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Debunking the Sachin myth

March 17, 2012

The year was 1999. In Chennai, Bhogi had been celebrated more than two weeks back but the smog was still fresh in the air. India were in the middle of a pulsating Test match at Chepauk. The match eventually ended Pakistan’s way despite a brilliant 136 by Sachin Tendulkar. After watching India lose, I was inconsolable. My grandmother, who had the rather pitiable job of making me eat food for the next few days, gave in on the third day after the loss. “Swaroop, idhukellam upset allama. Innum life-la edhallamo pakka vendi-irrukum. Sachin adicha India-ku luck illada (roughly translated to Swaroop, you can’t get upset because of this. You will have to see lots of things in life. In fact, whenever Sachin scores, we lose).

In Inception, Dom Cobb plants an idea into the mind of a subject he wants to extract information from and watches it as the idea expands or something similar.

Looking back at what my grandmother said, I begin to wonder whether this nugget of information that everybody are posting on Twitter and Facebook right now that “whenever Sachin scores, India loses” has somehow been reared into the genetic psyche when all of us were kids. Of course, there is another myth going around. He slows down when he gets into his 80s.

There is only so much a man can take after listening to such amounts of criticism about somebody before embarking on a fact-finding mission to find out whether the information that exists in the mainstream is valid or not. Given how most of us are likely to go by hearsay, I’m quietly confident that most of what is out there is either fabricated or the truth conveniently distorted to suit the opposition for whatever reasons.

But there are limitations about the fact-finding mission. I am going to be doing the ODI 100s only from 2001 (4th July, 2001) as Cricinfo started commentating on games only from then. However, I will be delving deep into each and every 100 that I can remember since I started watching the game.

You may ask why I want to this right now? I’m a little raged and a bit pissed right now. So my emotional self is ruling me right now.

P,S, To find out whether Tendulkar does slow down when approaching a 100, I have decided to break down all his 100 plus (from 2001) into three categories. Balls taken to reach 0-85 (with a range from 83 to 92). Balls taken to reach 81-100. And from 101-till dismissal.;view=commentary

Opponents – West Indies. Result – Won. Batting – Second.

1st batch – 85 from 96 balls. Strike Rate – 88.54

2nd batch – 15 from 16 balls. Strike Rate – 93.75

3rd batch – 22 from 19 balls. Strike Rate – 115.78

Total – 122 (not out) from 131 balls.

Conclusion – This is an interesting find. So he chased down a target carrying India through. Not only that, he also upped the ante once he reached the 80s.

Opponents – South Africa. Result – Lost. Batting – First.

1st batch – 87 from 116 balls. Strike Rate – 75.00

2nd batch – 14 from 13 balls. Strike Rate – 107.69

Total – 101 from 129 balls.

Conclusion – Anybody who remembers this match might well remember that this was Tendulkar’s comeback game from an injury. But yet again another instance when the first batch is slower than the second batch. We did go on to lose this game after posting 279 but truth be said this was a Sachin Tendulkar struggle and will not really be mentioned when people talk about his great One-day hundreds.

Opponents – Kenya. Result – Won. Batting – First

1st batch – 84 from 82 balls. Strike Rate – 102.43

2nd batch – 16 from 18 balls. Strike Rate – 88.88

3rd batch – 46 from 32 balls. Strike Rate – 143.75

Total – 146 from 132 balls.

Conclusion – This is admittedly slower than the first and third batches but given how people say that he is considerably slower than his career strike rate of 86.18, he actually is above that.

Opponents – England. Result – Match Abandoned. Batting – First

1st batch – 87 from 96 balls. Strike Rate – 90.62

2nd batch – 13 from 10 balls. Strike Rate – 100.00

3rd batch – 5 from 2 balls. Strike Rate – 250.00

Total – 105 (not out) from 108 balls.

Conclusion – As the scoreboard suggests, this was a period when Tendulkar used to come in at No.4 for India in the ODIs. In this particular, he came in at a tricky time and helped steady the ship with Rahul Dravid before reaching three figures with a couple of overs to spare. As far as the strike rates are concerned, he’s ahead of the first batch by about 10 runs per 100 balls.

