India erupts as Sachin reaches century of centuries

March 16, 2012
by Private Musings

It’s been 33 innings, countless nervous moments, some bad decisions, more terrible shots, sleepless nights, but.. he’s done it.

The little master this morning went to his 100th hundred in international cricket after over a year of sitting on the dreaded 99. It’s a moment that nearly 1.2 billion people in India have been craving, and the only real surprise of the day has been that Cricinfo has not crashed.

There’s no question that Tendulkar would have chosen a few venues over the Shere Bangla National Stadium, in Mirpur, against Bangladesh to bring up the milestone. Mumbai, Lord’s, SCG just to name a few where Tendulkar has taken guard in recent times, but the underlying fact is… who cares. Tendulkar has done something no other cricketer has done before, and more than likely, never again.

When any sportsman reaches a milestone we immediately compare him/her to other players and eras. Steven Gerrard is Liverpool’s greatest ever midfielder after his hat-trick against Everton. No question, Gerrard is a great player but it’s important not to get carried away with the moment when analysing players of different eras.

The good news for Sachin is that the things people will say about him today won’t have changed much in 100 years’ time. His batting is a work of art, whether you are looking at his stats, of watching the great man live. Sachin has the ability of course, but what has separated him is his hunger and desire to keep churning them out since 1989 when he made his Test debut against Pakistan, at the age of 16.

Mark Butcher: ‘100 hundreds. Mind-boggling achievement, especially when you consider that 80% were scored pre the invention of ice baths. #sachin #genius’

Ian Botham: ‘Well played Sachin the little master…!!!’

Mark Ramprakash: ‘Congratulations Sachin!! On scoring your 100th international 100! Modern day icon. What an amazing achievement.’

Henry Blofeld: ‘If Bradman had played as many international games, Tests and one-dayers, as Sachin he would have made 150 centuries!!!’

Century makers:
•Sachin Tendulkar, India – 100 (51 Test, 49 ODI)
•Ricky Ponting, Australia – 71 (41, 30)
•Jacques Kallis, South Africa – 59 (42, 17)
•Brian Lara, West Indies – 53 (34, 19)
•Rahul Dravid, India – 48 (36, 12)

Brian Lara is still my favourite batsman of all time to watch, but looking up at those stats I would find it difficult to argue with the billions who will dispute my point of view.

Chris Murtagh 16/03/2012


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