Legendary India cricketer Sachin Tendulkar broke every batting record on his way to greatness during an illustrious career, which spanned over 24 years on the international arena. Perhaps the most complete batsman to ever grace the game, who remained in his prime longer than most cricketers have a career in the sport. From scoring most runs in the two formats (ODI and Test), the master blaster also holds the record for most centuries in the game. SRT scored an unbelievable combined total of 100 international tons — a milestone which is likely to stay on forever.
1 - India vs Australia, Sharjah, Coca Cola Cup 1998 , 6th Match : 143 (The Desert Storm)
Perhaps Sachin's most iconic century ever and a favorite of many Tendulkar worshippers. The master blaster conjured up a 'boundary storm' on the pitch that even eclipsed the desert storm which interrupted the match for a brief period in Sharjah.
2- India vs Pakistan, Centurion, World Cup 2003, Group Stage : 98
This was arguably Sachin's greatest ODI innings against arch-rivals Pakistan, which unfortunately was cut-short two runs before a well-deserved century. The group stage match was billed as a clash between India's batsmen and Pakistan's bowlers and it certainly lived up to the hype. Riding on Saeed Anwar's century, Pakistan gave India a target of 274 runs in the designated 50 overs.
Pakistan's pace trio of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar were touted as the most lethal bowling attack in the world at that time and Sachin simply made a mockery of them in Centurion. While other batsmen came and went, Tendulkar bludgeoned twelve fours and one huge six — an upper cut over point off the bowling of Akhtar, which is still remembered by fans very fondly.
Sachin was dismissed on 98 by Shoaib, but his innings ensured India reached closer to the target and Dravid and Yuvraj saw them over the line comfortably in the end.
3- India vs Australia, Hyderabad, Bilateral Series 2009, 5th Match: 175
This match was a perfect example of how Sachin Tendulkar got India close to a historic victory but was failed by his teammates. In the fifth match of the seven-match series against Australia in Hyderabad, India were chasing a mammoth target of 351 runs to win the clash. Sachin held fort at one end, but Australia kept chipping away with wickets on the other as the hosts were reduced to 162/4 at one point.
Half-centurion Suresh Raina finally provided Sachin some support and the master blaster took the fight to the Aussies in spectacular style. Sachin slammed a sensational 175 in 141 balls, an innings which included nineteen fours and four maximums.
When Sachin was dismissed, India needed 17 off 17 deliveries but the lower-order failed to complete the task in hand and India lost the match by 3 runs.
4 - India vs Australia, Sharjah, Coca Cola Cup 1998, Final : 134
Two days after Sachin single-handedly led India into the final of the competition, the master blaster again slammed a majestic ton as the Men in Blue clinched the Coca Cola cup with a six-wicket win. It was Sachin's birthday and he celebrated it by blowing away the mighty Aussies in the Far East.
Skipper Steve Waugh and Darren Lehmann slammed half-centuries as India were set a target of 273 runs. Chasing the stiff total, opener Sourav Ganguly fell early, but Sachin ensured than India were never out of the chase. The little master was ably supported by skipper Mohammed Azharuddin, who also slammed a half-century.
A wrong decision cut-short the master blaster's innings but Ajay Jadeja and Hrishikesh Kanitkar helped India cross the line with nine balls to spare.
Sachin's 134 included twelve fours and three towering sixes and it was his destruction of then-best spinner in the world — Shane Warne — which is still fresh in the memories of every Indian cricket fan.
5- India vs Australia, Sydney, Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2004, 4th Test: 241*
This Test match was legendary Australian captain Steven Waugh's last Test, but Sachin Tendulkar stole his thunder by hitting a majestic 241 in the first innings at the Sydney Cricket Ground. VVS Laxman too notched up an elegant 178, but it was Sachin's dominating double ton that stole all the headlines.
Before this match, Sachin didn't have the best of series according to his own standards, and it was compatriots Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman who were garnering all the plaudits for their run-scoring exploits.
Sachin took to the crease when India were down to 128/2 on the first day of the Test, and when the visitors were finally dismissed for 705 on the second day, the little master was still standing at the crease unbeaten on 241. Sachin's knock was important because it helped India draw the Test and also end the series at 1-1.