In a career punctuated by record moments, Sachin Tendulkar became the first cricketer in history to score 15,000 points in an international day. Tendulkar, who was also the first in 10,000 ODI races, surpassed the mark by scoring half a century against South Africa in the second ODI in Belfast.
2007 began on a disappointing note for Tendulkar as India was eliminated in the first round of the World Cup in the West Indies. Tendulkar’s renaissance in the later stages of his career began with ODIs in South Africa. In the first ODI of the Future Cup, Tendulkar scored 99, although South Africa won the match by four wickets.
In an unmissable match, Tendulkar went back in time by playing a few vintage shots en route to score a sizzling 93 and winner of the match. Chasing 228 to win, Tendulkar dived into its final pages to produce a sparkling sleeve. The thunderous shots that had disappeared from his repertoire returned to haunt Makhaya Ntini, of whom Tendulkar was the most severe. Tendulkar scored 23 points between the square leg and the midwicket and he and Sourav Ganguly gave India a dazzling start, putting 134 for the opening window.
South Africa’s best bowler Andre Nel posed an initial threat to both drummers, but when he made the mistake of bowling at Tendulkar, the drummer let his instincts take over, cracking a six on the square leg. With a rollover, Tendulkar crossed the 15 km barrier and continued to celebrate the feat with beautiful, clean orders off Andrew Hall.
Although Tendulkar’s heats are reminiscent of the driving form he had in 1998, it would not be a decisive moment when the drummer played against Thandi Shabalala, falling in the 90s for a second consecutive heat. But this move prepared Tendulkar for a brilliant year. Against England in the Natwest series, Tendulkar scored 374 points in seven innings with an average of 53.52, including scores of 99, 94 and 71.
Later, against Pakistan at home, Tendulkar scored 259 points in five games against Pakistan, even if a century has passed him by. He was fired for 97 and 99 in the series with the draft of the century finally breaking with a 117 winner of the match not opposed to Australia in the final.
Tendulkar’s stick really peaked, as he scored 2,149 points in ODI between 2008 and 2011 with seven centuries. In 2010, he became the first man to win an ODI double and was named Wisden’s cricketer of the year, when he had more than 1,500 tries, including an average of seven centuries 78.