Rise of Sachin
Sachins performance through the years 1994 1999 coincided with his physical peak, in his early twenties. On the day of the Hindu festival Holi, Tendulkar was told to open the batting at Auckland against New Zealand in 1994. He went on to make 82 runs off 49 balls. He scored his first ODI century on September 9, 1994 against Australia in Sri Lanka at Colombo. It had taken him 79 ODIs to score a century.Tendulkars rise continued when he was the leading run scorer at the 1996 Cricket World Cup, topping the batting averages whilst scoring two centuries. He was the only Indian batsman to perform in the infamous semifinal of that World Cup.This was the beginning of a period at the top of the batting world, culminating in the Australian tour of India in early 1998, with Tendulkar scoring three consecutive centuries. These were characterized by a premeditated plan to target Australian spinners Shane Warne and Gavin Robertson, to whom he regularly charged down the pitch to drive over the infield. This technique worked as India beat Australia. The test match success was followed by two scintillating knocks in Sharjah where he scored two consecutive centuries in a mustwin game and then in finals against Australia tormenting Shane Warne once again. Following the series Warne ruefully joked that he was having nightmares about his Indian nemesis. He also had a role with the ball in that series, including a 5 wicket haul in an ODI. Set 310 runs to win, Australia were cruising comfortably at 3 for 203 in the 31st over when Tendulkar turned the match for India taking wickets of Michael Bevan, Steve Waugh, Darren Lehmann, Tom Moody and Damien Martyn for just 32 runs in 10 overs.
Tendulkar singlehandedly won the ICC 1998 quarterfinal at Dhaka to pave way for Indias entry into the semifinals, when he took 4 Australian wickets after scoring 141 runs in just 128 balls. The worst was yet to come as Professor Ramesh Tendulkar, Tendulkars father, died in the middle of the 1999 Cricket World Cup. Tendulkar flew back to India to attend the final rituals of his father, missing the match against Zimbabwe. However, he returned with a bang to the World cup scoring a century (unbeaten 140 off 101 balls) in his very next match against Kenya in Bristol. He dedicated this century to his father.Tendulkar continued his good form in Test cricket in 2001 and 2002, with some pivotal performances with both bat and ball. Tendulkar took three wickets on the final day of the famous Kolkata Test against Australia in 2001. Tendulkar took the key wickets of Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist, centurions in the previous test.
Tendulkar made 673 runs in 11 matches in the 2003 Cricket World Cup, helping India reach the final. While Australia retained the trophy that they had won in 1999, Tendulkar was given the Man of the Tournament award. The drawn series as India toured Australia in 2003/04 saw Tendulkar making his mark in the last Test of the series, with 241 in Sydney, putting India in a virtually unbeatable position. He followed up the innings with an unbeaten 50 in the second innings of the test and then an unbeaten 194 against Pakistan at Multan in the following series. The 194 was controversial in that he was stranded prior to reaching his double century as a result of a declaration by Rahul Dravid. In meeting with the press that evening, Tendulkar responded to a question on missing 200 against Pakistan by stating that he was disappointed and that the declaration had taken him by surprise.On December 10, 2005 at Feroz Shah Kotla, Tendulkar scored his recordbreaking 35th Test century, against the Sri Lankans. On February 6, 2006, he scored his 39th ODI hundred, in a match against Pakistan. He followed with a runaball 42 in the second oneday international against Pakistan on February 11, 2006, and then a 95 in hostile, seaming conditions on February 13, 2006 in Lahore, which set up an Indian victory.