Sachin Tendulkar’s records in ODI and Test cricket have proved too daunting to be overhauled and that was once again realized in the World Cup 2019. As many as three players including Rohit Sharma and David Warner had a chance of breaking most runs in a World Cup edition record held by Tendulkar and they came really close. In the 1996 World Cup, Sachin had amassed 523 runs in seven innings and became the first player to score 500+ runs in a World Cup. The record stayed until he scored 673 runs in the 2003 edition and broke his own record.
Here are some Sachin Tendulkar records that were on the verge of being broken but not to be:
6. Rohit and Warner just short of the World Cup tally:
Rohit Sharma. (Photo Source: Twitter)
At the end of the league stage, Rohit Sharma and David Warner were set to break Sachin Tendulkar’s record of most runs in a single edition of the World Cup. Rohit got 647 runs while Warner had 638 and they both needed less than 40 runs to go past Sachin’s tally of 673 runs. They were expected to have two innings at least to crack the record. India were set to face New Zealand a team they had quite literally owned during the away series at the start of the year.
At the same time, Australia was going into the semi-finals with an unbeaten record in such World Cup matches. The expectations of an India-Australia final got evaporated as the two sides’ top-order struggled in the semis. Rohit scored only one run against the Kiwis while Warner scored nine and ended up one run behind Rohit’s tournament tally. With New Zealand and England going through in the respective semi-finals, neither of the batsmen got another chance to have a go at Sachin’s record.
5. Sangakkara begins to convert:
Kumar Sangakkara. (Photo by MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Kumar Sangakkara’s conversion rate of fifties to hundreds might look decent but it is quite different when it comes to ODIs. In his 404-match ODI career, Sangakkara scored 25 hundreds but had 93 scores between 50 and 99. At the end of 2013, he scored 99 fifty-plus ODI scores but could only convert 16 of them into hundreds. The Sri Lankan was set to become the first player with 100 half-centuries or at least go past Sachin Tendulkar’s record 96 fifties given his batting form in 2013.
He scored ten fifties and two tons in 23 ODI innings in 2013 which translates into a fifty-plus score every second inning. The left-handed batsman began to convert the starts as he scored four centuries in 2014; only the second time that he scored as many ODI centuries in a calendar year. Sanga did produce eight fifties that year and was only six short of breaking Tendulkar’s record. He even struck two fifties and a hundred during the 7-match ODI series against New Zealand.
The veteran entered 2015 World Cup – four fifties away from the world record. That tournament was his last assignment in the ODI format. Sangakkara’s batting form at that time was too good and he achieved four consecutive fifty-plus scores in the tournament; all converted into hundreds. He thus became the first player in ODI history to score four successive ODI tons just before Sri Lanka got knocked out in the quarter-final. As a result, Sangakkara finished with 93 fifties while Sachin’s record stood at 96.
4. Kallis comes close to the Test hundreds record:
Jacques Kallis. (Photo by Santosh Harhare/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
During the opening game of the 3-match Test series Down Under, Jacques Kallis scored his 44th century in Test cricket. In 35 Test matches prior to this ton, Kallis punched 13 centuries and looked set to break down Sachin Tendulkar’s record of most tons in Test cricket. Tendulkar, two years older to Kallis, was failing to add a century to his Test record after the two hundreds he got during the 2010-11 tour of South Africa.
He was struck at 51 Test centuries and Kallis stood only 8 steps away. Given the way the all-rounder was scoring his runs between 2009 and 2012, the record was set to be broken by end of 2014 if Sachin doesn’t add more. Fortunately for Kallis, Tendulkar retired in November 2013 without scoring any more Test tons. However, in the same period, Kallis also remained on 44 Test hundreds and spent eight successive Tests without a ton.
After ordinary outings in the first game of the home Test series against India, the all-rounder announced sudden retirement. He made his final game a memorable one scoring 115 during his 393-minute stay at the crease during the Durban Test. He finished with 45 Test tons; six behind Tendulkar’s record. Kallis played ODI cricket till mid-2014 before announcing his international retirement.
3. Ponting runs out of gas:
Ricky Ponting of Australia acknowledges the crowd. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Sachin Tendulkar scored the record 35th Test century at the end of 2005 to go past Sunil Gavaskar’s tally of 34 hundreds. However, he failed to score one in 2006, the year in which Sachin averaged only 24 with the bat in Tests. At the same time, Ricky Ponting had a purple patch and used that to great effect contributing six and seven tons respectively in 2005 and 2006. This raised his total hundreds in Test cricket to 33 and was only two behind Tendulkar.
By the start of 2009, Sachin extended his lead by four hundreds as Ponting didn’t play many Tests in 2007 due to the World Cup. But from 2009, it got difficult for Ponting to catch up with Sachin as the Master Blaster had a dream run of two and half years with the bat. In the next 25 months across 21 Test matches, Tendulkar struck ten hundreds while the Australian captain scored only two. He struck two more hundreds before retiring but finished ten hundreds behind Sachin.
2. Cook retires still pretty young:
Alastair Cook. (Photo by Nick Wood/Getty Images)
Alastair Cook had a great series with the bat during England’s victorious tour of India in 2012. The exploits helped his batting average touch 50 after his maiden year (2006) in Test cricket. Ahead of the 2013 home season, Cook played 90 Tests and had scored 7307 runs with 24 hundreds. Despite being 8000 runs and 27 hundreds behind Tendulkar, the expectation that Cook could break the records stayed alive.
The main reason for all the optimism was the opening batsman’s age and also the fact that England play more Tests than any other side. By the end of 2021, England would have played close to 100 more Tests and Cook would have been 37 years old by then and on verge of his retirement. Those many opportunities would prove sufficient for the left-hander to break Sachin’s records of most runs and most hundreds in Test cricket.
However, the 2013 home season began to witness his decline as he struggled against the visiting New Zealand side and didn’t do any better against Australia in the Ashes. Cook’s average kept dropping and even went under 45 in his penultimate Test. He scored a century in his final swansong; his 33rd in the format and got only nine tons in nearly five years. He, however, finished as the leading run-getter among left-handers with a tally of 12472 runs.
1. Virat Kohli slowing down?
Virat Kohli. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Virat Kohli has already taken over many records held by Sachin Tendulkar especially in ODI cricket. He eclipsed Tendulkar’s record of most tons while chasing and most hundreds in successful chases quite easily. The record for the most number of ODI hundreds is at 49 by Sachin while Kohli is second in the list with 41. However, the Indian skipper has been failing to get past the three-figure mark as he got out in the 40s and soon after reaching fifty in the recent past.
During the recently concluded World Cup, Kohli scored five consecutive fifties but could convert none of them into hundreds. This was the first time Kohli has had five or more fifties between two centuries in ODI format. Despite missing out on hundreds, he was happy to play for the team’s cause and stressed on bringing the best out of the middle-order. After a mediocre performance by them in the World Cup, he might as well have to push himself down to No.4 to accommodate the youngsters.
Virat and the team management have admitted that they are open to pushing the skipper to No.4 if required. If that transpires, Kohli’s hundreds producing ability will also take a hit. He, in any case, has a tendency to let go off some ODIs and T20Is in favour of playing Test cricket. All this just even so slightly might indicate that another Sachin record could be safe. However, with Kohli, nothing can’t be predicted and he might as well end up owning those records by the end of 2020 or 2021.
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