A century by a batsman is something that defines a batsman’s character, the moment he opens his arms towards the almighty and towards his team-mates after a century is something special and doing it for 100 times is something only Tendulkar could achieve so far. On March 16 in 2012, Sachin Tendulkar inked another legendary achievement to his incredible career when he became the first batsman to score 100 international centuries.
As quoted by Virat Kohli ”As a kid I used to go to the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium to see Sachin play. Then I used to think, ‘if only I can get close to him just once then I can be on top of the world.' And now I am playing with him and it's truly a privilege” is something that was aspired by every Indian cricketer. The maestro is one of the most gifted cricketers that India has ever produced. His batting style and his spread squat before he gets into his batting stance is something every kid would want to imitate in the early 2000s.
The right-handed batsman has had a few ups and downs in his career, ups majorly. In 1994 Sachin averaged 54 across all formats, which would be one of his prime years. Since then it has been only success and success and success year after year. It was in 2005 that Sachin suffered a dip in form when he averaged only 34.2, the year in which he averaged less than 35 for the first time in 10 years, then the follow-up year was also not a great one as he averaged only 34.8 across all formats. The dip in form was mainly because of the shoulder injury that he was carrying.
However, the year 2007 marked a comeback when he scored over 2000 international runs (inclusive of Test and ODI runs) in the calendar year at an average of 50. From then on, Sachin became unstoppable breaking as many records as possible. In October 2008, Sachin surpassed Brian Lara to become the highest run-scorer in the longest format of the game. On 24th February 2010, Tendulkar was the first to reach the ODI summit of scoring a double-hundred, scoring 200* against South Africa in Gwalior.
Regarded as one of the World Cup heroes, though he didn’t have a single one prior to 2011, his batting was a treat to watch. He is the highest run-getter in World Cups with 2278 runs at an average of 60.0 with six centuries. He came into the 2011 edition with a rich vein of form and his contribution of 482 runs was also one of the reasons behind the triumph of India. He brought up his 99th ton against South Africa in Nagpur. The wait for the 100th was a long one, an overwhelming sense of anticipation hung in the air.
Prior to that incandescent moment, Tendulkar's drought of centuries lasted 33 innings that spread across Tests and ODIs played in India, England and Australia. Finally, the wait was over in the 2012 Asia Cup against Bangladesh when a single was nudged towards square leg. Coincidentally Bangladesh was the only country against which he hadn’t scored an ODI century after playing more than three matches. A man, who as a lad walked into an Indian dressing room that had the likes of Kapil Dev and Dilip Vengsarkar in 1989, strung partnerships with youngsters like Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina on his way to a special hundred.
The Little Master has amassed 34,357 runs across all formats with 100 centuries and 164 half-centuries. This day in 2012, a feat of staggering proportions was added to that list and it is a record that will stand unique and alone in the sands of time, much like Sir Don Bradman's Test average of 99.94.