Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What a Year!

"So what do I wish for my hero in the future – well if wishes were horses then I would want him to score atleast 15,000 runs in test cricket (well that’s only 2227 runs away), complete a century of international centuries (only 14 more to get!), to break Lara’s record of the highest test score of 400* (it’s sad that Sachin hasn’t got a triple ton till date…) and break Saeed Anwar’s record of the highest ODI score of 194 (well Sachin came close in Hyderabad scoring 186* (150b) on 8th Nov 1999 – a game I was priviledged to have watched at the Lal Bahadur Stadium)… but above all else, he must win India the World Cup (his stature demands it!)."

I wrote the down this fantastic wishlist on 20th September 2009 when Sachin completed his two decades in International Cricket - at the time, I did not imagine that in just over a year down the line, playing his 21st season for India, at 37, my hero would achieve almost all of the above.

To say that 2010 has been an incredible year is the understatement of the year!  

In Oct 2010, Sachin who made history  by becoming the first batsman to score 14,000 runs in Test cricket, says his desire to improve remains as intense as it has ever been. Currently he has 14500+ runs closing in on my first wish of 15000 test runs! Here's the Master getting past 14000:

Instead of struggling for form with advancing age, SRT has had the most prolific year of his Test career in 2010  - He has made 1,532 runs in thirteen Tests this year (with one more match of the three-Test series in South Africa scheduled for this year, Tendulkar has opportunity to surpass Mohammad Yousuf's record of 1,768 runs in a calendar year set in 2006 - hey he needs just 257 runs) at an amazing average of over 85 runs per innings with 7 centuries including the 50th of his Test career last Sunday (19th December 2010 - Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar became the first batsman to score a monumental 50 centuries in the 133-year history of Test cricket. No other batsman has scored more than 39 Test centuries) - and he insists rather than considering retirement he has many more goals to fulfill...that's good news for me then because with 46 ODI tons and 50 Test tons, he is now just 4 away from my second wish of 100 International Tons (even Curtley Ambrose thinks so!)

Sachin's 50th Test Century

Now on to my 4th wish - in February 2010, a few days before his 37th Birthday (and one day after my 29th!), Sachin scored the first double century in ODIs thus eclipsing Saeed Anwar's record! What a birthday gift!

Tendulkar's record-breaking ODI double century has found a place in the Time magazine's top 10 sports moments of the year. "Certain sports milestones seem simply unreachable: In cricket, it's the one-day double-hundred: no man had ever produced 200 runs for his team during a one-day international match," 'The Time' said. "In February, however, India's Sachin Tendulkar, the greatest run scorer of all-time, hit the magic milestone against a powerful South African squad.

Sachin's ODI 200

"Tendulkar smacked three 'sixes' - the cricket equivalent of a home run - during his epic performance, and the build up to 200 was exhilarating.When he reached 199, the home crowd in Gwalior waved Indian flags, and roared, knowing they were about to witness history. The diminutive Tendulkar, dubbed "The Little Master," slapped a single past the South African fielders. The world's 1.5 billion cricket fans had a moment they'd never forget," it said.

So with 50 Test tons, 46 ODI tons and over 32,000 runs in the bag, here's what his record currently looks like:

(Also, check out this link for his CV!)

With all this and more, is it any surprise that Sachin won the ICC Cricketer of the year?!

Sachin @ the ICC Cricket Awards

And in February 2011, the entire country (including his coach, Achrekar Sir) will be willing him to lead India to World Cup victory.

Well at least Lara's 400 is safe for now - I'll settle for a triple ton or two. If wishes were horses...