How Sachin Tendulkar’s long wait for 100th international ton came to an end
As Sachin Tendulkar waited for more than a year to bring up his 100th international hundred, a billion eyes were transfixed at the maestro.
When Sachin Tendulkar brought up his 99th international hundred on March 12, 2011 against South Africa in Nagpur, it seemed only a matter of time before the landmark of hundred international hundreds would be reached. However, little did anyone know at that point that the master would have to wait for more than a year and 33 more innings to reach the milestone.
On the India tour of England in 2011, the ‘God of Cricket’ could not reach the milestone despite coming tantalisingly close with 91 in the last innings of the test series as he was trapped in front of the wickets by Tim Bresnan. It was a heartbreak not only for Tendulkar but for millions of Indians watching all his knocks closely.
The tour of Australia did not bring much luck either as the MS Dhoni-led side suffered another 0-4 white wash in the tests and failed to reach the final of the triangular series.
The team looked haggard when they reached Bangladesh for the 2012 Asia Cup but came over the tiredness quickly. It was in the 4th match of the tournament, at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka, that a billion dreams were finally fulfilled.
However, it was not the typical Tendulkar innings where the ball flies off the bat. He looked a bit patchy and struggled to find his timing. It was credit to the master though that he did not throw away his wicket and grinded for a 147-ball 114. The knock included 12 fours and one maximum and came at a strike rate of 77.55, one of the slowest knocks of his career.
Be that as it may, when Tendulkar took off his helmet and raised his bat to acknowledge the crowd, every bit of the struggle seemed worth it.
Tendulkar finally walked away from the game with an eye-watering 100 international hundreds, sitting atop the charts that has Ricky Ponting and Virat Kohli following him with 71 and 70 international tons respectively.
Will the record ever be broken? Unfortunately for the Tendulkar fans, it is more likely than not. The good news is that if anyone seems set to do that in the recent future, it is none other than the current Indian skipper Virat Kohli. He is still a good 30 centuries short, but with the rate he is scoring at, you never know.