In a career spanning twenty-three years across four decades, India's Sachin Tendulkar scored exactly one hundred international centuries. Tendulkar scored 51 centuries in Test cricket and 49 centuries in ODI cricket, both of which are world records for the most centuries scored by an individual batsman in either format of the game.
Here we look at the top seven centuries scored by Tendulkar outside India, across both Test and One Day Cricket.
7. 116 Vs Australia, Melbourne, 1999
In the Boxing Day Test match of 1999, India’s Sachin Tendulkar walked out to bat at number four in the seventh over of the Indian innings. Australia posted a total of 405 in their first innings, and India in response got off to a poor start, losing both openers with just eleven runs on the board. Australia were playing three pace bowlers in Glenn McGrath, Damien Fleming and Brett Lee (who was on Test debut), along with one specialist spinner in Shane Warne.
Tendulkar saw Rahul Dravid depart not long after he stepped out to the wicket, leaving India struggling at 31-3. With a capacity crowd of over 60,000 people packed into the huge Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in the last week of 1999, India were suddenly staring at yet another embarrassing overseas Test match defeat, and looked set to go down 0-2 in the Test series.
Tendulkar slowly started opening up and hit a couple of delightful looking shots to the boundary. Warne was brought into the attack to break the growing stand between Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly. The huge crowd at the stadium as well as those watching on television all over the world were treated to an exhibition of quality cricket, as Tendulkar stepped aside to cover drive Warne, and the battle between the two cricketing greats intensified. Tendulkar started to lose partners at the other end, but did not let up on his focus as he reached his half century, and took the Indian total past 150.
Tendulkar soon started to accelerate the scoring rate, charging Warne to hit a six over the long off boundary. It was only fitting that Tendulkar should reach his century off the bowling off Warne. It was Tendulkar’s 22nd century in Test cricket and Warne was among the first to applaud Tendulkar’s effort, a moment of great sportsmanship between two of cricket’s greatest players of the 1990s. Tendulkar fell just sixteen runs later however, and India went down by a crushing margin of 180 runs in the Test match.
105* Vs England, Chester-le-Street, 2002
One of Sachin Tendulkar’s more brilliant ODI centuries, which ended up going in vain, as the match was washed out due to rain.
During a group stage match against England in the 2002 Natwest Series, Sachin Tendulkar walked out to bat at number four. Tendulkar joined Dinesh Mongia at the wicket, as the Indian batsmen looked to take advantage of the small boundaries at the Riverside ground. Tendulkar batted for about 35 overs with Rahul Dravid, and the duo put on yet another century stand in ODI cricket (169). Dravid fell for 82, but India only picked up momentum as Yuvraj Singh (40*) and Tendulkar put on 64 runs in the last five overs. Tendulkar brought up his hundred in the penultimate over of the Indian innings, and finished on 105* off 108 balls. The innings included eight fours and one six.
India ended up posting a competitive total of 285 runs in 50 overs, but after just 12 overs of the England innings, rain forced the umpires to call off the match.
193 Vs England, Headingley, 2002
On the same tour, in the second Test of India’s 2002 tour of England, Tendulkar hit his 30th Test match hundred, thus overtaking Sir Donald Bradman’s tally of 29 hundreds in Test match cricket. Tendulkar batted freely and showed his brilliance on the first day of the Test match, negating the swinging ball by patiently waiting for the loose deliveries. England’s four pace bowlers had absolutely no answers to Tendulkar, whose effort in the match would be overshadowed by Rahul Dravid‘s equally brilliant effort of 148.
Ganguly also joined the party, and put on 249 runs with Tendulkar for the fourth wicket. Tendulkar batted for over seven hours and fell late on the second day’s play to Andy Caddick, a bowler he was most severe on in his innings. In all, Tendulkar hit 19 fours and three huge sixes, and received a standing ovation from the crowd when he was finally dismissed seven runs short of a double-century.
114 Vs Australia, Perth, 1992
On a disastrous tour for Team India in Australia in 1991-92 (India went down in the Test series 0-4), teenager Sachin Tendulkar proved to be a bright spot, never more so in the fifth Test match at the WACA Cricket Ground in Perth. Tendulkar hit just his third Test match hundred, against a strong Australian bowling attack, and scored 71 more runs than the next highest run getter in the innings (Kiran More’s 43). The innings was especially impressive because Tendulkar stood tall and batted bravely on a bouncy track at Perth.
India lost the Test match by a huge margin of 300 runs, but Tendulkar’s effort would be remembered for many years to come in a land where he enjoyed great success on subsequent tours (including innings of 241* at Syndey in 2004, and 153 at Adelaide in 2008).
117* Vs Australia, Sydney, 2008
In the first final of the 2007-08 Commonwealth Bank series in Australia, India were chasing a total of 240 runs to win the match in 50 overs. Sachin Tendulkar walked out to open the innings, along with Robin Uthappa. India started off well and ahead of the required run rate. Uthappa however fell in the 11th over of the Indian innings, with the Indian total at exactly 50. Gautam Gambhir fell just three overs later, and India’s run-rate fell drastically as the Australian bowlers upped their game. India lost Yuvraj Singh in the 19th over, when Rohit Sharma walked out to join Tendulkar at the wicket.
