New Delhi, Dec. 24 -- While the World Cup hundreds stand out, there were others that left everyone bedazzled. HT takes a look at five of them. 200* vs SA, 2010 in Gwalior
This was the only ODI milestone left for him and it could have been another case of a near-miss with MS Dhoni going berserk towards the end of the innings, hogging all the strike. But thankfully for the packed stands, Sachin finally got the strike in the last over. He steered one through point and re-wrote history. And it weren't just the numbers that put it up there. The innings was well-paced against a strong South African bowling and fielding unit.
186* vs NZ, 1999 in Hyd'bad
This was India's highest score by a batsman in ODIs at that time. It came in the prime of his career against a slightly weak New Zealand bowling attack. However, in the power-packed knock, Tendulkar hit almost a century through boundaries. He forged a 331-run partnership for the second wicket with Rahul Dravid who made 153. It was healthy competition at its best in the Indian team with Sourav Ganguly too stroking 183 around the same period.
143 vs Aus, 1998 in Sharjah
This was Desert Storm Part 1 and is rated by far his best performance in ODIs. India were in danger of losing a spot in the final. At 138-4, the target of 237 runs in 46 overs (to qualify on better net run rate) looked very difficult to achieve. But Sachin hung on, and soaked in the pressure. After a sand storm held up play, he unleashed imperious shots to tame the Aussie bowlers. Though India lost, he was dismissed only after India had moved past the target.
134 vs Aus, 1998 in Sharjah
Desert Storm Part II could have overshadowed Part I had it not come in a losing cause. The 272-run target in the final was very stiff, but Sachin was up to the task. The confidence gained from the previous match was apparent in the game as he played shots on instinct, and finding the meat of the bat. He couldn't hit the winning runs as he was given out leg before to a questionable decision. After the match, though, he walked away with all the awards.
175 vs Aus, 2009 in Hyderabad
Despite the growing years, this knock showed that the maestro hadn't lost his hunger for runs against the Aussies. In many ways, especially how he dominated the bowlers delivering brilliant spells, this knock is the ODI equivalent of the Cape Town knock where he handled Steyn & Co splendidly. While the entire top-order fell in a heap at Hyderabad, an ageing Tendulkar played his strokes with abandon. He looked good for a double but the inexperienced Ravindra Jadeja, who couldn't get going at the other end, somehow stalled the bid.
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.