Sachin turns 44: A look back at his top 5 innings
The master-blaster turns 44, and we still can’t get over his on-field heroics.
sachin tendulkar, Sachin Birthday, australia,perth,shoaib akhtar,south africa,adam bacher,craig mcdermott,geoffrey boycott,moha (Getty)
Does God have a birthday? The God of cricket, definitely seems to have one. On April 24, 1973 Sachin Tendulkar was born at Nirmal Nursing Home, Dadar, to Ramesh Tendulkar, a Marathi novelist and mother Rajni Tendulkar, who used to work in the insurance industry. Today, he turns 44, and the whole nation will pay homage to one of the greatest of all time.
From training under the watchful eyes of Ramakant Achrekar at the Gymkhana grounds of Shivaji Park, Sachin reached the stars when he finished his career with a cumulative 100 centuries in international cricket, making 200 test and 463 one day international appearances. It is humanly not possible to score 15921 test runs, 18426 one day international runs and a whooping 25,396 runs in first-class cricket, unless you are a prodigal child. If we add these up, it comes to a whooping 59,743 runs.
It has been more than three years since he hung up his boots, playing his last test against West Indies at the Wankhede, but still the chants of SACHIN!! sACHIN!! echoes around any stadium in the country, when he criss-crosses the nation with the Mumbai Indians. Still now, arguments flourish among ardent Sachin fans which has been his greatest innings, in terms of cricketing quality and technique. Here we pick our favourite five from the lot:
The Desert Storm twin innings
Sachin Tendulkar has been the nemesis of the greatest Australian side many a times but his consecutive twin centuries in Sharjah which led India to win the tournament is still considered by many to be one of the finest innings ever played, as only Tendulkar stood tall when wickets kept tumbling at the other end in regular intervals. He hit five sixes en-route to his 143 which sent India to the finals and Geoffrey Boycott was sent to an ecstatic frenzy in the commentry box as Indians danced in the gallery. Two days later, he again hit a frenetic 134, which saw India lift silverware. Shane Warne later admitted that, he was still having nightmares about his Indian nemesis.
India v/s Pakistan, World Cup 2003
India had barely managed to win against Netherlands in their world cup winner and got completely demolished by Australia in their second group game. Houses of cricketers were attacked back in India and then Tendulkar assured that India will bounce back. Tendulkar remained true to his words, and smashed a sublime 98 of just 75 balls, hitting the likes of Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar. An upper cut which landed in the stands against Shoaib Akhtar, was later declared as the shot of the tournament.
England v/s India, Manchester 1990
Tendulkar was just 17, and was playing only in his 9th test. His maiden test century came on foreign soil in tricky conditions at the fourth innings chasing a mammoth target of 408 runs with India tottering at 183 for six. His imperial innings of 119 not out, saved the day for India asit barely managed to salvage a draw.
Australia v/s India, Perth, 1992
It was another batting disaster for India, that saw only three batsmen score above 11. But, once again it was the little master who stood tall and played a gritty innings of 114 runs of 161 balls. Perth, was considered as one of the fastest pitch in the world and Indian batsmen fell like a pack of cards in front of the twin attack of Craig McDermott and Merv Hughes and it was Tendulkar who helped India post a respectable total.
South Africa v/s India, Capetown, 1997
South Africa put up a giagantic total of 529 in the first innings and India once again was faltering at 58 for five. Sachin scored an unbelievable 169, and stood strong with Mohammad Azharuddin in a 202 run partnership, to help India avoid a follow-on. He defied all odds of swing and bounce until, Adam Bacher pulled off a sensational catch in the deep.