Opponents – Sri Lanka. Result – Won. Batting – First

1st batch – 84 from 80 balls. Strike Rate – 105.00

2nd batch – 16 from 13 balls. Strike Rate – 123.07

3rd batch – 13 from 9 balls. Strike Rate – 144.44

Total. 113 from 102 balls.

Conclusion – Again coming in at No.4, an experiment which ultimately was a failure, Tendulkar did have a few good knocks. And again an impressive strike rate which keeps going up all the time till his eventual dismissal.

Opponents – Namibia. Result – Won. Batting – First.

1st batch – 84 from 96 balls. Strike Rate – 87.50

2nd batch – 16 from 19 balls. Strike Rate – 84.21

3rd batch – 52 from 36 balls. Strike Rate – 144.44

Total – 152 from 151 balls.

Conclusion – His only century in the 2003 World Cup, there is a marginal decrease in the 90s but not by some exaggerated margins. But do not worry haters, this shall be counted as a negative when it comes down to the final calculations.

Opponents – Australia. Result – Won. Batting – First.

1st batch – 85 from 95 balls. Strike Rate – 89.47

2nd batch 15 from 24 balls. Strike Rate – 62.50

Total – 100 from 119 balls

Conclusion – The first real indication that Tendulkar perhaps did take his time in the 90s as there is a marked drop of about 25 runs per every 100 balls scored.

Opponents – New Zealand. Result – Won. Batting – First.

1st batch – 84 from 76 balls. Strike Rate – 110.52

2nd batch – 16 from 11 balls. Strike Rate – 145.45

3rd batch – 2 from 4 balls. Strike rate – 50.00

Total – 102 from 91 balls.

Conclusion – His second of the TVS series, India run up a huge score and the Kiwis were never in the races. And a marked improvement in the strike rate in the 90s again.

Opponents – Pakistan. Result – Lost. Batting – Second.

1st batch – 84 from 88 balls. Strike Rate – 95.45

2nd batch – 16 from 18 balls. Strike Rate -88.88

3rd batch – 41 from 29 balls. Strike Rate – 141.37

Total – 141 from 135 balls.

Conclusion – His second 100 only while chasing since 2001, this is one of the very few fair criticisms over the years. While there is a marked decrease in the strike rate in the 90s, that is still above his career strike rate. One of quite a few glorious failures that Tendulkar has had while chasing a game.

Opponents – Pakistan. Result – Lost. Batting – First.

1st batch – 88 from 96 balls. Strike Rate – 91.66

2nd batch – 12 from 9 balls. Strike Rate – 133.33

3rd batch – 23 from 25 balls. Strike Rate – 92.00

Total – 123 from 130 balls.

Conclusion – For the second time in a row, a losing 100 against Pakistan. If I remember right, Inzamam played a gutsy little knock at the death to win the game for the visitors. The Strike Rate in the 90s kind of explains itself.

Opponents – Pakistan. Result – Lost. Batting – First.

1st batch – 85 from 96 balls. Strike rate – 88.54

2nd batch – 15 from 16 balls. Strike Rate – 93.75

Total – 100 from 113 balls (After getting to a 100, Tendulkar got out the very next ball).

 Conclusion – For a third time in a row, a 100 against Pakistan in a losing cause. There is a marginal improvement in the 90s but he gave his wicket away cheaply after reaching a 100 and perhaps could have avoided that. Pakistan went on to win the game in the D/L method.

Opponents – West Indies. Result – Lost. Batting – First.

1st batch – 85 from 110 balls. Strike Rate – 77.27

2nd batch – 15 from 9 balls. Strike Rate – 166.66

3rd batch – 41 from 29 balls. Strike Rate – 141.37

Total – 141 not out from 148 balls.

