On This Day – March 18, 2012: The Great Sachin Tendulkar Plays His Last ODI
Sachin Tendulkar scored a quickfire 52 off 48 deliveries against Pakistan in the Asia Cup in Dhaka in 2012 in what was his last appearance for India in ODI cricket. Pakistan had posted a massive 329 for the loss of six wickets with openers Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed recording hundreds. The innings was given the impetus at the death by, interestingly, Younis Khan who scored 52 off just 34 deliveries. Ashok Dinda returned with two wickets for India.
With the Pakistan bowling line-up comprising the likes of Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz and Saeed Ajmal, India’s task was cut out in the chase. To make matters worse, they lost the wicket of Gautam Gambhir in the very first over. India needed their greatest ODI batsman Tendulkar to deliver. A new sensation named Virat Kohli joined him at number three and the pair put together a match-changing partnership of 133 in under 20 overs. The old superstar matched the country’s next superstar shot for shot and had a similar strike rate in the 118-ball stand. Tendulkar contributed with a 48-ball 52 while Kohli scored 73 off 68 deliveries.
Tendulkar hammered five fours and a six and showed glimpses of his destructive genius in what was his last innings in ODI cricket. Kohli went on to record a sensational 183 off just 148 deliveries and with good support from Rohit Sharma took India to a stunning six-wicket win with 13 balls to spare. Umar Gul was taken for 7.36 runs per over and Riaz conceded 50 off his 4 overs in the match.
Tendulkar retired from the format after playing a record 463 matches – the maximum in ODI history. He aggregated 18426 runs in 452 innings at an average of 44.83 and strike rate of 86.23. No one has scored more runs in the format than the Indian legend. His 49 hundreds and 96 fifties are also the maximum in ODI cricket history. Virat Kohli with 43 hundreds is at number two. Tendulkar was also the first batsman to register a double hundred in ODI cricket.
Tendulkar’s career changed dramatically when he started to open for India. He scored a brilliant 82 off just 49 deliveries against New Zealand in Auckland on the 27th of March, 1994 – the first time he came to bat as an opener for the country in ODI cricket. A new star and a new legend was born.
He aggregated 15310 runs in 340 ODI innings as opener at an average of 48.29 and strike rate of 88.04 including 45 hundreds and 75 fifties. He piled on the runs in the 1996, 2003 and 2011 World Cups