Sachin Tendulkar played some magical knocks during the course of his illustrious 24-year career. He has given cricket fans moments that will certainly last a lifetime. There have been many moments where cricket fans have gaped at the genius of Tendulkar as he bewitched them all with his resplendent deeds with the bat.
With the 29th anniversary of Tendulkar’s debut just a week away, let us look at Tendulkar’s 5 greatest knocks in Test Match cricket
#5 103* Vs England- Chennai 2008
This knock features in the list mainly because of the backdrop against which this innings was played. The Mumbai terror attacks had just shook the country just days ago, and as always, Tendulkar’s magic with the bat proved to offer solace to a country during difficult times. It was also a knock played in the 4th innings with India chasing an improbable target of 387 against England.
The way the Master Blaster swept and paddled the likes of Swann and Panesar on a crumbling 5th-day pitch was a treat for sore eyes. With this knock, Tendulkar also ticked an important milestone in his career - it was his first 4th innings hundred that resulted in a win a for India.
#4 114 vs Australia- Perth 1992
This was the knock that announced Sachin Tendulkar’s genius to the world as a teenager and helped in creating a special bond between Tendulkar and the Australian public.
On the fastest and bounciest wicket in the world, the way Tendulkar got on top of the bounce and punched the ball was a feast to the eyes. On a pitch when other Indian batsmen struggled to survive, Tendulkar thrived.
#3 136 Vs Pakistan- Chennai 1999
This innings will go down in Test match history as the greatest knock ever played in a losing cause. This innings of Tendulkar also emphasised how much India was dependent upon one man’s genius during the 1990’s. Tendulkar’s brilliance shone through against an attack consisting of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Saqlain Mushtaq.
The way Tendulkar punched the great Wasim Akram past Mid Off and drove Waqar Younis straight down the ground was a feast to the eyes. Tendulkar scored 136 out of India’s required target of 271, got out when just 17 were needed with 3 wickets left, but still India folded up giving Pakistan a 12 run victory.
#2 241* Vs Australia- Sydney 2004
This was a knock where Tendulkar took batting to a whole new dimension by refusing to play a single cover drive through the off side. The way Tendulkar drove Brett Lee down the ground, flicked the likes of Nathan Bracken and Gillespie and paddled and pulled Stuart MacGill was a proof that it was a genius at work.
Tendulkar batted for over 10 hours, played 436 deliveries, and conjured up a knock that will be etched in the minds of cricket lovers for the sheer amount of discipline Tendulkar showed during his stay at the crease.
#1 155* Vs Australia - Chennai 1998
This was a knock when one genius completely outwitted the other. It was a series which was billed as the battle between Shane Warne and Sachin Tendulkar. Warne drew first blood in the first innings of the Test Match dismissing Tendulkar for just 4. But in the second, the Aussie was given a full view of Tendulkar’s mastery and his ability to play with the field.
When Warne tossed one up into the rough, Tendulkar swept him over mid-wicket for a six, and when the wily craftsman dropped short trying to compensate, Tendulkar rocked back onto the back foot and pulled and cut Warne with lethal effect.
Tendulkar also flicked and drove Kasprowicz to all parts of the ground and in the end, conjured up a magical 155*. Even Warne might have secretly admired the way Tendulkar worked his magic with the bat on that day