Conclusion – An old school construction of an ODI innings. Build an innings and let it go to a crescendo during the death overs, Tendulkar held the sheet anchor while others around him went for broke. But what went again him was a fourth consecutive ODI defeat after scoring a 100. Maybe this is when the genesis that a Sachin 100 usually results in a defeat started spreading around Indian households.

Opponents – West Indies. Result – Won. Batting – First.

1st batch – 84 from 68 balls. Strike rate – 123.52

2nd batch – 16 from 8 balls. Strike Rate – 200.00

Total – 100 not out from 76 balls.

Conclusion – This was Tendulkar’s last 100 before the ’07 World Cup and as it proved in hindsight, last 100 before he came back to form  Down Under. This was another experimental 100 as he came back at two down. Tendulkar, while the strike rate says that he upped the ante during the 2nd batch, did take a single of the last ball of the 50th over to reach three figures instead of trying to belt the ball over Vadodara. But more pleasingly, he did arrest the slide of 100 in losing efforts.

Opponents – Australia. Result – Won. Batting – Second

1st batch – 88 from 91 balls. Strike Rate – 96.70

2nd batch – 12 from 15 balls. Strike Rate – 80.00

3rd batch – 17 from 14 balls

Total – 117 not out from 120 balls.

Conclusion – This was Tendulkar’s worst period in ODIs (a couple of 99s notwithstanding). But he did come back with a bang against the might of Brett Lee and co. There were calls for his resignation back then and some people who I knew began to write him off as a spent bullet. Coming to the strike rate, there is a decrease during the 90s but given the way he stayed till the end and anchored the chase, one can hardly call this as “playing for himself”. (This, though, will count as a negative when it comes to counting the final averages.

Opponents – New Zealand. Result – Won. Batting – First

1st batch – 85 from 86 balls. Strike Rate – 98.83

2nd batch – 15 from 15 balls. Strike Rate – 100.00

3rd batch – 63 from 32 balls. Strike Rate – 196.87

Total – 163 from 133

Conclusion – A monster innings in which he monstered all the bowlers to all parts of the Christchurch field. Just a very marginal increase in the strike rate while reaching to the 100 before going berserk.  A hat-trick of wins after a Tendulkar 100 also firmly establishing that the four lost on the trot was firmly out of the way.

Opponents – Sri Lanka. Result – Won. Batting – First

1st batch – 85 from 77 balls. Strike Rate – 110.38

2nd batch – 15 from 15 balls. Strike Rate – 100.00

3rd batch – 38 from 41 balls. Strike Rate – 92.68

Total – 138 from 133.

Conclusion – Tendulkar, ably sheet-anchored by Rahul Dravid at the other end, cut loose early on and maintained the momentum to set a target in excess of 300 in the final of the Compaq Cup. This was when Tendulkar started making noises about playing in a sixth World Cup. There is a fall of about 10 runs per 100 balls during the 90s but the mark of 100 is still very good.

Opponents – Australia. Result – Lost. Batting – Second.

1st batch – 92 from 71 balls (Tendulkar went from 80 to 92 with two sixers so I had to take till 92 as the first batch as it would have been cheating otherwise). Strike Rate – 129.57

2nd batch – 8 from 10 balls. Strike Rate – 80.00

3rd batch – 75 from 60 balls. Strike Rate – 125.00

Conclusion – Another one of those glorious failures which might haunt Tendulkar and his fans for life. And he fell while playing a little scoop over short fine leg. A marked decrease in the strike rate in the 90s, Tendulkar has been stacking them a bit of late.

Opponents – South Africa. Result – Won. Batting – First

1st batch – 87 from 69 balls. Strike Rate – 126.08

2nd batch – 13 from 21 balls. Strike Rate – 61.90

3rd batch – 80 from 42balls. Strike Rate – 190.47

4th batch – 20 from 15 balls. Strike Rate – 133.33

Total – 200 not out from 147 balls.

