Top 10 Knocks By Sachin Tendulkar in Tests

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Perhaps the greatest batsman ever to play the game, Sachin Tendulkar has been the top batsman in top level cricket for more than 23 years. So, far he has played a mind numbing 194 Test matches for India and scored a record 51 delightful centuries. In this article, 10 of his best Test knocks have been cherry picked for you. These knocks brought to the fore the man’s unfathomable batting talent, dominance, technical mastery, grit and determination to the highest possible degree.

10. 126 V Australia, Chennai, 2001

It’s Chennai yet again which played host to another Tendulkar special in the deciding 3rd Test of the ‘greatest series ever played’ between India and Australia. Australia had scored a formidable 391 in their first innings and it was absolutely necessary that India bat big. After the openers had given India a platform it was over to the master as he played a memorable innings to swing the India’s way. Initially he was watchful but as he got set he unfurled his whole array of strokes to hit a total of 15 fours and 2 sixes, one of which memorably brought up his century. The most memorable exchange was however with Shane Warne whom he hot for 3 boundaries in one over. If you have watched this innings, then you are really fortunate to have witnessed on eof the best innings by Sachin Tendulkar.

126-v-australia

9. 119 V England, Manchester, 1990

Right from the time he made his debut it was evident that Sachin Tendulkar was matured beyond his years as a cricketer and this innings against England at Manchester lays enough credence to that assertion. At the time Tendulkar was all of 17 years, Tendulkar scored this century to save India from an embarrassing defeat. India were supposed to bat out a day on a wearing pitch to claim a draw but they lost their way. With the tail for company as Tendulkar set about the task of saving the Test match. He played a sublime innings in which he kept it simple and played the balls on merit. He was neither ultra defensive nor flamboyant and scored 17 delightful boundaries in an imperious 119, which is still remembered fondly by most people who witnessed it. He stayed at the crease for 4 hours and made sure that India came back with their honour intact. If you watch a video of this innings you will be surprised by the nerves of steel the man had at that age.

119-v-ENGLAND

8. 103 V England, Chennai, 2008

The ghosts of the chase which went wrong against Pakistan in 1999 were finally laid to rest v England in an emotional Test match at the same venue- Chennai. The tragic events of 26-11 were still fresh in public memory and it looked as if Tendulkar wanted to do his bit to lift the spirits of a nation in collective depression. The target was a record 387 and India’s task was a tough one. Sehwag had given India the platform on which a chase could be launched but the early dismissal of Dravid in the 5th morning tilted the scales. Sachin Tendulkar played an innings of absolute control as he completely cut out any risks but still kept scoring at a fair clip so that the target was not out of reach. His calming influence allowed Yuvraj Singh to play a blinder as India completed the epic chase.  Tendulkar scored 103 with 9 boundaries, the last of which brought India victory and also completed a memorable century.

103-v-England

7. 241 V Australia, Sydney, 2004

Being pragmatic is possibly one of the gifts most great sportsmen have and Sachin Tendulkar showed that in abundance in this marathon innings versus Australia. After having been dismissed playing strokes on the off side in the first three Tests, Tendulkar applied an approach that only he can- he completely cut out strokes on the off side and concentrated on scoring the bulk of his runs on the leg side. This way he played closer to his body and completely cancelled out the chances of getting out on the off side. It was radical and it was simple, but it was effective as he ground out a crucial 241 in over 10 hours. It was only when India needed quick runs did Tendulkar open up a bit. However, one thing to be kept in mind is that he still hit 33 boundaries and it was not a boring innings by any stretch of imagination. What Sachin Tendulkar showed that day was his simplicity of thought and the gift of executing them to perfection.

241-V-Australia

6. 55 V Australia, Mumbai, 2004

The 4th Test of the 2004 series between India and Australia ended ineffectively in 2 days (the 1st day was rained off) on a pitch which was turning square ball one. India had already conceded a first innins lead of 99 and having been dismissed for 104 in the 1st innings, the chances of a victory looked slim. Again Tendulkar stepped up to the challenge and played an innings of absolute class on a crumbling wicket on which even Michael Clarke ended up with dream figures of 6/9 with his left arm off break. Tendulkar scored his runs quickly as he knew he could be dismissed any moment and stroked 6 fours and a six to score 55 vital runs off just 83 balls. India would go onto win the match 13 runs having set the Australians a target of 106. A crazy Test match you would say but the innings from Tendulkar restored sanity in the Indian ranks.

