match ODI series. After a couple of close wins, India lost the third ODI. The series was still alive when the teams moved to Vadodara for the fourth and final ODI.
Sachin Tendulkar (on Greg Chappell’s suggestion) had started batting at No. 4 keeping the World Cup plans in mind. India got a solid start as the openers – Sourav Ganguly and Robin Uthappa and then skipper Rahul Dravid took India to 148/2 at the halfway mark. That was the time Tendulkar strode out to the centre.
He continued the momentum created in the first half as he picked the gaps, ran hard between the wickets and got the boundaries as and when the opportunity came. He was dropped twice in his innings, once on 85 and then on 91 but he made full use of those chances to reach his 41st ODI ton. His 76-ball 100 (10 fours and 1 six) took India to 341/3 in their 50 overs.
The master formed a couple of important partnerships through the innings. First, with Dravid for the third wicket – 116 and then with MS Dhoni – 75 (in 39 balls). This was also Tendulkar’s first century since November 2003 that came in a winning cause.