Master blaster’s ‘desert storm’ innings at Sharjah .

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Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, rightfully nicknamed ‘God of cricket’, turned 47 on April 24 (Friday) and considered to be the Greatest of All Time (G.O.A.T.), it would be a fairly accurate statement to make. He stepped forward to take the crease at just 16 in international cricket in 1989 and what followed is, as they say, history. Someone who had the ability to turn games around – bat first or in a chase – he won millions of hearts across the world. In his 24-year glittering career, Tendulkar set numerous records and reached various milestones. Sachin Tendulkar was the first batsman on the planet to score 200 in ODI cricket.

Tendulkar has scored the highest number of centuries in the history of Test cricket

(51). His 50th came against South Africa at SuperSport Park in Centurion in December 2010. He became the first and the only cricketer to have scored a half-century of tons. He is the leading run-scorer in Test cricket, having surpassed Brian Lara’s tally of 11,953 Test runs in 2008. Tendulkar is the joint-fastest to reach

10,000 runs in Test cricket (Sachin and Brian Lara both achieved this milestone in

195 innings.

Here, we’ll briefly look at what makes each of those knocks so special.

143 v Australia, Sharjah, 1998

Tendulkar’s innings of 143 at Sharjah helped India progress to the final of the tournament, which they went on to win

A knock nicknamed ‘Desert Storm’, it had all the hallmarks of a great innings. Against an attack featuring Shane Warne, Damien Fleming and Michael Kasprowicz, Tendulkar played with remarkable fluency despite the lack of support from the other batsmen. In a knock that was ahead of its time, he struck nine fours and five sixes to score 143 off just 131 balls. His efforts weren’t enough to chase down a revised target of 276 in 46 overs, but it ensured India got into the final of the tournament ahead of New Zealand. The knock gets its nickname from the fact that a sandstorm .

Tendulkar’s masterful 134 guided India to a six-wicket victory

Buoyed by the stunning 143 in the previous game, Tendulkar produced another masterclass in the final two days later. He got going with a couple of stunning cover drives off the Australian fast bowlers and there was no looking back. He hit 12 fours and three sixes in a measured 131-ball knock to help India chase down Australia’s 272/9 with six wickets to spare .

Tendulkar displayed remarkable strokeplay and focus against Kenya despite undergoing a personal tragedy

This knock warrants a place among Tendulkar’s best not only for the quality of it, but also for the poignant circumstances that it came under: only a few days after he lost his father. Tendulkar labelled the period as the ‘most difficult stage of my life’, but was still able to showcase remarkable focus and stroke play on the field. He hit 16 fours and three sixes, powering India to 329/2, which helped them to a 94-run win to keep their tournament hopes alive.

117* v Australia, Sydney, 2008

Tendulkar’s 117* led India to a six-wicket victory against Australia

Against a top-quality Australian attack, featuring the likes of Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson and Nathan Bracken, in the first final of a best of three series, Tendulkar shaped India’s chase of 240 with a brilliant knock, featuring 10 boundaries off 120 deliveries.

175 v Australia, Hyderabad, 2009

Tendulkar’s masterful 175 put India within touching distance of overhauling Australia’s 350/4

With Australia having set India 351 for victory, Sachin Tendulkar took the task on and single-handedly put his side on the brink of a stunning victory. He smashed 19 fours and four sixes in a 141-ball blitz. Unfortunately for him, majority of the other batsmen had an off day, and India fell three runs short.

200 v South Africa, Gwalior, 2010

Tendulkar was the first man to hit an ODI double hundred

Twenty-one years after making his debut, Tendulkar was not only maintaining the exceptionally high levels he set himself, but was also breaking new ground. His constant endeavour to keep getting better was epitomised by his 147-ball, unbeaten double century against South Africa, becoming the first man to reach the milestone in ODI cricket. His knock helped India to a total of 401/3 and a 153-run defeat of South Africa.

82 v New Zealand, Auckland, 1994

This was the first time Tendulkar was promoted to open the innings, and he proved his calibre straight away, hammering the New Zealand attack to all parts in an aggressive display. With just 143 to chase, he blasted 15 fours and two sixes from his 49-ball stay to help India over the line with 26.4 overs and seven wickets to spare.

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