India's Sachin Tendulkar was at it again on Friday, breaking yet another record -- that of leading Test scorer -- to cement his place as one of cricket's finest ever batsmen.
The veteran broke retired West Indies captain Brian Lara's record of 11,953 Test runs on the first day of the second Test against Australia in Mohali to set a fourth world record in his illustrious career.
Tendulkar was already the top scorer in one-day internationals (16,361 runs) and has more Test (39) and one-day (42) centuries than any other batsman.
The middle-order batsman, 35, reached the latest landmark in the first over after tea when he steered debutant paceman Peter Siddle past third-man for three runs to move past 15.
His nearest rivals still playing Tests are compatriot Rahul Dravid (10,341 runs) and Australian captain Ricky Ponting (10,239).
The record came just when Tendulkar was under pressure to deliver after a rare failure in the recent Test series in Sri Lanka where he scored only 95 runs in six innings.
"We all have to appreciate what Sachin has done. He is one of the greatest to have played the game," said Lara on a recent trip to India.
In recent days there has been speculation that Indian veterans Anil Kumble, Sourav Ganguly, Venkatsai Laxman, Tendulkar and Dravid had been given an opportunity to plan their "honourable exit" -- reports later rubbished by the players.
Ganguly, 36, has already announced he will retire after the ongoing series, but Tendulkar wants to prove he is still not past his sell-by date.
Tendulkar, who has already spent an incredible 19 years of his life playing international cricket.
He has insisted in recent interviews that he will continue playing as long as he was enjoying the game, despite suffering many injuries.
Motivation is unlikely to be a problem forAn Indian team without Tendulkar has become unthinkable ever since he made his Test debut aged 16 against Pakistan in 1989, and his consistency has been his hallmark -- he has never been dropped on form.
He may have shed much of his flair and flamboyance of late, but he remains a batsman the opposition fear and respect. He is still innovative, but has become more selective in shot-making.
Revered as a demi-god in cricket-mad India, Tendulkar has set such high standards in his long career that even a minor slip disturbs millions of his fans.
No other Indian cricketer has gripped the nation's attention like Tendulkar, whose failures have sparked as many heated debates as his successes.
Indian batting was often considered defensive before Tendulkar changed the perception with his bold strokeplay. Experts believe he always has more than one shot for each ball -- the sign of a great batsman.
No wonder legendary Australian batsman Don Bradman and West Indian batting great Viv Richards once said Tendulkar's batting reminded them of their own.