ODI cricket has a long history. Starting as 60 over per side, the ODI eventually turned into a 50 overs per side game. Scoring a hundred in this shorter format of the game was a challenge in itself. But it happened, and with increasing strike rates of batters, there was a time when individual scores close to 200 were reached by batters who barely missed register the double hundred. While in Women's cricket, Belinda Clark had already done it in 1998 with a blistering knock of 228, there was no instance of the same feat in men's cricket. It took 12 long years when in 2010, the first double hundred in men's cricket was registered. And it was registered by the greatest player to have ever played the game, master blaster, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.
For the God of cricket, it was just another day at the office when he created the record. But for billions of cricket fans across the globe, it was a moment to rejoice. They witnessed the history in making. Everyone had their eyes on the match happening in Gwalior. The single Little Master hit when he was on 199, and the golden words by Ravi Shastri saying "Get's it. The first man on the planet to reach 200, and its the Superman from India!" is something which the cricket fans will have in their hearts forever. The 37-year-old youngster had created history.
Sachin's record at Gwalior (also on any ground) was staggering. And continuing his purple patch at the venue, he started to hit the South African attack in all directions. The likes of Steyn, Parnell, Langveldt, Kallis were dismantled by the bat of the GOAT. Despite losing the dangerous Sehwag early, Sachin continued to dominate the bowlers. And he was well supported by Dinesh Karthik, who scored 79 in the match.
He showed no mercy on the bowlers. Every single punishable ball was sent to the fence or landed in the stands. Rarely one has seen the great Dale Steyn having no answers to the batters. This was one of those moments when it happened. Steyn was left in awe and admiration of the Little Master, when his ball bowled wide off was flicked to mid-on by Sachin who shuffled and displayed his wrist work. That shot was sufficient enough for everyone to understand what touches the little master was. He displayed his class, and as always his flick, cover drive, square cut, sweep, straight drives, and his ability to pierce the gap even with a 5-degree angle was a treat to watch for the cricket World.
Earlier too, Sachin had reached almost near to 200, but couldn't make it. Against New Zealand in 2000, he had registered 186. In 2009, he scored a magnificent 175 while chasing 350 against the Aussies, and in 2009 again he missed a chance to register 200 when he was retired hurt on 167 playing in New Zealand against the Kiwis. Fans were eager to see the feat come from Master's bat this time. And they knew it could happen when the master reached in his 190s in the 45th over itself.
But they had to wait. Master had reached 199 in the 47th over itself. In one of the rarest instances, the Indians did not want MS Dhoni to hit more boundaries to increase the score. They just wanted him to give strike to Master to witness history. But MS was firm to up the score, and he went on to hit sixes. Looking from the team's perspective, Sachin was happy to give strike to MS by running a single on the last bowl of every over after the 47th (Afterall all these legends, be it Sachin, or MS have always thought about the team first rather than their performance). With the last over in Olah, and Still MS not giving the single, Indian fans' heartbeats were rising. But a fine stop on the boundary from Hashim Amla, allowed the strike to come back to Sachin, who pushed the very next ball and made it to the history books (for 'n'th time).
The cricketing world rejoiced the incident. Even the South Africans congratulated the great man, as they were at the receiving end of something very very special. The first two hundred in men's cricket had been registered. Post that Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, Chris Gayle, Martin Guptill have registered double hundreds, but the first one is always special. And to make it even special, it is the only double hundred, where the batter was not given a chance again due to dropped catches, which happened in all other two hundred excluding the one which came from Sachin.
The Gwalior pitch was fortunate to witness the greatest player create history on its venue. Every cricket fan who watched the innings is blessed to be a part of a generation who saw Sachin Tendulkar bat. In the years to come, there will be a few more double hundreds in ODI which will come, but the first one coming from the God of cricket at the age of 37 against a strong bowling attack of South Africa, will always hold the most special place in the hearts of fans forever. Thank you, Sachin 💙
Coincidentally, we, team Stayfeatured also share our 1St anniversary today. We are really happy to share the day with the day history was created by Sachin Tendulkar. 24 is a lucky number for all of us. It marks the birth date of Sachin Tendulkar (24 April), it marks the date of our author's birthdate (24 June) and it marks the date when we started (24 February). Thank you for your support till now. Keep supporting in the form of your wishes and blessings.
Authored By:- Ashwin Jangam ( Cricket Analyst, Host and Entertainer)
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