Anurag Dasgupta ∙ Jan 4 2023, 11:31 AM

#OTD: Relive Sachin Tendulkar's three epic Test knocks

image-lchkspkbSachin scored his last Test ton vs South Africa [Source: Twitter]

Arguably the greatest batter in the history of cricket, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar has 51 Test centuries to his name. He had scored these hundreds under difficult circumstances and has played 24 years of international cricket.

January 4 has been a special day for the 'Little Master'. He has scored three majestic Test centuries on this very date and each one has a great significance attached to it.

January 4, 1997 - 169 vs South Africa (Cape Town)

25 years ago, Tendulkar played one of the best innings played by an Indian batter on foreign soil. In the 90s, Tendulkar was India's backbone in the batting lineup and he showed his worth against a quality South African pace attack of Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock, and Lance Klusener.

With South Africa posting a mammoth 529 on a bouncy surface at Cape Town, India had a mountain to climb. They lost a flurry of wickets as the first 5 wickets fell for a mere 58 on the board. But this is where the tides turned and the world witnessed a brilliant counter-attacking knock from the maestro. 

With pace and bounce on offer, South African bowlers were on top but that didn't stop Tendulkar from taking the aggressive route. Alongside Mohammad Azharuddin, he steadied India's sinking ship and notched up his 11th Test century. 

He was the last man to be dismissed and despite a tricky start to the innings, India somehow managed to score 359. The 169 still remains one of his best Test innings. India lost the game, but Sachin garnered all the applause.

January 4, 2008 - 154* vs Australia (Sydney)

The Sydney Test in 2008 is not always remembered for good reasons. The infamous 'Monkey Gate' incident took place in that Test match and several wrong decisions were also given. But the Test match is also remembered for a calm and composed 154* by Tendulkar.

Australia scored 463 in their first innings, courtesy of a brilliant ton from Andrew Symonds. 

Another mammoth total on the board and the world saw another Tendulkar masterclass. The wicket was relatively flat and the Master Blaster scored yet another hundred at the famous SCG. 

He stitched valuable partnerships with VVS Laxman, Sourav Ganguly and Harbhajan Singh as India posted 532 in their first innings. Tendulkar loved playing in Australia and SCG was one of his beloved ground. Despite his heroic efforts, India lost a nail-biting game by 122 runs.

January 4, 2011 - 146 vs South Africa (Cape Town)

14 years after his brilliant century at Cape Town, Tendulkar once again produced a marvel of an innings, this time against the likes of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Lonwabo Tsotsobe. Once again South Africa batted first and posted 362, courtesy of a Jaques Kallis century.

In reply, Tendulkar got ample support from Gautam Gambhir (93), as the champion batter batted with ease on a surface that was cited a 'nightmare' for the batters. The Test match is remembered for Sachin's epic battle against Steyn, who was then the number one ranked bowler in Tests.

2010-11 was a not so good series for the Indian batting side, but Tendulkar played a notch above everyone else and scored a breath-taking 146 against a potent bowling attack. Interestingly this was his 51st and last Test century.

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