Tendulkar's career in numbers
Tendulkar, the modern day great, has piled on records in Test and One Day Internationals. The latest to his collection is the brilliant 100 international centuries which came in March 2012 in Asia Cup against Bangladesh.
Though Kapil is entitled to his views, the current comments on Tendulkar, might not be right. If Kapil had a glance at the Master Blaster's achievements with the bat, he might have thought twice before thinking there could be a player to eclipse those records.
Kapil cited Sunil Gavaskar's record 34 Test centuries being broken. But since Gavaskar's departure, times have changed.
"When we were playing we used to think that whether the future will see any greater batsman than Sunil Gavaskar. But we were wrong. There have been greater players than Gavaskar. Because the game of cricket is bigger than any player," Kapil said.
When the great Sir Don Bradman quit the game in 1948, his batting average was a staggering 99.94 in Tests. In his last innings at The Oval against England, he needed just four runs to retire with a perfect 100 average. But that did not happen as the Don was bowled for zero.
It has been 64 years since Bradman quit the game and there has been no batsman closer to that might average of 99.94. It might remain forever.
The records which Tendulkar owns too, might not be touched. This is because of the advent of Twenty20 cricket and a lot of players losing interests in Tests and ODIs.
In few years from now, there could be a possibility of ODIs being defunct. Tests might survive but the number of five-day games are likely to be reduced.
In this context, can anyone imagine Tendulkar's current record of 100 international tons breached?
Let us look at Tendulkar's number of ODI hundreds till date. The Mumbai batsman holds the record with 49 and still can add to that tally as he has not decided to give up the shorter format.
The next on that list is Australia's Ricky Ponting with 30 tons. Ponting has already been dropped by Australia and he has given up on coming back and is concentrating on Tests.
The next three are Sanath Jayasuriya (28), Sourav Ganguly (22) and Herschelle Gibbs (21).
The gap between Tendulkar's 49 and the rest is too wide to be bridged. At least for the next decade or may be forever, Tendulkar's ODI century record will stay on.
Tendulkar's another centuries' record is in Tests. He tops the list with 51. The next best is Jacques Kallis (South Africa) with 42. Ponting is the only other to have gone past the 40-mark with 41. The next four in the list have all retired. Rahul Dravid (36), Sunil Gavaskar and Brian Lara (both 34) and Steve Waugh (32).
At the moment, it is not possible to think of any player who could come closer to Tendulkar's hundreds in Tests.
There are also other records held by Tendulkar which might stand the test of time.
Tendulkar is way ahead in highest run scorers list in Test. Currently, he has 15,470 in 188 Tests. The next best batsman Kallis is more than 3,000 runs behind.
In ODIs, Tendulkar's tally is 18,426 from 463 games. The next is far away, Ponting (13,704).
Tendulkar's appearances in Tests (188) and ODIs (463) are also hard to beat. Jayasuriya is behind Tendulkar in ODIs with 445 caps. He is retired now. The active player above 350 games is Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene (378).
Behind Tendulkar in Tests is Steve Waugh (168). Ponting is third with 165. Kallis is in sixth with 152 while Shivnarine Chanderpaul (142) and VVS Laxman (134) are the active players in the top-10.
Considering Tendulkar's longevity in the game, having played for more than 22 years now, it is hard to find a player of his calibre.
As they say, records are meant to be broken. But there are some which can't be scaled. If Kapil has to be proved right, it will take some extraordinary player to arrive on the scene. Or else, let us all celebrate Tendulkar's astonishing feats for many many more years.
Can anyone break these major records owned Sachin Tendulkar?
(All records till July 9, 2012)
Most Test matches: 188
Most ODIs: 463
Most Test runs: 15,470
Most ODI runs: 18,426
Most Test centuries: 51
Most ODI hundreds: 49
100 international tons