Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My Top 5 Test Hundreds Of The Master

As the world rejoices in the success of Sachin and his inevitable entry into the "Golden Jubilee Club" of test centuries, I would like to pick my top 5 test hundreds of the master.

1. 114 Against Australia in WACA, Perth in 1992


19 year old Sachin conquering Aussie crowd in 1992


This was the first tour of Australia for Sachin and he had scored already a century in the previous game in Sydney ( more remembered for Warne's debut and Ravi's double century ) . But this was a wicked WACA pitch with it's true bounce and the bowlers he had to face included veterans like Mcdermott and Hughes . He was just 19 and showed the world he is a genius and he knows it too ! He played a lone hand and as with many of his centuries in his earlier career, this one made him end up on the losing side.

2. 169 against South Africa in Newlands, SA in 1997

Sachin and Azhar made Indians suspend belief and gave SA a HUGE scare
This one is one for the folks who believe in true exhilaration. In a stroke play that is reminiscent of Viv Richards in his glory days, Azhar and Sachin batted at their true best. In the interval between lunch and tea, they scored 220 runs off 40 overs at a break-neck pace. Sachin batted with liberty and scored at his best scoring rate against a team full of raw pace bowlers. It had to end in a way that is spectacular as well - one handed catch by Adam Bacher. Yet again one of the better individual knocks that he played that ended up on the losing side.

3. 155 against Australia in Chennai in 1998

One of the longer term relationships - Chepauk and Sachin - he scored his maximum centuries here
This one is truly special - India trailed by 90 odd runs in the first innings and this was the first test match of the series. Sachin did his homework by having leg spinners bowling around the wicket into the rough before this match. It worked like magic as he took on Shane Warne like only he can and launched him over midwicket repeatedly and had the satisfaction of being on the winning side and begun the era of "nightmares" for Shane Warne.

4. 241 against Australia in Sydney in 2001


Laxman and Sachin scored hundreds in contrasting styles - Tendulkar's was the grittiest
This was the tour that gave Indian team it's self-belief. They almost won the series without any contribution from the master. In the last test in Sydney, Sachin single-mindedly took upon himself to score and cut out the risks involved in batting. In his whole innings, he did not play cover drive which is a bread and butter shot for him as he got out driving in the tour quite often. He scored 241 and batted with Laxman who at that time was batting like a magician and scored freely. So, to stop his temptations and stay till the end, India scored it's highest - 7/705 was a matter of mind over every thing else !

5. 103 against England in Chennai in 2008

Winning a match for India chasing - finally, a monkey off Sachin's back !
This match was emotional in a lot of ways for Indians. England players were persuaded to come back to India after the Mumbai blasts and almost won the match in Mohali. However, in the second test match chasing 383 to win , Sehwag blasted his way to 81 to kick start India's highest run chase at home. Sachin carried it forward on the fifth day pitch and in the company of Yuvraj Singh, scored the winning runs and with it his 41st century. A fairy tale end to this match saw him dedicate this knock to all the gallant Indians post 26/11 attacks on Mumbai.

I am sure there are others in the "Treasury" that are much well celebrated, but these are my personal choice, share your views if you can.

Here's wishing Sachin many more wonderful years ahead and many more cherished hundreds !

- Pavan

2 comments:

  1. Nice....Sachin generally doesn't score in the 4th inning so the 103 against England was a refreshing one.

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  2. Hi Pavan ,

    This is Rajesh Pai , I know you are one of the die hard fans of Sachin .. :)... nice compilation of his memorabilia

    Regards
    Rajesh Pai

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