“One man, two hundred!” was the caption, BBC world news displayed, while broadcasting the (breaking out) news of the world record hit by India’s super star player Sachin Tendulkar. It was against a formidable South African bowling attack in a one day international cricket match at Gwalior, the little master decided to showcase his fabulous reportoire of pure shot making on a cricket pitch. He has done it so many times in the past, but yesterday was a day when history book needed a fresh page. The first man to score 200 runs in a single innings of a 50 over match is stamped with the name Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. What a feat from a great crciketer and amazing human being!
Times has published a truly nice article commemorating this new record. Cricket is not wideley popular in all parts of the globe. The United States is not among the cricket frenzy nation either. England and her former colonies are the main countries where the game took the center stage over many years. As for records, cricket is the second most popular game in the planet, after soccer. The article hence put the new feat in perspective for the non-cricketing community. Come to think of this record, we must realize that 200 runs need to be scrored from a maximum of 300 deliveries (excepting illegal deliveries such as no balls). On the average one batsman can hope to get about 150 deliveries. In baseball analogy, this is equivalent to getting 150 pitches. It seldom happens that one get more than this. That means, one will have to consistently hit the balls at a rate exceeding 100% strike rate. Tendulkar achieved the score in 147 balls, at a strike rate of 136.5%. It calls for multiple virtues including patience, stamina, focus and talent. All have to be combined and score runs at a faster rate. It is not easy, by any means. It was something fabulous if not more. There have been scores close to 200 in the past by great cricketers including that from Tendulkar’s previous outings, but this one will go down as the best, literally because this came against a top quality bowling attack and a formidable fielding unit of the protease.
Here is the list of the top ODI scores.
|SR Tendulkar||200*||147||25||3||136.05||India||v South Africa||Gwalior||24 Feb 2010||ODI # 2962|
|CK Coventry||194*||156||16||7||124.35||Zimbabwe||v Bangladesh||Bulawayo||16 Aug 2009||ODI # 2873|
|Saeed Anwar||194||146||22||5||132.87||Pakistan||v India||Chennai||21 May 1997||ODI # 1209|
|IVA Richards||189*||170||21||5||111.17||West Indies||v England||Manchester||31 May 1984||ODI # 264|
|ST Jayasuriya||189||161||21||4||117.39||Sri Lanka||v India||Sharjah||29 Oct 2000||ODI # 1652|
|G Kirsten||188*||159||13||4||118.23||South Africa||v U.A.E.||Rawalpindi||16 Feb 1996||ODI # 1049|
|SR Tendulkar||186*||150||20||3||124.00||India||v New Zealand||Hyderabad (Deccan)||8 Nov 1999||ODI # 1523|
|MS Dhoni||183*||145||15||10||126.20||India||v Sri Lanka||Jaipur||31 Oct 2005||ODI # 2290|
|SC Ganguly||183||158||17||7||115.82||India||v Sri Lanka||Taunton||26 May 1999||ODI # 1463|
|ML Hayden||181*||166||11||10||109.03||Australia||v New Zealand||Hamilton||20 Feb 2007||ODI # 2527|
|IVA Richards||181||125||16||7||144.80||West Indies||v Sri Lanka||Karachi||13 Oct 1987||ODI # 457|
Among them, Richards 189 against the then England may be the one comes closest in terms of quality of opposition bowling. Syed Anwar’s 194 against India is also a glorious innings played by the elegant left hander against India at Chennai. But neither Engalnd nor India will claim to have a strong fielding mastery when compared to the South African unit. So Tendulkar’s new innings clearly own special merit.
It is difficult to comprehend the stardom associated with a five foot tall man. To know this all, one need to be in India. Tendulkar earns the respect of close to a billion souls in India alone. Expectations are at levels beyond one can associate to any moving object. No parallels, really. Every time he goes to bat, millions glue to the television sets (and now internet). Social hierarchy still exist at large in Indian lsociety. Religion and politics still separates people. People fight for reasons less than logical, but in the name of religion and castes. It sometimes goes beyond what civilized society can comprehend. The difference between rich and poor is startling. But nothing of that