Isn’t it amazing? Nearly one of out every nine times, Sachin Tendulkar goes out to bat in ODIs, he scores a century (9.36 times if you want it to be accurate). His record is even better in Tests – he scores a hundred every 6th time he bats. He holds most of the batting records in both Tests and ODIs – most ODI hundreds, most Test hundreds, most runs in Tests, most runs in ODIs, just to name a few.
Now, he becomes the first to break the 200 run barrier in ODIs. Some of his records may never get broken, but I think this one will – probably a lot sooner than people think. Still, there is something about getting there first that fascinates people. Like a Roger Bannister breaking the 4-minute barrier or a Neil Armstrong being the first man on the moon. Tendulkar has several firsts to his name that people will talk about and celebrate.
But, what I find fascinating is that even after playing cricket for 20 years and when most people his age would be thinking about retirement, he seems to have a new found hunger. In the last 12 months in ODIs, he has scored 1158 runs at an average of 72.37. In this period, he has also scored four hundreds in 19 outings (he would have scored 5 if he wasn’t stranded on 96 against Sri Lanka a few months back). And all his hundreds have been big ones – a 163* against NZ, a 138 against SL, a 175 against Australia and now 200* against South Africa.
His record in Test cricket has been even better. In the past 12 months, he has scored 1018 runs at an average of 78.30 in the 10 tests he has played. In the 15 outings to the crease, he has scored 6 centuries – that makes 10 international hundred in the last 12 months.
With frequent injury and age catching up, I thought Tendulkar would never get to a hundred international hundreds in his career. But a century of century doesn’t seem impossible anymore. He is on No. 93 at the moment and another 7 to go, but at the way he is going, I think it is a distinct possibility. Now, that is a record that will be unbroken for a long time to come…