Conclusion – The match which saw M.S. Dhoni’s fans come to a head-n collision with Tendulkar’s fans after the former was accused of almost denying a fine 200 by not giving enough strike at the end. But to be honest, Tendulkar was cramping and the pitch was that sort of pitch were even 400 wouldn’t have been enough. In the end, it all worked out well for India and Tendulkar. Coming to the strike rates, this has been, by far, his slowest going from 80 to a 100. And as a result, the strike rate slumped by more than half.

Opponents – England. Result – Draw. Batting – First.

1st batch – 87 from 88 balls. Strike rate – 98.86

2nd batch – 13 from 15 balls. Strike rate – 86.66

3rd batch – 20 from 12 balls. Strike Rate – 166.66

Total – 120 from 115 balls.

Conclusion – His first 100 of the 2011 World Cup, it was as a result of a direct onslaught against the likes of Graeme Swann that helped him get some momentum after a very slow start ( he was on 32 after facing 50 balls). Ultimately lost his wicket during the powerplay overs if my memory serves me right which helped England get back in the game. A decrease of 12 during the 90s but again more or less matching his career strike rate.

Opponents – South Africa. Result – Lost. Batting – First

1st batch – 88 from 78 balls. Strike Rate – 112.82

2nd batch – 12 from 14 balls. Strike Rate – 85.71

3rd batch – 11 from 9 balls. Strike Rate – 122.22

Total – 111 from 101 balls.

Conclusion – A 100 in a losing cause for quite some time, India once again made the same mistake of going too early and losing wickets in a heap – with Tendulkar’s wicket again coming at a crucial time. South Africa made full advantage of it and prevented the hosts from running away with something bigger. A bigger decrease in the strike rate during the 90s but again more or less matching the career strike rate. This was his 99th International 100….

Opponents – Bangladesh. Result – Lost. Batting – First.

1st batch – 83 from 114 balls. Strike Rate – 72.80

2nd batch- 17 from 24 balls. Strike Rate – 70.83

3rd batch – 14 from 9 balls. Strike rate – 155.55

Total – 114 from 147 balls.

Conclusion – First up, let me get all the negative vibes out of the way. This, by far, is his slowest 100: at least from 2001 anyway. And it was pretty evident that once he got into the 70s and 80s, he sensed an opportunity to finally get rid of the monkey (which had by now grown wings and had become a lion-tailed macaque) and had probably put himself above the team in search for that 100.

But, judging him and calling him selfish on this innings is totally uncalled for. He recognised the need to get it out of the way and did use up balls. Granted and I will give you that. But calling him selfish amongst other things on ONE innings? Idiocy of the highest order.

For people who have decided to go ahead and name call because of the way he has used up the last year, you may or may not have a point. (I myself called him selfish, but let us all give him the next 4-6 months to see whether he still remains motivated, whether the pressure was keeping him from performing or whether he is just prolonging his career for the sake of playing and nothing else).

Aggregated Numbers and Strike Rates from 2001 July:

No of centuries: 21.

Winning; 11

Tied: 1

Lost: 8

Match abandoned: 1

Twenty-one 100s have come in the last 10 years and a bit to go with the 28 he struck in the first ten years of his decade (actually zero from 1989 to 1994 and then 28 during his first peak from 1994 to 2001). The winning percentage is 52 % and the losing percentage 38.09.

So the theory that India loses whenever Tendulkar scores a century is a false one and goes right out the window. An even more interesting aspect about Tendulkar’s losing contributions is that India lost only 6 times during his first 28 ODI hundreds – Interesting because the Indian team from 1994 to 2001 were more or less poorer to the side from 2001 till now.

If all his ODI 100s are taken into consideration, the losing percentage falls down drastically to 28%.

Strike Rates: 

From 0-85 (median): Balls Faced – 1869. Runs Scored – 1801. Strike rate: It is a staggering 96.36 per every 100 balls faced – up almost 10 runs from his career strike rate.

From 85-100: Balls Faced – 313. Runs Scored – 290. Strike Rate: 92.65. There is an improvement of almost 6 runs per ever 100 balls on his career strike rate but there is also a small decrease of 4 runs from his 96 runs per every 100 balls during this phase.