India were playing five bowlers in the match, meaning the next batsman, MS Dhoni was the last recognized batsman for India. Tendulkar was India’s main batsman at this crucial stage of the game. India reached a total of 116-3 after 25 overs, still needing another 124 runs to win at the half-way stage. Tendulkar and Sharma negated the spin of left arm spinner Michael Clarke, as well as the pace of Mitchell Johnson to take India within 100 runs of victory.
Australian skipper Ricky Ponting shuffled his bowlers and fielders, but Tendulkar and Sharma kept marching ahead, Tendulkar scoring close to a run-a-ball. Sharma reached his half century, but all eyes were on Tendulkar who had made his way to the nineties. India needed just over 30 runs to win the match when Tendulkar brought up his 42nd ODI hundred. India won the match by 5 wickets, and Tendulkar was named Man-of-the-Match for his hundred.
98 Vs Pakistan, Centurion, 2003
Tendulkar narrowly missed out on a century, but this Tendulkar knock against Pakistan during the 2003 Cricket World Cup in South Africa must rank as one of his best, both for the context of the innings and the display itself.
Chasing a target of 273 runs in a pressure game – the Mumbaikar later said the match kept him up for the past 12 months leading up to the game – India’s openers Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar walked out to bat in one of the most electrifying cricket atmospheres at any cricket match. Earlier in the day, Pakistan’s Saeed Anwar hit a century (101), while a late flurry from the Pakistan’s tailenders helped Pakistan post a total of 273-7 in 50 overs.
Pakistan’s captain Waqar Younis handed the new ball to Wasim Akram to start proceedings for Pakistan. Tendulkar started off strong from the very first over, standing tall to get over the bounce, and smashing Akram to the cover boundary. Shoaib Akthar came on to bowl from the other end. Off the fourth ball of Akthar’s first over, Tendulkar arched his bat to hit a six over the third man boundary. Tendulkar flicked the next ball off his pads, and hit the following delivery straight down the ground for another four as India were well and truly underway in their run chase.
Tendulkar and Sehwag had already raced to 50 off just five overs. Waqar Younis then pulled things back for Pakistan, scalping two Indian wickets off two balls. Tendulkar however was on song, and played some absolutely incredible shots off the back foot. Mohammad Kaif provided good support to Tendulkar at the other end, and when Tendulkar reached his fifty (thanks to an overthrow from the deep mid-wicket fielder), the delight was clearly visible on the great man’s face.
Soon after reaching his fifty, Tendulkar started to struggle with cramps but it wasn’t until he was batting on 98 that he decided to call a runner (Virender Sehwag). Akthar was brought back into the attack, and Tendulkar’s brilliant knock came to an end thanks to a steeply rising delivery from the Pakistan speedster. Tendulkar fell for 98 off 75, with India still needing another 97 runs for victory.
Rahul Dravid (44*) and Yuvraj Singh (50*) finished off the match with 26 balls to spare, but it was Tendulkar’s charged innings that continues to live on from this match. Not surprisingly, on a day when schools and colleges were shut across India and Pakistan, Tendulkar won yet another Man-of-the-Match award in ODI cricket.
134 Vs Australia, Sharjah, 1998
Perhaps Tendulkar’s finest hour in limited overs cricket came at Sharjah in April 1998, during the tri-nation Coca-Cola Cup final against Australia. Tendulkar batted like he never had in a long time, and continued his brilliant run of form in 1998 (Tendulkar scored 1894 ODI runs in 1998, a record for most ODI runs scored in a calendar year by a batsman).
India made it to the final thanks to another Tendulkar special just two days back, when Tendulkar’s effort of 143 took India past the total they needed to reach the final in that match.
Australia managed to post a total of 272 runs batting first, leaving India and especially Tendulkar a tough challenge ahead, under lights. Tendulkar was also celebrating his 25th birthday and expectations were high following his terrific knock just a couple of days back. Tendulkar straight away took a liking to the Australian fast bowler Michael Kasprowicz, and it wasn’t long before Australia’s captain Steve Waugh was forced to bring on leg spinner Shane Warne to slow the Indian innings and force a breakthrough.
Opener Sourav Ganguly fell in the ninth over, but Nayan Mongia was giving good support to Tendulkar, as the duo took India past 100 inside the first 21 overs. Tendulkar was facing Warne yet again (the two had a famous duel a month back in Chennai during a Test match when Tendulkar hit 155*).
It was Tendulkar’s night right through, Warne was left a mere spectator as he saw the ball sail over his head into the stands from Tendulkar’s bat. Tendulkar brought up his 15th ODI hundred, and a packed crowd at Sharjah were fortunate to witness one of the more famous centuries by a batsman.
Tendulkar kept going on, and hit two more sixes straight down the ground in addition to running hard in between the wickets. India were just 25 runs short of their target when Tendulkar was adjudged leg before wicket, but his effort of 134 off 131 balls was more than enough to secure victory for India. It was a special knock on a special day, and the knock firmly stamped Tendulkar as one of modern cricket’s greats.