Sunday, 24 April 2011

What Sachin Tendulkar can still achieve!!

'The God resurrected on this day [24 April] to help India Win the Cricket World Cup'

On 24 April 2011, it has been exactly 7831 days since Sachin made his entry to International Cricket playing a Test against Pakistan at Karachi on Nov 15, 1989. With 631 matches, 32813 runs, 99 centuries and exactly 200 wickets to his credit till date (Tests+ODI+T20I together) there is no question that Sachin is the greatest ever to play the game of Cricket and is arguably the Greatest Sports Icon ever lived. His records speak for his achievements and one cannot defy the fact that most of those records would never be surpassed.

If I were asked, what Sachin’s most illustrious World Record is? I would say it is 'The Sportsman with most number of World Records in his credit or rather the human being who has excelled his own record, the most number of times'. If a Sergey Bubka has beaten his own heights a record 35 times or a Yelena Isinbayeva has broken her own Pole Vault World record a record 27 number of times, Sachin betters his own feat or rather sets a new benchmark, whenever he plays a match, scores a run or hits a century, whether it be Tests or One Day Internationals. Now, I don’t think the greatest of all statisticians can give an exact count on the number of times Sachin has excelled himself.

Almost everything has been discussed and written about Sachin. Hence on this day I decided to consecrate something special for Tendulkar to be sent to the Master as my wishlist for him. Am not discussing the heights Sachin has achieved, but rather what he can still attain.

Here is my 10 wishlists on ‘What Sachin Tendulkar can still achieve’ in the reverse order of priority.

No 10: A test score of 500 (400 and 300’s has already been scored, isn’t it? So lets target a 500)
Daunting task? Well yes!! Only one person in the history of Cricket has ever scored over 500. Brian Lara (West Indies) has scored 501 not out for Warwickshire against Durham at Edgbaston, Birmingham in 1994.  Considering the fact that the batsman has to face minimum of 500 balls (84 overs) to achieve the feat, the individual score of 500 seems rather mountaineering in modern day test cricket. But with Sachin, you never know.
The most runs scored in an innings is 400* by Brian Lara against England in 2004 and the most runs scored by a batsman in a match is 456 (333 in first innings and 123 in second innings) by Graham Gooch vs India at Lords which happens to be Sachin’s first series in England in 1990. Sachin's best in a match so far is 301 (241* & 60*) against Australia at SCG otherwise known as Sachin's Cricket Ground and best in an innings is 248 not out vs Bangladesh.

No 9: Fastest 100 and 50 ever in Tests or ODI’s
The target Sachin will have to beat for the fastest fifty mark is 24 balls in tests (set by Jacques Kallis) and 17 balls in ODI’s (record set by Sanath Jayasurya)
The fastest test hundred is scored off 56 balls by Sir Viv Richards for West Indies v England in 1986 and the fastest ODI hundred is scored in 37 balls by Shahid Afridi vs Sri Lanka in 1996.
Tendulkar’s fastest ODI ton is in 71 balls vs Zimbabwe at Sharjah in 1998 and the highest batting strike rate Sachin has ever achieved (when he scored a test hundred) is 85.5 vs Australia in 1998, when he scored 177 runs off 207 balls at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.

No 8: Most runs in a Test series
Sachin has never scored over 500 in a Test series (3 tests or above), his highest aggregate in a series being 493 runs in 4 match Border-Gavaskar Trophy (India vs Australia) in 2007/08. Donald Bradman tops that list of 'Most runs in a Test series' having scored a mammoth 974 runs in the 1930 edition of The Ashes.

No 7: A Hundred (Test & ODI) against each test playing side in both home and away matches
We know that Sachin has scored a test hundred against all nations. However Sachin is yet to score a Test ton vs Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe, highest score in that country being 74. It’s not a surprise that Sachin has not scored a test ton against Bangladesh in India, because Bangladesh is yet to tour India for a test series.
When it comes to ODIs Sachin has an ODI ton in his name against all test playing nations except Bangladesh, his highest ODI score against Bangladesh being 82* at Colombo in 2004. Sachin hasn’t hit an ODI ton against West Indies in West Indies, highest score against them in their country being 65*. But he has a century against West Indies in credit away from home, having scored 141* at KualaLumpur in 2006, which in-turn is his highest score against the West Indies.