I don’t know whether the overall and the one yesterday can be taken in isolation just because yesterday helped him to get to something – something definitive. But while yesterday’s century does reveal the fact that he perhaps put himself before the team, one incident doesn’t tarnish the reputation that he has built over the last two decades.

That’s about that for this column. Sometime in the future, I will try and look at whether Tendulkar’s slowed down in the 90s ergo resulting in him getting out in the 90s rather than stepping on and going to convert it into three figures.

P.S. This clearly shows that generally he doesn’t go out there just to look for 100s (as the strike rate of 92.65 very clearly shows). It also shows that having a fairly reasonable losing percentage of 28%, he is not really India’s unlucky man.

38 Comments leave one →
  1. OrangeCrush permalink
    April 15, 2012 9:52 am

    Could you do a statistic from 90 to 100 instead of 85 to 100? Also if possible could a similar statistic be done for say Sehwag, Ponting, Lara and Kallis?

  2. Prashanth Mukundan permalink
    April 15, 2012 10:21 am

    Hi. Am a friend of Arun’s.

    First off, as the title of the article suggests you’ve certainly debunked the myth and consequently gone a good distance(if not the entire course) in dispelling this rather deep-rooted “galath fehmi”. Hats off for penning such a well-researched piece and topping that with the manner of its presentation.

    Arun was darn tootin’ spot on with the caption when he posted the link!!!

  3. Bala Kritikeshan permalink
    April 15, 2012 2:07 pm

    While true, the measuring of slowing down here is flawed, as it does not show all the times SRT got out between 80 and 100 (aka when he is going for a century). This should be particularly revealing in the last year when he was looking for his 100th.

    • April 16, 2012 4:21 am

      Thanks, Bala, for the post. I do intend to do a statistical piece in the near future detailing all of Sachin’s dismissals between 80 to 100. Cheers.

  4. Sriraj G.S. permalink
    April 15, 2012 2:45 pm

    Hi Swaroop, there have been many people dishing out these stats over the last year online – but all lack 1 key indicator. How you ever paused to benchmark his winning-when-100-scored percentage with other players? Even Indian players? To give you an idea, only Dravid has a lower % in ODIs while the likes of even Yuvraj (70%), Dhoni (77%), Kohli (90% over a small sample), Sehwag (77%), Ganguly (82%) have much better records with 100s. It is better not to mention Gilchrist (100%) or Ponting – just a comparison with Indian players is enough. This is NOT to put down Sachin – he is the best Indian batsman by a margin. But please don’t resort to mere stats or records to describe his greatness (because his records are only longevity-based ones). SRT is much better than those numbers. Myths will always float around and there is no need to worry about them.

    • Ramesh permalink
      April 15, 2012 3:44 pm


      • Sriraj G.S. permalink
        April 16, 2012 5:27 am

        Agree, except for the part saying Gilly and Punter always batted with total freedom. Yes, they had a world-class bowling attack to match up but that doesn’t put them down by any measure. These 2 have played many *impact* knocks over the years. I’ll quickly mention what comes to my mind in 5 seconds because commentators all over the world agree they are some of the best: Gilly’s maiden Test ton in 2nd game vs Pak stealing the game, Ricky’s Edgbaston 2005 Ashes match-saving ton (one of the finest I’ve seen), Gilly’s WC’07 final ton, Ricky’s WC’03 final 143 (India hates him solely for that blitz), Ricky’s ton setting up 434, Gilly’s fastest ton at WACA, Ricky’s double ton in Hobart against Pak which turned the match around, Gilly’s double-ton against SA etc. It is fine to praise SRT all you want but please don’t undermine the efforts of any other cricketer in the world. It is a tough job and Gilly and Punter are deserving champions as well – they have had to fight for their places in the side.

    • Vishy permalink
      April 15, 2012 3:45 pm

      You need to look at the opposition as well. If batsman A scores 10 hundreds all against Aus/SA, his team is more likely to lose a few of those games compared to someone who scores them against NZ or WI.

