Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. Call him the milestone man, run machine, batting genius, greatest batsman... and so on. You can go on admiring Tendulkar. The feats achieved by him will perhaps be never matched. In an era of Twenty20s, no player can think of playing for 23 years of international cricket!
Also read: List of Sachin's 100 centuries
March 16, 2012, will forever be remembered by Indians and billions of Tendulkar's fans across the globe. On this day, Friday, as the clock ticked to 5.05 PM, time stood still at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, as he became the first man on the planet to score 100 international hundreds, against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup 2012.
Tendulkar ended a long wait for his fans in the 44th over, as he nudged a Shakib Al Hasan delivery to square leg to run a single, the most significant run in his illustrious career, to move from 99 to 100 off 138 balls. Off came the helmet, bat raised, helmet kissed, a quiet celebration, standing ovation from his team-mates and the crowd and the Master pointed to the crest of his helmet with his bat handle. A huge relief.
The latest addition to his long list of records took some time before it arrived. The Master Blaster took one year and three days to move from century number 99 to 100 and 34 international innings in any format of the game.
During this period, he and his fans had to endure many heartbreaks since March 12, 2011 where he reached 99th ton against South Africa in Nagpur during the World Cup.
From that day to Friday, he had played 11 Tests and 12 ODIs. But a century kept eluding the man from Mumbai. Even the most loyal fans started questioning his ability in the shorter format. But Tendulkar maintained a dignified silence and answered with his bat, as he has done for so many years.
The ton against Bangladesh on Friday was one of his slower innings. He took 138 balls to reach the historic milestone. But who cares? It is time for jubilation. Hats off to him.
The century of centuries journey began at Old Trafford in 1990, England in a Test match where a teenaged Tendulkar defied English bowlers to help the team draw the game. That first ton came on August 14, 1990 and the 100th on March 16, 2012. A journey of over 21 years from 1 to 100.
Four years later, in 1994, Tendulkar scored his maiden ODI hundred against Australia in Sri Lanka in the Singer World Series.
The landmark 100th ton was achieved in his 462nd ODI. He has already played 188 Tests. He holds both records for most matches as a player. He has 51 Test and 49 ODI hundreds, also records. He was the first man to score a double hundred in the 50-over game. Records kept coming and few more before he decides to leave the game.
Not only has he featured in most games, but also owns the records for most runs in both formats. The 38-year-old has amassed 18,374 runs in ODIs and 15,470 runs in Tests. Over 33,000 runs put together from both formats!
Also during his 100th ton, he hit his 2,000th four, which is also a record in ODIs.
Come April 24 next month, he will turn 39. It will be a special birthday for a Very Very Special cricketer. Congratulations.