After a patient wait of a few days, the notification in your inbox tells you that the communication you looked for eagerly, has landed. The wait, people close to the man tell you, was because Tendulkar wanted to discuss his knocks with brother and mentor Ajit, before communicating further.
1) He starts off by listing the 52 off 40 balls vs Pakistan in Sharjah in the Tri-series in 1991.
A careful look at the knocks he has curated gives you an insight about his psyche. Impact knocks against quality bowling attacks, is what he values most.
The innings played against Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Aaqib Javed and Imran Khan, propelled India to 238 and helped them win by 60 runs and break the jinx of losing to Pakistan in Sharjah. India’s last victory against their arch-rivals in the Emirates, was in 1985.
2) Another knock close to his heart is the 62 off 73 balls vs South Africa at Eden Gardens, again in 1991. The reason: “Quality of opposition bowlers,” reads his tesponse. It was South Africa’s first match since readmission to international cricket and Tendulkar’s first big confrontation against a bowler he was to have great battles with. Alan Donald.
Chasing 179 in 47 overs, Donald, known as ‘White Lightning’ for his searing pace, blew away the top order and at 60 for 4, India were in trouble. But Tendulkar illuminated the Eden with a fine counterattack and with debutant Pravin Amre (55) saw India through.
Donald’s 5-29 and Tendulkar’s knock saw them share the Man-of-the-Match award.
3) Tendulkar, many felt, was getting wasted lower in the batting order in ODIs. However, a neck injury to regular opener Navjot Sidhu made the Indian team management agree, albeit reluctantly, to Tendulkar’s request of opening in ODIs in the second game at Eden Park, Auckland, in 1994.
Carnage with class followed. Tendulkar’s 49-ball 82 with 15 fours and two sixes didn’t just make a mockery of the victory target of 143, it turned around his ODI career and made him into arguably the greatest ODI batter.
And he played every bit like the greatest batter on March 1, 2003 against Pakistan.
Sachin Tendulkar turns 50
4) Tendulkar has previously revealed how he could not sleep the night before that game. Such was the hype for the contest at Centurion. Pakistan had scored 273 for seven, thanks to a brilliant hundred from Saeed Anwar.
Tendulkar, who had traded lunch for a bowl of ice cream, followed by a nap, walked in with a blank mind and just reacted to what was bowled. While so much has been written and said about that upper cut off Shoaib Akhtar for a six over backward point, his backfoot strokeplay against Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Abdul Razzaq was surreal.
“An important game vs Pakistan in a World Cup,” he writes as the reason for choosing this knock. 1.4 billion cricket fans nod in agreement.
Sachin Tendulkar turns 50, this is what he said about ‘hitting’ 50
5) Tendulkar’s first match in a World Cup vs West Indies in Wellington in 1992 was not a very happy outing for the champion batter as Curtly Ambrose consumed him with a beauty. But four years later, at the Captain Roop Singh Stadium, in Gwalior, his 70 off 91 balls allowed India to canter home by five wickets and 10.2 overs to spare.
Curtly Ambrose had reduced India to 15 for 2 and Courtney Walsh and Ian Bishop had bowled probing spells, but in Tendulkar, who had slammed a hundred in the previous match vs Kenya in Cuttack, India had a man in prime form and someone who had mastered the grammar of ODI batting.
“Quality of opposition bowlers,” he lists as the reason the knock sits pretty in his list of 50s.
News Source: https://m.timesofindia.com/sports/cricket/news/sachin-tendulkar-birthday-a-man-of-hundreds-indias-milestone-man-lists-his-best-odi-50s/articleshow/99720815.cms