No 6: 100 in both Innings of a test
Sachin has never scored 100’s in both innings of a test match. The closest he has ever achieved is 241* (first innings) and 60* (second innings) against Australia in Sydney 2004.

No 5: Most runs in a calendar year
Sachin is 7th in that list of scoring Most runs in a calendar year (Test, ODI and T20I together).The Sachin Tendulkar of 1998 scored 2541 runs in that year. The score to beat is 2833 runs set by Ricky Ponting in 2005.

No 4: Highest ever ratings in ICC Test and One Day rankings
The highest rating points ever achieved in Tests was 961 by Sir Donald Bradman in 1948.  Believe it or not Sachin is only 26th in that list with 898 points achieved in 2002. Currently Sachin is No 1 with 883 points, with several tests for India in pipeline with ICC FTP (Future Tours Program) in 2011, anything can happen.
Sir Vivian Richards tops the same position in ODI's with an all time best rating of 935 points. Sachin’s best being 887 points again in 1998 is 13th in that list

No 3: A test 100 at Lord's
Sachin is yet to score a test century at Lords, the Mecca of Cricket at St John’s Wood in London. His highest score at the Marylebone Cricket Club's venue is 37 against Michael Vaughans's English side in July 2007. Sachin will be aware of this when India plays England at Lords in July 21-25, 2011.

No 2: A test series victory in Australia and South Africa
Sachin has won a test series for India against all Test nations in home and away, the only exception being when India toured Down Under and to Proteas. Team India (with Sachin in in the side) has only drawn one test series against Australia in Australia in 2003-04.
Against South Africa in South Africa, India has only managed just one series draw, which was in the recently concluded series of 2010-2011.
Sachin will have this series win in mind when India tours Australia later in 2011. However India's next tour to South Africa is not being scheduled by current ICC FTP.

No 1: Yeah!! you know what
It would be the 'biggest single' he would have ever taken. From 99th to the 100th International hundred landmark. Let’s hope Sabina Park, Kingston in Jamaica will be the venue for that milestone. Sachin is supposed to play his next test from 20 - 24 June 2011 at Sabina Park where India play the West Indies, India's first International outing since the World Cup triumph. (There is a 5 match ODI series preceding the test matches, but I don’t think Sachin will feature in that ODI team, for he will be resting to give an opportunity for the youngsters)

Now someone of you will be raising your eyebrows and thinking 'Is there something this man could never achieve or something he has missed'. Yeah there is one in that list. Sachin hasn’t scored a hundred in his ‘International’ debut. Tendulkar was bowled by Waqar Younis for 15 in his debut test at Karachi in November 1989, and was a duck caught by Wasim Akram off the same bowler in his ODI debut at Gujranwala in December 1989 and scored 10 runs in his T20-I debut vs South Africa in 2006. But wait a minute!! Sachin has a century on his First Class debut and he is the only player to score a century in all three of his Ranji Trophy, Duleep Trophy and Irani Trophy debuts for Mumbai, perhaps the only cricketer to do so.

Maradona hasn’t consumed drugs when Sachin started his career in 1989, Lance Armstrong has just bought his new cycle, Forget Roger Federer, not even Sampras has won a grand slam then, Schumacher didn’t had the F1 driving license, Tiger Woods didn't knew about the 'Golf holes' then. Now, they all have past their prime, but the aura of Sachin's career is still intensely bright even after 21 years in International cricket. 

Happy Birthday Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, India's proudest possession and Thank You for dedicating your career to help India win the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup thus making Billions of Indians proud.

Complied by Vishnu on Sachin's Birthday.