The most famous cricket saying in India is – If cricket is a religion, then Sachin is GOD
And Sachin indeed has produced some wonderful innings in which India has won handsomely or nail-bittingly or has lost in agonishing fashions. Nothing divides the nation like the way people debate on whether Sachin has led the team to victory or not in the 435 matches that he has played till now. So when India came close to toppling Australia’s 350, heavily depending on Sachin’s 175, people debated the next day in office, in coffee shops, in meeting rooms and wherever…if he yet again gave away his wicket when he could have taken the team to victory???
Vickerman has covered the topic pretty well and I can’t agree more with him. I would just like to point out a few facts before we build myths about Sachin’s contribution to the team. Couple of my colleagues and friends in office came with the now very fashionable statements – “yet again Sachin scores a century in a losing match”, “most of Sachin’s centuries have been in vain” etc etc. So I thought I need to demystify these generalisations…so cricinfo.com, here I come…
This is Sachin’s ODI batting record. He has scored 45 centuries for India.
no. of matches India won when he has scored a century – 33
no of matches India has lost when he has scored a century – 12
victory % of India when Sachin has scored a century – 73%
In a long career(or longest career in ODI), making 45 centuries(the next best is Ricky Ponting with 28),taking India to victory in 73% of the matches when he has scored a century is a pretty good record if you can recollect that he has opened in almost all the matches in which he has scored a century.
And now just for comparison, lets compare how Ponting has fared in his ODI career. At the outset itself it is an unfair comparison because you are comparing someone who has played 435 ODIs to someone who has played 329 matches. And Ponting played in teams which featured such good finishers like Bevan, Hussey, Steve Waugh and Gilchrist to name a few. But for the record he has scored 28 centuries and 24 of them have come in victories which puts his success at 85%, which is not all that great. Let him score 45 and then we will compare 🙂