      Sehwag, for example, has never scored a hundred against Aus or SA.

      You mention Yuvraj Singh at 70%. Now what happens when he scores a hundred against Aus and SA? 3 hundreds and 3 lost matches.

      • Sriraj G.S. permalink
        April 16, 2012 5:29 am

        I put up the numbers to show that they can be misleading. I think you misunderstood the point of my post. I implied what you have exactly said. Cheers.

  5. C.Nagendran permalink
    April 15, 2012 2:52 pm

    Nage from Sri Lanka – This is a fascinating account and I do appreciate your dedicated appraisal of a great human beings achievement . His play is Poetry in motion with Grace added.

  6. Jaddy permalink
    April 15, 2012 3:10 pm

    I have nothing against the above analysis but one thing clearly stands out. Most of the the wins by India have come when they are batting first. Maybe Tendulkar feels the pressure when chasing targets and hence no match winning hundreds batting second? Apart from the hundreds there have been plenty occasions when Tendulkar has not delivered for India while chasing targets.

    • Suren permalink
      April 15, 2012 5:20 pm

      So India loses while chasing is SRT’s fault? Despite scoring a century? Where are the rest of the batsmen? Maybe by your own reasoning, the rest of the team feels pressure while chasing and they can’t contribute enough to win, despite SRT’s century?

      • April 16, 2012 4:25 am

        Hello, Jaddy. Yes, most of his winning 100s have come during the first innings. However that was not even the point of this post. This post entirely looked at whether he slowed down a notch or more as and when he approached the 100.

      • Jaddy permalink
        April 16, 2012 10:40 am

        Suren,my mate, I responded to Vishy also and I pointed out that yes, in a team game you cannot blame or give the entire credit to one player but what I meant was that as a champion batsman you are supposed to deliver more often than not. Correspondingly, the opposition makes that much more effort in getting these batsmen out. So it works out somewhere in between. Still it is disappointing. And yes this post was about his run rate but then when Tendulkar is discussed everything comes into play!! By thw way, personally I believe Tendulkar should have announced his retirement right after the World Cup final. In fact immediately after lifting the cup! That was his dream and he had fulfilled it. What else does he want now??

  7. Ramesh permalink
    April 15, 2012 3:33 pm


  8. Vishy permalink
    April 15, 2012 3:34 pm


    Wrong mate. Tendulkar has scored 17 hundreds while chasing (world record) and India have won 14 of those matches. Look at the start date mentioned in the article.

    • Jaddy permalink
      April 15, 2012 4:17 pm


      Thanks mate for that statistical nugget. Its just that you feel more disappointed when Sachin does not score more often while chasing (apart from the centuries you mention) and you tend to remember the more imporatnt matches. I know it is not right to blame one batsmen in a team game. Also when we are arguing we tend to forget that there are bowlers in the opposite team who are trying to get the batsmen out and when it comes to Tendulkar their efforts are higher!

  9. Vishy permalink
    April 15, 2012 3:39 pm


    You might want to compare Tendulkar and other batsmen’s inn/hundred ratio. The rest (bar Bradman) wouldn’t have got as many tons if they had played the same number of games.

    Myth 2:

    Tendulkar made his debut at 16 but it isn’t a major advantage because India played only 38 tests in his first 6 years. The likes of KP and Cook have played more than 70. Look at the innings played upto the age of 30 or 35 and you’ll see what I mean. The difference in the number of innings between someone who made his debut at 16 and 22/23 is next to nothing because of the ODI fever in the 90s on the SC.

