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Sachin Tendulkar creates ODI history with unbeaten 200

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Last updated on 24 Feb 2024 | 06:11 AM
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Sachin Tendulkar creates ODI history with unbeaten 200

Tendulkar's innings featured high-quality strokes, with one particular shot standing out – a flick across the line that left even the best bowler, Dale Steyn, helpless

It's no surprise that among the 10 batters in men’s ODI cricket who have hit double centuries, five are Indian. Four of them are inspired by the greatest batsman ever to play the game, who paved the way by showing the first such a feat was even possible. and against a great bowling attack.

On this historic day, February 24, 2020, Sachin Tendulkar achieved an unprecedented feat, becoming the first batsman to score 200 runs in a One-Day International (ODI) cricket match after an agonizing wait of almost 40 years. Facing a formidable bowling attack, Tendulkar showcased his mastery by eclipsing the previous record for the highest score in ODIs and securing the first double-century in the history of the format.

The Captain Roop Singh Stadium in Gwalior witnessed a breathtaking innings that not only led to a commanding 153-run victory but also sealed the series triumph. Despite a modest performance in the first ODI where he was run out cheaply, Tendulkar's resilience and skill were on full display in this match. Batting alongside Dinesh Karthik, Yusuf Pathan, and MS Dhoni, he treated the spectators to a display of his complete repertoire of shots.

Tendulkar was 36 then and showed no signs of ageing, thereby maintaining a sparkling touch in both forms of the game. Overcoming challenges such as fatigue and cramps, he reached the milestone of 200 runs without the need for a runner, leveraging his 20 years of international experience. His innings was marked by flawless execution, with no chances offered, no dropped catches, and an unwavering focus from the first ball to the last.

As Tendulkar approached and surpassed various records, including the highest ODI score of 194, his celebrations remained subdued and modest. The iconic moment came when he reached the magical figure of 200 in the final over, acknowledging the crowd with a raised bat, helmet off, and a gaze towards the skies. It was a fitting achievement for the highest run-getter in one-day cricket.

Tendulkar's innings featured high-quality strokes, with one particular shot standing out – a flick across the line that left even the best bowler, Dale Steyn, helpless. Throughout the innings, his timing and placement were impeccable, taking full advantage of a flat pitch and short boundaries. The partnerships with Karthik and Dhoni, although overshadowed by the monumental score, played crucial roles in building a massive total.

Reaching his fifty in 37 balls and his century in 90, Tendulkar continued to dominate, smashing his first six at 111 runs. The South African bowlers, attempting to bowl too fast, ended up delivering full tosses and full deliveries, which Tendulkar exploited with precision. Despite battling cramps after crossing 150, he pressed on, equaling and then surpassing his own record.

The match became a one-sided affair as India amassed an almost unachievable score, and South Africa struggled to chase it down. AB de Villiers' attacking century was overshadowed by the sheer dominance of Tendulkar's innings. The victory was a testament to Tendulkar's unparalleled skill and endurance, leaving an indelible mark on the history of ODI cricket.

In retrospect, Tendulkar's innings drew comparisons to Brendon McCullum's explosive 158 in the IPL opener two years prior. While both showcased individual brilliance, the match highlighted the need for more balanced contests between bat and ball for the overall health of one-day cricket.

Another reason this feat is fondly remembered is Ravi Shastri’s commentary, who stated, “First man on the planet to reach 200. And it’s the superman from India, Sachin Tendulkar. Take a bow, Master.” 

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