Sachin Tendulkar is arguably one of the greatest cricketers of all time. He was by far the best batsman of his generation. Sachin Tendulkar has put many attacks to shame and looked his best when he took the aggressive route. He had smashed 2 wonderful centuries in the 2011 World Cup. This took him to 99 international centuries.
The fans waited with bated breath for the ultimate 100th century. Almost a year was about to pass but the century never arrived. The iconic 100th century came exactly 9 years ago on this day against Bangladesh in the league match of the Asia Cup. But what was supposed to be monumental turned out to be a forgettable affair for the Indian team. And Tendulkar’s personal milestone played a part in it.
How much did India manage to score?
Tendulkar had started feeling the burden of being stuck on 99 centuries. He seemed desperate in a lot of innings thinking about the milestone. The master blaster wanted to get rid of the monkey on his back as quickly as possible. Finally, the day arrived against Bangladesh. They weren’t a solid ODI outfit until then. This might have played a part in Tendulkar wanting to get that hundred right there against them.
Bangladesh won the toss and elected to field. Tendulkar started in sedate fashion. He never really looked to risk any chance. He got to his fifty of 63 balls. And he reached the century milestone in 138 balls. Tendulkar forged a 148 run stand with Virat Kohli in 30 overs. Indian innings lacked momentum up until then. Suresh Raina played a crucial role in shifting gears. He scored a 38 ball 51 to bolster India’s total. Mahendra Singh Dhoni who walked in next scored a quickfire 11 balls 21. But India could only manage 289 runs on a flat Dhaka wicket. The score eventually proved to be insufficient as Bangladesh romped home in style in 49.2 overs with 5 wickets in hand.
Where did we lose the game and what consequences it had on our chances?
The Indian bowling had no answers to the Bangladeshi onslaught and the dew. But the talking point behind India’s shocking defeat was Tendulkar’s innings. His second fifty came of a painstaking 75 deliveries. And that is where India lost the game.
Tendulkar’s single-minded quest of reaching the milestone cost India the match. His cautious approach of reaching the century in a limited-overs game against a not-so-strong bowling attack attracted many critics. India lost this single game in the Asia Cup yet failed to qualify for the finals owing to them losing this match that affected their run-rate.
Tendulkar who had won India many finals and many tournaments all on his own was for the first time indirectly responsible for India being dumped out of the competition. This was the sad tale of Tendulkar’s 100th hundred and alas his final one!