In keeping with the sombre mood in the country because of the coronavirus pandemic, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar has decided to keep his birthday celebrations on hold. However, six-and-a-half years after his retirement, there is no dip in his popularity. On his 47th birthday today (April 24), here are five interesting snippets from his illustrious career. Odisha Bytes wishes the Master Blaster a long and happy innings.
An Inexplicable Failure
Tendulkar’s 200 Tests — most played by any player to date — are spread over a record 59 venues across all 10 Test-playing countries. And it is quite amazing that he had logged at least one century in 31 of these centres, which is also a record.
However, by sheer twist of fate Lord’s — the ‘Home of Cricket’ — does not figure in this list. In the five Tests (9 innings) Tendulkar has played at Lord’s, he has managed a mere 195 runs with 37 as his best effort. It is quite inexplicable because he has been fairly successful in England where he has made 1575 runs in 17 Tests at an average of 54.31. His maiden Test hundred had come at the Old Trafford in 1990 while he also has Test hundreds at Edgbaston (Birmingham), Headingley (Leeds) and Trent Bridge (Nottingham). At The Oval — the other iconic ground in London — he has been moderately successful (272 runs in 4 matches with a top score of 91). Fans at Chennai’s MA Chidambaram Stadium have seen five of his 51 Test tons, followed by the Sinhalese Sports Club ground in Colombo where he struck four centuries in 5 Tests against Sri Lanka.
Most Tests At Eden, Most Runs In Chennai
Tendulkar’s most Test appearances (13) have been at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, where he has scored 872 runs. His happy hunting ground, however, was the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai where he amassed 970 runs in 10 Tests (16 innings). He played 11 Tests, including his farewell match, at the Wankhede Stadium — his home ground. His tally of 921 runs include a lone hundred (148) against Sri Lanka in 1997. Sachin’s sole outing at the Brabourne Stadium — against Sri Lanka in 2009 — yielded 53 runs.
Tendulkar who made his Test debut against Pakistan in Karachi in 1989, played 106 of his 200 Tests abroad, scoring 8705 of his 15,921 runs in alien conditions. It included 29 of his 51 hundreds at an average of 54.74. His highest score of 248 not out against Bangladesh came at Dhaka’s Bangabandhu National Stadium in 2004.
Among overseas venues, the master had a special liking for the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) where he accumulated 785 runs in 5 Tests against Australia. It included an epic unbeaten 241 in 2003-04 series during which he did not play a single drive on the off-side. Incidentally, Sachin’s first Test hundred in Australia (148 not out) too had come at the same venue on his maiden tour in 1991-92. His 5 Test hundreds in South Africa — two in Cape Town and one each in Johannesburg, Bloemfontein and Centurion — bears testimony to his technique against fast bowlers on bouncy pitches.
Lone Stumping Victim
In 329 Test innings, Tendulkar has been dismissed caught 169 times — 42 times by the wicket-keeper and 127 times by fielders. He was clean bowled on 54 occasions, trapped LBW 63 times, run out nine times and stumped just once, while remaining not out on 33 occasions. The only bowler to dismiss him stumped was England’s left-arm spinner Ashley Giles in the Bengaluru Test in 2001. Interestingly, Sachin is wicket-keeper James Foster’s lone stumping victim in the 7 Test matches the latter played.
5 Golden Ducks
Tendulkar was easily one of the most consistent batsmen of his generation. Yet he failed to open his account on 14 occasions in Test matches, while he was dismissed for a ‘golden duck’ (first-ball) on five occasions. Overall, Australia’s Brett Lee dismissed Sachin a record 14 times in international cricket (5 times in Tests and in 9 ODIs), while England pacer James Anderson has scalped the master nine times in Tests. Sachin has mostly won his battles with Shane Warne, who could dismiss him only four times in his career — thrice in Tests and once in an ODI.