Probuddha Bhattacharjee ∙ Updated: Apr 24 2023, 11:41 PM | 6 Min Read

Celebrating 50 Years of Cricketing Greatness: Top Five Knocks of Sachin Tendulkar

image-lguidjhcSachin Tendulkar after winning the 2011 World Cup (Source: Twitter)

On June 25, 1983, Kapil Dev became the first Indian captain to lift the World Cup. This inspired a 10-year-old boy to play cricket for team India, who in turn inspired a whole generation to play the game. Yes, you guessed it right, we are talking about Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. 

The legend turns 50 today, and on this special day, let us travel along the timeline of his career and look at five of his best knocks in international cricket. 

5. 114 vs Australia, Perth (1992)

India was 3-0 down in the series, and it was the final match where India were looking to salvage their pride. 

The home side won the toss and decided to bat first. The Aussies scored 346 runs on the board, courtesy of a century by David Boon and a half-century by Tom Moody. 

image-lguikjylSachin Tendulkar during his 114 runs knock versus Australia at Perth (Source: Twitter)

India was struggling at 69 for 2 when a young man of 19 years walked out into the crease to face the lethal Australian pace attack led by Craig McDermott. On the fast wicket of WACA, Sachin Played a perfectly complied knock of 114 runs off 161 balls with 16 boundaries in it. Wickets kept falling from one end, but the 'little Warrior' was not to be deterred. 

In the second innings, Sachin failed to follow up on his performance from the previous innings, and the rest of the batting order crumbled under pressure. As a result, India lost the match by 300 runs, and the second innings batting was a tale enough to expose that there was very little to that batting order barring Sachin Tendulkar. 

4. 98 (75) vs Pakistan, Centurion (2003)

Let us fast forward 11 years; the young man of 1992, Perth, has by now established himself as the greatest batter of his time. The Indian team at this stage was coming out of its dark times and establishing itself as a force to reckon with under the leadership of Sourav Ganguly. 

It was the 2003 Cricket World Cup, and India were facing their arch-rivals, Pakistan. Waqar Younis won the toss and decided to bat first. Pakistan put up a formidable total of 273 runs on the board, riding on a wonderful knock of 101 runs off 126 balls by Saeed Anwar. 

image-lguin4gzSachin Tendulkar during his knock of 98(75) vs Pakistan in WC 2003 (Source: Twitter)

273 was difficult to chase down at that time, and India needed a good start to stay in contention. Talk of the start, Sachin and Sehwag got India off to a flier, and India went past the 50 mark within five overs. After this, they lost a couple of quick wickets, but Sachin was determined to take his team home.

Cramps, dehydration or scoreboard pressure, nothing was able to get into the Great man's head. He scored 98 runs off 75 deliveries before getting out to a lethal bouncer from Shoaib Akhtar, ensuring that India was in a relatively safe position. Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh took India home after this as the Men in Blue emerged victorious by six wickets with about four overs to spare in the match. 

3. 134 (131) vs Australia, Sharjah (1998)

 Let us continue our up-and-down travel along the timeline. From 2003, we turn the clock back to 1998 and land straight into the iconic Sharjah stadium. 

India was playing in the finals of the Coca-Cola Cup against the Aussies. In the previous match, Sachin played an unbelievable knock and was responsible for the team's presence in the summit clash. The Aussies thought that the law of average might catch up with him, and he might not be able to repeat his antics from the previous match. 

image-lguip80xSachin Tendulkar duriing his 134 (131) vs Australia in Sharjah (Source: Twitter)

Australia batted first and put on 272 runs on the board. Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly walked out to open the innings for India, and the whole nation's hopes were pinned on the 'Little Master'. He made a mockery of the formidable Australian bowling and scored 134 runs off 131 balls taking India to the doorstep of victory before being dismissed. The then-Indian skipper, Mohammed Azharuddin, remained unbeaten and ensured that they won the match and hence the trophy, not letting the efforts of the 'Great Man' go in vain. 

2. 103 vs England, Chennai (2008) 

England was touring India in 2008, and it was the first Test match in Chennai. The visitors batted first in the match, and the events turned out in such a way that India needed to chase down 387 runs in the fourth innings. 

image-lguirdzfSachin after leading India to a win vs England scoring a century in the fourth innings of a Test match (Source: Twitter)

Virender Sehwag set up the chase for India with a fiery start scoring 83 runs off 68 balls. But it required the determination and experience of Sachin Tendulkar to guide India to a six-wicket win. Tendulkar scored 103 runs off 196 balls, aided by Yuvraj Singh at the other end (85 off 131). This was his 41st Test century, and for the first time, he scored a century in the fourth innings in a winning cause, giving a good enough reply to his critics who believed that he fails under pressure.

1.57 vs Pakistan, Sialkot (1989)

So let us end this journey along the timeline with a knock that made Sachin Tendulkar the legend he is. 

In 1989, a young 16-year-old boy from Mumbai impressed the Indian selectors with his antics in domestic cricket and was picked in the squad that was to travel to Pakistan. Sachin debuted in this series and was starting to get a foothold in the international arena by the fourth match. 

image-lguitvxxSachin Tendulkar during his debut Test series vs Pakistan in 1989 (Source: Twitter)

Along with Sachin, another young man who debuted in the series was Waqar Younis. He made it clear from the first match how lethal he would be with the ball later in his career. 

After three well-contested drawn matches, Pakistan was in the driver's seat in the last match and was moving towards a series win. India were struggling at 33 for two when the young boy walked out to negotiate the lethal duo of Wasim-Waqar. 

Not too old into the innings, and a lethal bouncer from Waqar Younis hit him on the nose. He started bleeding immediately, and the medical team, after treating him, advised him to walk off the field. But if Navjot Singh Sidhu's (Sachin's batting partner during the innings) words are to be believed, Sachin replied, 'Main Khelega' (I Will Play). He scored 57 runs off 134 balls, though not too significant a score, but that innings ensured that India kept the game down to a draw. 

Well, after a 24-year of an epic career, there are plenty of more great knocks by Sachin. But these five speak of the character of a man that he was. 

In his retirement speech, Sachin said, " I will miss the 'Sachin Sachin' chant the most". Believe me; we miss cheering for you; Happy Birthday, Sachin!