There was a time in ODIs when it was hard for a batsman to score more than 150 runs in an innings. But it was in 2010, on this day that the Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar completely changed the complexion of the game. The Indian batsman brought up the first double-hundred in men’s ODI cricket history during a match against South Africa in Gwalior. Sachin scored 200 not-out from just 147 deliveries, and his innings included 25 fours and three sixes. This was then the highest individual ODI score ever at that point in time. Prior to the monumental effort by Sachin, Saeed Anwar and Charles Coventry (194) jointly held this record.
Tendulkar’s record was overtaken by teammate Virender Sehwag, who scored 219 against the West Indies, close to two years later. Since then six more double hundreds have been scored, and three alone from the bat of Rohit Sharma.
In the match, courtesy Sachin’s blistering innings, India posted a mammoth 401-runs on the board. He was well supported at the other end by Dinesh Karthik (79) and MS Dhoni (68). South African bowlers were hammered all around the park and pacer Wayne Parnell gave away 95 runs in his quota of 10 overs.
#OnThisDay in 2010, @sachin_rt scored the first ever double-century in men’s ODI history.The Little Master took just 147 balls to get there against South Africa.Since then, there have been seven double-hundreds in the format. pic.twitter.com/hAvyVQZk5g
— ICC (@ICC) February 24, 2021
After the run-fest, it was always going to be easy for the Indians to clinch the match. But not before an AB de Villiers special. The right-hand batsman scored a brilliant 114 runs from just 101 balls, but that was not enough to take his side to the finish line. The Indians posted a 153-run victory.
Tendulkar would go on to retire from the game just 3 years later but his contribution to the gentlemen’s game goes beyond runs and artistry.
In 2012, he became the first player to score 100 international tons besides being miles ahead in terms of runs scored in Tests and ODIs.
He didn’t just pile up those runs for the team, he also helped others around him improve their game and contribute in a big way, especially away from home.
Consequently post mid-90s, India produced a slew of master batsmen, and while their own talent was undeniable, harnessing in many ways was done by Tendulkar.
He retired from international cricket in 2013 and hours after his last game was conferred the highest civilian award in India, the Bharat Ratna, a first for a sportsperson.
His talent and achievements consistent over more than two decades made him a giant of a player, and even years after quitting the game he remains India’s favourite son.