55-v-Australia

5. 193 v England, Headingley, 2002

Trailing the 4 Test series 1-0 and needing a victory in the 3rd match to keep the chances of a series victory alive, India chose to bat first on a seaming Headingley pitch. After Rahul Dravid had weathered the early storm by scoring a defiant century, Tendulkar took over to play an innings that had all the ingredients of a perfect innings-technique, finesse and power. The innings lasted 330 balls and contained 19 fours and 3 massive sixes. Initially he was watchful but once he got over the early challenges he started to play the strokes that can demoralise any bowler. The straight drive, the on drive, the cut and the cover drive were all on view. One of the abiding images of the innings was the six he hit off Andrew Caddick after charging the bowler almost halfway down the pitch. Do watch the highlights of this riveting innings to relive those moments only Tendulkar can provide.

193-v-England

4. 169 V South Africa, Cape Town, 1997

There are some individual performances which makes the onlooker forget the match situation for as long as the performance is in progress and Sachin Tendulkar’s 169 V South Africa at Cape Town was one such innings. India were in absolute disarray after they had been reduced to 58-5 in response to South Africa’s mammoth first innings score of 529 and the follow on looming large Tendulkar decided to play one of the most memorable knocks of all time. The innings was constructed on breathtaking strokeplay as Tendulkar put the combined might of Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock and Lance Klusener to the sword. The batting was of such quality that Donald famously confessed to clapping after yet another of the 26 boundaries had flowed off Tendulkar’s blazing blade that day. The follow on was successfully avoided and Tendulkar was dismissed off a brilliant catch at the boundary. You might say, for those who witnessed the innings an almost spiritual experience had come to an end.

169-v-SA

3. 114 V Australia, Perth, 1992

Perth is always a fearsome prospect for any batsman and at the age of 19 it is even more so. In a series in which the Indian batsmen had surrendered with remarkable abandon Sachin Tendulkar scored 2 centuries but the second one at Perth is still remembered as one of the finest ever played in Australia. Against a 4 pronged Australian pace attack India were all at sea but Tendulkar stood tall among the ruins as he played with maturity beyond his years as he showed an impeccable back foot technique to thwart the rampaging fast bowlers. He cut fiercely and in total scored 16 boundaries and in fact when he was running out of partners upped the tempo to finish with a score of 114. If you come across a video of this innings, do watch it to get an idea of the versatility Tendulkar had even at the age of 19.

114-v-australia

2. 136 V Pakistan, Chennai, 1999

This epic showcased everything the master stands for and the fact that it came against arch-rivals Pakistan makes it an even greater innings but the only reason why it is at number 2 is because India ended up losing the match by an agonising 12 runs. Chasing 272 on a wearing pitch and against a bowling attack including the likes of Akram, Waqar and Saqlain Mushtaq, India had slumped to 82-5 on the 4th day morning. However, Tendulkar held firm and absorbed all the pressure and gently started opening up when he got able support from wicket-keeper Nayan Mongia. He played all the sublime strokes which he is famous for and in fact hit Mushtaq for 4 fours in one over. However, with India nearing a famous win Tendulkar started to experience back spasms. In his effort to finish the match quickly he was caught at mid-off and after that India collapsed. It was a tragedy on the cricket field but a finer innings had hardly been played.

136-v-Pak

1. 155* V Australia, Chennai, 1998

It was the first time that Shane Warne was squaring up against Sachin Tendulkar in the dustbowls of India, so naturally it was the major sub plot of the first Test at Chennai. Having got Tendulkar’s wicket in the first innings it looked Warne had won the first bout; and Australia led India by a handy 71 runs after both teams’ first innings had been completed. However, Sachin Tendulkar produced an innings of such savage aggression that the Australians and particularly Shane Warne were completely dismantled. He scored 155 not out in 191 balls with 14 fours and 4 sixes to completely dent the opposition’s confidence as India eventually won the match by a whopping 179 runs. It was an innings of absolute mastery in the face of diversity and the way he handled it was awe inspiring to say the least. Do try and catch a video of this innings because this one is the master’s finest.

155-v-Australia

CONCLUSION

So, that brings to an end the top ten most glorious and memorable innings played by Sachin Tendulkar in his glittering career. Do you notice any notable exclusion? If you do, you can surely let everyone know by getting active in the comments section below.

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