  10. akpy permalink
    April 15, 2012 5:57 pm

    superbly analysed and written..but there are still a few cynical comments…forget people like us who may have at best played at club level, infact a majority not good even at street level but very good at criticising the greatest modern cricketer…my question to all these critics/cynics of sachin like MK, Ian chappel, Malcolm conn, etc are 1) why does sachin figure in the world test and ODI team for 1990s and 2000s, from almost any top cricketer who played in this period? 2) why do mcgrath, warne, lee, ponting, gilly, akram, donald, hadlee, richards, nasser, etc,etc say that sachin is the best or atleast put him in the top3 all time? 3) sachin started at 16 after scoring 100s in his debut ranji, duleep trophy games in an era when these games were very competitive. His first few cricket tours were away in Pak, Nzl (which had Hadlee and was one of the tougher places to tour till 1990s), England and Australia. He infact scored his first century in india at chennai well after, because he was playing overseas at the ages of 16-18 and did well enough to retain his spot, recognised as one of the shining stars for the future and played some excellent knocks under pressure when team was losing and most other batsmen were not performing. Please name one other cricketer who came through in such a manner. And, he is still contributing.

  11. rizwan permalink
    April 15, 2012 8:18 pm

    The important criterion is , does Tendulkar score when it matters , i.e. crunch matches when its a must win situation. For instance in a world cup final , it was Dhoni, Aravinda, Gilchrist , Ponting and Richards who did the impossible.Tendulkar played in 5 world cups , but when it really mattered , he failed. In tests , Lara and Pontin WON matches in must win big matches.This is the reason that Anantha Narayanan ( an Indian ) , did not include a single test centrury of Sachin’s in his 100 best which was done for Wisden. Lara. Laxman and Bradman figure prominently but not a SINGLE of Sachin’s test centuries were in the 100 best done by the best cricket statistician in the world.

    • AkpyIshitakp permalink
      April 16, 2012 1:49 am

      Rizwan…he does but one can conveniently point out to matches where he failed like you have done to pull him down…it is churlish to even imagine someone can score 33k runs and 100 centuries without contributing in crunch situations and I don’t even see the need to give examples as there are too many but to give you a sample, chennai centuries agst pak, aus, England, Sharjah knocks, centuries in, etc,etc…check each of these situations

    • Nathan permalink
      April 16, 2012 11:59 am

      @rizwan – totally agree. The author of this study writes ‘So the theory that India loses whenever Tendulkar scores a century is a false one ‘ but this is a strawman argument that seemingly misses the point intentionally. I have never heard anyone say india always lose when Tendulkar scores a ton. The point is that, great batsman though he is, he is not a match winner. As you point out, he very, VERY rarely scores the big ton that carries his side to victory in the way that guys like Richards, Ponting etc used to do all the time.

      • Harshad permalink
        April 17, 2012 1:45 pm

        How does it become a strawman argument, He has clearly mentioned that he set out to see if Tendulkar slowed down nearing a century. He remained true to that effort and provided stats. As we speak of matchwinners I am surprised that you speak of Ponting in the same breath as Richards and Tendulkar when the discussion veers towards ODIs.

    • Harshad permalink
      April 17, 2012 2:36 pm

      He played well through out the whole worldcup, his scores were 36,5, 50, 83, 152, 15 98, 97, 81,4. Your logc that a person who plays in a WC final is the WC winner is quite flawed.

    • Phaedrus permalink
      April 17, 2012 3:36 pm

      you say Sachin does not score when it matters like in finals. Not only is this empirically wrong as he has scored match wining hundreds in various finals, but also it overlooks one basic feature i.e how does a team reach a final? Obviously, by winning matches. So if india wins, and no one seems to have a bone with this argument, in the preliminary stages of a tournament largely due to Sachin’s performance, merely because he has failed in a few finals, does not take away the fact that but for his performances in the initial stages of the tournament, the team would not even have reached the finals !!! Do you get it?

  12. Sitaram permalink
    April 15, 2012 11:44 pm

    Very good and balanced analysis.. that puts my hero worship back on track with stats backing the heart. However the 100th somehow still rankles.. only wish it came some other way or in better setting. Of course the other wish that he gets some of his biggies in tourneys with Pak, SA or Aus.

