Sachin Tendulkar, often addressed to as ‘The God Of Cricket’, has featured in 664 international matches, including 200 Tests. Tendulkar made his debut at the age of 16 against a mighty Pakistan bowling line-up with the likes of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, and Imran Khan.
Tendulkar failed miserably in his first few Tests but the 57 he scored with a broken nose was unarguably the turning point of his Test career. His confidence as a 16-year-old rose to new heights after that knock and it helped India draw the game.
Over the course of his career, Tendulkar scored 100 hundreds, including 51 Test hundreds. Out of those 51, 29 came away from home. On this note, let us take a look at five most memorable 100s by Sachin Tendulkar on overseas tours.
#5. 116 v Australia, Melbourne(1999)
On a hot day in Melbourne, the capacity crowd of 60,000 was to see a masterclass from the Master Blaster in the boxing day Test match. The Australians had a fierce bowling attack. Glenn McGrath, debutant Brett Lee and Damien Fleming were the three pacers alongside the magician Shane Warne as the lone spinner.
The Kangaroos scored 405 in their first innings and the Indians were off to another horrible start as they lost both their openers early. Tendulkar walked out to bat at number four but soon after his arrival, Rahul Dravid gave his wicket away.
With India being reduced to 31 for 3 Tendulkar decided to counter-attack and he did it with the utmost perfection. The flamboyant batsman scored 116 off 191 balls with nine fours and a six to his name. While the second highest scorer was Ganguly with a mere 31, the Master Blaster helped India to 238.
However, his efforts went in vain as India lost the Test match. Tendulkar, though, was still awarded the man of the match award for his 116 and 52.
#4. 114 v Australia, Perth (1992)
The 90s were truly dominated by the Kangaroos. Each and every game they played was looked at keenly. However, their on-field attitude was heavily criticized by the sub-continental fans and in contrast to that, it was highly appreciated by the Australian fans.
Perth was considered one of the toughest tracks to bat on in the world. With reasonable bounce and pace, the track offered little for the batsmen. A batsman without suitable technique could hardly survive on a track like Perth.
The Aussies scored 346 in their first innings and the Indian side lost two wickets for 70 odd runs before the master stepped on the ground and scored a gutsy 114.
Adjusting to the pace and bounce, he hit some glorious back foot punches and cover drives on the up. He smashed 16 boundaries in his 161 ball century. Amidst the sledging, Tendulkar answered the Australian critics with the willow in hand albeit India went on to lose the game by 300 runs.
#3. 119 v England, Old Trafford (1990)
Team India was up against one of the best English teams to have ever taken the field. England back then was considered the giants of the game at home and were led by Graham Gooch.
A young 17-year-old Sachin Tendulkar was up against some aggressive bowlers on a swinging wicket with conditions assisting the pacers.
England amassed 519 in their first innings and the Indians, in reply, scored 432 with the Master Blaster contributing 68 to the total. The hosts declared their second innings and set India a target of 408, who were cruising at 109-2 before a flurry of wickets put them on the backfoot. They were reduced to 127 for 5.
The arrival of the number seven batsman saw the beginning of a new era. An era that would define world cricket in the coming years. Sachin Tendulkar entered the field with determination in his eyes and every step he took on the day was a step towards a new career. Tendulkar scored his maiden Test hundred that day.
In conditions that were assisting both the pacers and the spinners, the Master Blaster notched up one of the finest centuries of his career. He remained unbeaten on 119 of 189 balls with 17 boundaries and helped India to save the Test match.
#2. 122 v England, Birmingham (1996)
Birmingham was famous for producing pitches that would be a treat for the fast bowlers. The batsmen had to restrict their shots on these seaming pitches. This was the first Test of India’s tour to England 1996 and skipper Mohammad Azharuddin won the toss and elected to bat first. The Englishmen bundled the Indians out for a modest 214.
In reply to India’s 214, the English batsmen scored 313, gaining a 99-run-lead. India’s horrific second innings began as they lost four wickets at the score of 36. Tendulkar was standing alone at the other end thinking of a batsman who could show some resilience to pile up runs alongside him. He was stranded but he single-handedly guided his side to 219.
Tendulkar piled up 122 off 177 deliveries, hitting 19 fours and a six. No other batsman could contribute much to the total as the second highest scorer of the innings was Sanjay Manjrekar who scored 18 runs. England chased down 121 easily to take an early lead in the series.
This is considered to be one of the best overseas hundred that the Master Blaster scored. The brilliance of this innings can be seen from the difference between the first and the second highest run scorer of the innings.
#1. 241 v Australia, Sydney(2004)
The best overseas innings that the great man ever played. The 4th Test between hosts Australia and India was taking place at the Sydney Cricket Ground(SCG). Tendulkar had been dismissed around the off stump in almost every inning of this tour. All international teams had an eye on this series as they had finally figured out a way to get Tendulkar out.
However, things unfolded in a different manner on this occasion. India were batting first on what was believed to be a flat wicket with a bit of carry. Tendulkar walked in at 128-2. Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie, and southpaw Nathan Bracken started with their usual routine of bowling the off stump line to Tendulkar.
The extravagant drives were not coming out and it seemed as if Tendulkar had kept them in his ‘not to be taken out’ set of weapons. He was not tempted to drive the ball and kept leaving everything outside the off stump.
Any delivery which was bowled at the middle or leg stump was dispatched to the boundary by a short arm jab or a flick. The leg glances were also coming out wonderfully.
The day belonged to Tendulkar as he scored the majority of his runs on the leg side. All that the Aussie bowlers managed to do that day was appreciate the heroics of India’s finest.
Tendulkar hit 33 boundaries in his 241 and scored 186 out of his 241 runs on the leg side. He targeted the part-timer Simon Katich, taking him for 50 runs off 57 deliveries.
This was Tendulkar’s greatest innings on foreign soil in Test match cricket.