15,921 Test runs, 18,426 ODI runs, 100 international centuries and so many more, the man who needs no introduction – Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. These numbers are etched in the memory of millions of cricket fans, for they worshipped the man who could do no wrong when he wielded the willow. When he knew it was his turn to pass the baton to the next generation, he left with numbers that will stay immortalised due to the stature of the man.
Tendulkar played his final Test and his last international game on 14th November 2013 against the West Indies, befittingly in the stadium that taught him the nuances of the trade, the Wankhede Stadium. This was his 200th Test match in a career spanning 24 long vigilant years. For somebody who has the numbers Tendulkar possess, his tally of double hundreds is a tad bit lower than one would expect - 7 in total, 6 in Tests and 1 in ODIs.
His low number of double centuries (considering it is, after all, Tendulkar) could be accounted for due to a few factors. In his early playing days, Tendulkar pretty much carried the burden of batting on his young shoulders. The pressures of responsibility can be a very taxing experience. He also mostly played in the middle order, which doesn’t provide too many opportunities for one to make 200+ scores.
He has given joy to the countless many, so let’s revisit the double hundreds of the double hundred man:
#1 217 vs New Zealand, 29th October 1999
His first double century was against the Kiwis in Ahmedabad and was also his 21st Test century and 44th overall. The 200 mark had eluded him for 10 long years, and Tendulkar voiced a similar opinion after getting to the mark. He said, “10 years is long time. But you keep trying”.
His 217 came off 344 balls, with 29 hits to the fence. His double came at his favoured number 4 position, as he helped India to 583 in the first innings. He mixed caution with aggression, as he took on the likes of Cairns and Vettori, but could only help India secure a draw.