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Touchdown 15,000

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Last updated on 29 Jun 2023 | 03:13 AM
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Touchdown 15,000

On this day in 2007, Tendulkar became the first and the only cricketer to score 15,000 ODI runs

In addition to holding important batting records, Sachin Tendulkar is perhaps the most written and read-about cricketer as well. The volume of runs, the longevity of his career, the flawlessness of his technique and all this under the weight of a billion expectations make him the most celebrated batter of all-time. 

On October 15th in the year, 2000, Tendulkar went past Mohammed Azharuddin’s record of 9378 runs to become the leading run-scorer in ODIs. A record that he continues to hold by a significant margin after almost two decades. In 2001, Tendulkar became the first to reach 10,000 runs in ODIs as well. 

Back in the day, crossing the 10,000 run mark in ODIs was a Bradmanesque achievement. By adding 8,246 more runs to his tally by the end of his career, Tendulkar ensured that for every ounce of greatness, ODI batters in the future will have to pass the litmus test of his achievements. 

While 13 other batters have crossed the 10,000 run mark in ODIs since, none have reached where Tendulkar did on June 29th, 2007. This was the period when he had seven dismissals in the 90s in six ODIs and one Test without a century in between. Playing against South Africa in Belfast, Tendulkar played his signature backfoot drive to the left of cover off Andre Nel on the last ball of the 18th over. Tucking his bat in both palms, letting it sway to and fro, he sprinted for a quick single. Gutsy for a man run-out on 99 in just the last game. Nevertheless, that was his 15,000th ODI run. Probably as a contributory gesture to his celebration, the South Africans offered him four overthrow runs to take his tally to 15,004 on the same ball.

Sheer domination

In ODIs, Tendulkar opened for the first time in his 67th innings in 1994. Before this promotion, he averaged 30.8. For 19 years after this, he scored at an average of 47.1. Only four times in these years did his batting average fall below 40. The lowest of which was 27.5 during the tennis elbow year of 2005.

Tendulkar dominated the red and white-ball game in all conditions. He remains the only player to average 40 or above in every nation he played Tests in. In ODIs, he was far ahead of his colleagues irrespective of the conditions, especially in the second half of his career. 

If not for those 28 nervous nineties, Tendulkar’s record of centuries would also have been a bridge too far, like his 34,357 international runs. Nevertheless, it was he who provided a broader vision of the achievable. He continues to fascinate the rest by his achievements, making them wish in private to be as big in stature as he is. 

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