Many years ago, a little boy was creating waves in Mumbai’s maidans. In recognition of his talent and performances, the Mumbai selectors decided to blood him in the Ranji Trophy. The lad didn’t disappoint. He scored a century on debut and followed that up with another impressive ton in the Irani Cup tie. The national selectors took cognisance of the teen’s potential and picked him for the 1989 tour of Pakistan.
Nearly 25 years on, that cricketer who responds to the call of Sachin Tendulkar continues to pile on the runs. All the years, he has been the undisputed best batsman in cricket. And he has motored his way into the record books. Now that he has decided to call it a day, here’s a brief look at the records etched against his name.
The maestro, who has at various points of time in his career been the youngest, quickest and first to breach various landmarks, holds the record for the most runs in Test cricket (15,837), ODI cricket (18,426) and, of course, international cricket (34,273). No player has played in more Tests (198) and ODIs (463) than Tendulkar. Amazingly, in the period between 1990 and 1998, Tendulkar did not miss a single ODI the 185 matches he played at a stretch is also a record.
The Mumbaikar also holds the record for scoring the most centuries in Test cricket (51) and ODIs (49) and is the only player to score 100 centuries in international cricket. Further, he is the only player to score more than 10,000 runs batting at No. 4 in Test cricket. No player has scored more Test centuries batting at one position than Tendulkar, who has 44 tons at No. 4.
Furthermore, no cricketer has been the team’s top-scorer than Tendulkar, who has done it on 67 occasions in Test cricket. Some of the other major records exclusively in Tendulkar’s name are: most runs in World Cup tournaments (2,278 from 1992-2011), most runs in a single World Cup (673 runs in 2003), most centuries in the World Cup (6), most half-centuries in the World Cup (15), most runs in a calendar year in ODIs (1,894 in 1998), most centuries scored in ODIs in a calendar year (nine centuries in 1998), most Man of the Match awards in ODIs (62), Most Man of the Match awards in the World Cup (9).
Here’s more: Tendulkar scored a ton on debut in all three of India’s premier domestic competitions Ranji Trophy, Irani Cup and Duleep Trophy. He has played with or against 982 different players in international cricket. He has been part of 99 century partnerships in ODIs, more than any other cricketer.
Some of the major records that slipped away from the little man are: most runs in first-class cricket (Jack Hobbs, with 61,760), most first-class centuries (199 by Hobbs), highest score in first-class cricket (Brian Lara, 501*), highest score in Test cricket (Brian Lara, 400*), highest batting average in Test cricket (Donald Bradman, 99.94), most runs in a Test series (Bradman, 974), Most Test runs in a calendar year (Mohammad Yousuf, 1,788), most deliveries faced in Test cricket (Rahul Dravid, 31,258 balls), fastest century in Test cricket (Vivian Richards, 56 balls), fastest century in ODIs (Shahid Afridi, 37 balls), fastest half-century in Test cricket (Jacques Kallis, 24 balls), fastest half-century in ODIs (Sanath Jayasuriya, 17 balls), most runs in List ‘A’ cricket (Graham Gooch, 22,211 runs).
Also, Tendulkar has never scored a triple century in first-class cricket. He has not batted at No. 3 in Test cricket, not scored a hundred in each innings of a Test match, not scored a century in the World Cup final, not scored an ODI century in the Caribbean, not scored a hundred in ODIs against Bermuda, Ireland, the Netherlands and the UAE. He hasn’t scored a Test century in Zimbabwe. Nor has he taken a five-wicket haul in Test cricket. He hasn’t registered a hat-trick. And finally, he has never batted left-handed like Sunil Gavaskar did in a Ranji match against Karnataka.
Arun Gopalakrishnan is a freelance journalist,cricket analyst and statistician based in Bangalore