Reliving Sachin Tendulkar's Test Centuries: Century 31-35
Sachin Tendulkar reigned as the world's best batsman for much of his career and over the course of his remarkable 24-year Test career, he scored 51 centuries. In this series, all of his centuries are being revisited in blocks of five and this article looks at his 31st century through to the 35th one.
These centuries are significant for a number of reasons.
Two of them were scored in two of the toughest places for batsmen, in Australia and Pakistan and showed a different side to Tendulkar's batting from what we had been accustomed to until then, while his 34th one remained the highest score in his career.
On the other hand, the 34th and 35th centuries are significant since one equalled Bradman's record and the other took him past it. Here is a detailed look at those centuries.
5. 176 v West Indies at Eden Gardens, 2002
The last Test of the 3-match series in India against the West Indies, back in the spring of 2002 was a dead rubber after the hosts had already taken a 2-0 lead. However, the West Indies were in a good position in this Test when they got a 139-run lead in the first innings and then had India on the mat in the 3rd innings of the Test.
Tendulkar walked in to bat at 11 for 2 after openers Virender Sehwag and Sanjay Bangar had been blasted by Merv Dillon and soon after, it was 49 for 3 when Dravid departed.
With the Test in the balance, Tendulkar played a superb innings that showed his technical excellence, ability to play an innings that pushes the opposition back and the patience to bat long enough to ensure that the Test is safe. He batted for one minute short of 7 hours and hit 26 boundaries to score 176.
VVS Laxman's equally superb 154 was also instrumental in India eventually putting the game beyond the West Indies. It was Tendulkar's first century at Indian cricket's most famous ground, the Eden Gardens, and will always be counted among his other significant centuries.