Shamik Das

Monday, December 21, 2009

12,970 reasons to love Sachin the great


SIT back and admire the genius that is Sachin Tendulkar, one of the all-time greats and possibly the greatest batsman in history; certainly the greatest I’ve ever had the privilige of seeing - better even than B.C. Lara, whose individual genius seldom led to team success.

Twenty years ago last month Sachin made his debut, a milestone celebrated by Cricinfo, who have split his career into five phases in this graph of his one day international and Test run-scoring prowess. The graph I have compiled, shown above, illustrates his year-by-year contribution to the cause. (Stay tuned for his 20-year ODI graph come the conclusion of the current series against Sri Lanka).

What it best shows, aside from the sheer weight of runs the Little Master has racked up, is his consistency over the years, only four times averaging below 40 since his debut series in Pakistan, topping 50 in eleven years, 60 in nine, 70 in four, 80 in three and, incredibly, averaging more than 90 twice: in 1993 (91.42) and 2004 (91.50) - the year he hit a Test best 248 not out against Australia.

No one has scored more centuries (43) nor runs (12,970), with few having so high a conversion rate of fifties into hundreds (44.33 per cent). Since India’s inaugural Test in 1932, Tendulkar has played in 53 of the country’s 101 wins - more than half - and he has missed only 14 Tests since his debut.

To date, 2002 is his most prolific year, 1,392 runs from 16 Tests - six of which were won - with 1999 his best for centuries (five). Gaps remain, however, most notably his failure to make the honours board at Lord’s - something he’ll be determined to put right 18 months hence.

Summer 2011: Draft schedule of India's tour of England
July 2007: Little Master looks to set record straight


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