The clock goes through another tick

I eagerly awaited for a while , got frustrated and even gave up that it would never come, but it finally did. Yes, the much spoken and written about 100 international century from Sachin.

Some say it is an artificial landmark since ODI runs are completely different from Tests. Maybe yes, but Tendulkar has played in a country and an era where ODIs and Tests are almost of equal priority. It is unfair to brush aside half his career.  Also, if you look at Tennis people generally say player X has won so many grand slams. The question of how many on which surface arises only for deeper analysis.

For Tendulkar scoring a century – especially in ODIs – was almost like turning up for work . He wouldn’t pile on near 300 in a day in a Test match nor would he has ever crossed 500 runs in a Test series, but what defined Tendulkar was the almost clockwork precision at which the hundreds came. For a major portion of Tendulkar’s career if there had not been a century in the past 5 or 6 innings, one was almost certain to come in the next innings. If a fearless desire to hit boundaries  no matter what the field is defines Sehwag, if an ambition to defend the wicket like a fortress defines Dravid, it is this almost monotonous flow of hundreds that define Tendulkar. In this aspect he and Kallis are similar, but Tendulkar gets those runs with a bit more flair.

Hence, it was a huge surprise that it took him so long to get from 99 to 100. Perhaps, it was the quality of the bowling or the juice on the pitches or more likely the thought of standing where no one has and no one perhaps will weighed too much on his mind that he couldn’t concentrate on just the ball. Or maybe it was simply destined to be like that. Just to show us mere morals, how difficult scoring an international hundred is, even for the great Sachin Tendulkar, so that we would appreciate the feat of getting a 100 of them.

Few years ago, before Wimbledon I read a piece on Bjorn Borg.  At that time Federer had won 3 Wimbledon titles in a row and Nadal 2 at Roland Garross if I remember correctly.  The author said ” the fact that Federer is chasing him on grass and Nadal on clay shows his greatness”. I think we can say a similar thing about Sachin. There might be batsmen who may challenge his just his ODI stats or just his Test stats, but we can safely assume that no one is going to come close to the total tally of 100 centuries and almost 34000 runs. By the way, he is still not finished.



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