  13. rizwan permalink
    April 16, 2012 4:37 am


    Why is it that Anantha Narayanan of cricinfo in his article 100 test best centuries exclude all of Tendulkar’s centuries ? That particular study was commissioned by Wisden and was an objective analysis. For the record , VVS’s 281 and Lara’s 153 and 213 along with several of Bradman’s centuries were included. Need I say more about SRT’s lack of big match temperament to affect the outcome of a match to ensue that the team wins and not personal glory.The 100 century in Bangladesh resulted the world champions losing to the lowly Bangladeshis becasue SRT wanted his 100 more than the team winning the match.

    • Harshad permalink
      April 17, 2012 1:36 pm

      For a person with a lack of big match temperament he sure scores a lot of his runs in finals.

  14. Ayush permalink
    April 16, 2012 9:09 am

    What about Tendulkar’s unbeaten century against England in Mohali to chase down a record total. Or when he scored a century to save India a test against England in 1990 on a green top? And there are many more examples

  15. Abi permalink
    April 16, 2012 9:29 am

    Without trying to nitpick, the 175 against Australia, he got his last 20 runs in 12 balls. But that counted as he hit 2 sixes on 80. So he actually got from 80 to 100 in 12 balls, and that counted as a negative. Morever, I’m sure atleast some of us remember thost circumstances under which he scored, which may defy the numbers. Like the 140 against Pakistan in Pakistan, 175 against Australia, etc. The run rate in an innings depends on so many other factors like the fall of a wicket on the other end and so on. By and large, a batsman slowing down near 90 may not always mean he is selfish, just like you cannot say Rahul Dravid starts slow because he is selfish. Everybody has a cetain mental make up.
    In conclusion, being a Sachin fan, I do agree that he played some dot balls in his 100th hundred, but come on yaar, he is mortal, and after all that pressure, he may have succumbed a little bit. The fact that Virat Kohli, the inform batsman, couldn’t score any faster in his half century just proves the nature of pitch and bowling. Enjoy Sachin, just let him be. Hope we can see one last flourish and forget the numbers.

  16. rizwan permalink
    April 17, 2012 5:06 am

    Tendulkar is ONE of the best cricketers that ever lived , there is no disputing that fact .Other Indians such as Kumble , Dravid . Gavaskar , Kapil , Sehwag , Laxman and Vishy have all been match winners. The biggest match winner by far has been Kumble ( in test matches) and should be honoured as such . I hope all Sachin fans will realise that Tendulkar is human on and off the field. A god will not try to get a duty concession for a Ferrari car !

    • Harshad permalink
      April 17, 2012 1:33 pm

      He had followed rules by applying for duty concession under the condition that it was a gift. He did not claim the waiver because he was playing for the country. He pays his income tax without any glitches, Holding the ferrari episode against him especially in a cricketing discussion shows a personal opinion bias, While you are entitled to your opinion(right or wrong) using it as a tongue in cheek remark here reflects on you as a human being rather than Tendulkar.

  17. Harshad permalink
    April 17, 2012 11:48 am

    Excellent Analysis, puts to an end a lot of rubbish going around, I for one appreciate his 246 at sydney which should have been a match winning innings but for the umprires denying Kumble a couple of wickets. People commenting here seem to forget that some of the innings he played in a losing cause he had little support from the other side hence that century for me becomes even more special. I am not sure if he can win you a test match solo but he’s definitely the most consistent ODI match winner and by a margin at that. Some guys have stated that the likes of Dhoni, Gilchrist, Ponting have performed in WC finals, I would like to know how many games in WC 2007 did Gili do well, how many did ponting score in 2003 and how many match winning innings did Dhoni play in 2011? You’ll get your answer.

  18. April 17, 2012 5:58 pm

    I am not a statistician or something, but isn’t the 85:15 split for comparison a little too skewed?

    • April 18, 2012 6:13 pm

      That was one of the few ways to look at whether there was a considerable fall or slow down as and when he approached the 100.


  1. The sequel to Tendulkar’s post » Web in .:|:. Web out
  2. Tendulkar and his fans « After the bell, below the belt

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