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'Grandfather' Tendulkar set to scale another peak

Last updated on: August 2, 2010 15:37 IST

'Tendulkar is a legend and still wants to improve'

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Harish Kotian

The 'grandfather' of Indian cricket is officially set to become the 'grandfather' of international cricket.

Sachin Tendulkar will become the most capped player in Test history when he plays in the third and final Test against Sri Lanka, beginning in Colombo, on Thursday.

The Mumbai batting icon, 37, will surpass former Australia captain Steve Waugh when he plays in a world record 169th Test.

Tendulkar, who made his Test debut in November 1989 against Pakistan, has broken every possible batting record in international cricket, including those for most runs and centuries in both formats -- ODI and Test cricket.

Yuvraj Singh had revealed last year that the younger players in the squad fondly refer to Tendulkar as "grandfather".

"We call him grandfather. Someone who has played the game for so long and is a legend and still wants to improve; it is just amazing. He still wants to bowl in the nets, he still wants to improve," Yuvraj had said.

Photographs: Reuters


Image: Sachin Tendulkar

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Tendulkar getting better with age

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The maestro has scored five centuries, for a tally of 772 runs in six matches played in 2010, and seems to be getting better with age. There is no stopping him even today after having played continuously for more than 20 years in international cricket.

His record in Test cricket speaks for itself: 13,742 runs in 168 Tests, at an average of 56.08, inclusive of 48 hundreds and 55 half-centuries.

Tendulkar is also close to claiming the record of most capped player in ODIs. He has played 442 one-day internationals, two short of Sri Lankan Sanath Jayasuriya's record of 444. He has 17,598 runs at an average of 45.12, having hit 46 centuries, inclusive of the world record double hundred. But that record will have to wait since Tendulkar has been rested for the forthcoming tri-series in Sri Lanka, while Jayasuriya, if selected, may stretch that record a little bit.

For the moment, though, Tendulkar will be looking to cap the record for most Test appearance with a match-winning century against Sri Lanka that would also help India level the three-match series.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar

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'I would want to score as many runs as possible'

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No player in the history of the game has dished out such consistent performances in both formats of the game for such a long career.

The master batsman opted out of the latest format, that is Twenty20 cricket, to keep his body fresh for Test cricket, which he still rates quite highly.

He is also desperate to win the 50-overs World Cup, the one title that has deserted him, and the 2011 tournament to be hosted in the suncontinent provides him the ideal opportunity to triumph in front of his home fans.

Having achieved the double century in ODIs, his fans are now hoping that he can go on and score his maiden triple-century in Tests.

But Tendulkar is relaxed when it comes to talking about records.

"People look at records, not me. I would want to score as many runs as possible. Whenever it comes, it comes. It is never too late. I will keep trying, but that is not the end of the world to me. There are many more things to cricket, and that is where the focus is. It's not on records. If it has to come, it will come," he said after the second Test in Colombo, on Friday.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar

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'It seems he can play till 50 years'

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It looks unlikely that anyone can come close to breaking Tendulkar's record for most Test appearances in the next decade or so, at least. While Waugh and Allan Border  (156) have quit cricket, Australia captain Ricky Ponting trails the Mumbaikar by a long distance and is fourth on the list with 146 appearances.

Rahul Dravid has made the second most appearances for India in Tests, having played 141 Tests, including one for the ICC World XI.

It was only apt that Waugh, in April, saluted Tendulkar's genius, saying there is no reason why he cannot carry on playing for India till he is 50.

"He is improving day by day and in his prime form. Looking at the way [Sachin] Tendulkar is playing, it seems he can play till 50 years," Waugh had said.

Most Test appearances (Top 10)

Player

Tests

Status

S Tendulkar (India)

168

Playing

S Waugh (Aus)

168

Retired

Allan Border (Aus)

156

Retired

Ricky Ponting (Aus)

146

Playing

Shane Warne (Aus)

145

Retired

Rahul Dravid (India/ICC World XI)

141

Playing

Jacques Kallis (SA/ICC World XI)

140

Playing

Mark Boucher (SA/ICC World XI)

134

Playing

M Muralitharan (SL/ICC World XI)

133

Retired

Alec Stewart (England)

133

Retired

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most Test appearances by Indian players (Top 10)

Player

Tests

Status

Sachin Tendulkar

168

Playing

Rahul Dravid

140

Playing

Anil Kumble

132

Retired

Kapil Dev

131

Retired

Sunil Gavaskar

125

Retired

Dilip Vengsarkar

116

Retired

Sourav Ganguly

113

Retired

VVS Laxman

112

Playing

Mohammad Azharuddin

99

Retired

Gundappa Viswanath

91

Retired


Image: Sachin Tendulkar

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