IPL 2020: Ranking Sachin Tendulkar’s five best innings from the IPL
Sachin Tendulkar, contrary to popular theory, was an immensely successful T20 cricketer. His heroics in IPL 2010, where he won the Orange Cap, should be proof enough for his genius.
Mumbai Indians, the most successful team in Indian Premier League (IPL) history, will once again be in the limelight on 19th of December as the franchises assemble for the player auction in Kolkata. The Mumbai-based team were the 2019 champions and will go into another campaign as favourites with Indian opener Rohit Sharma set to lead the team once again. Retired Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardane will be the head coach while the bowling united will be coached by former New Zealand pacer Shane Bond.
The success mantra for the Reliance group-owned franchise has always been in recruiting the best in the business for their squad. From Captain Rohit Sharma to West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard, the team has seen some of the best in the sport wear the sparkling blue jersey with pride. But it all started with the biggest, arguably the best cricketer in the history of limited overs cricket – Sachin Tendulkar.
While the master blaster doesn’t always get credit for his efforts in the T20 cricket, he was a huge presence in the squad for the Mumbai in their formative years, and played some crucial knocks for the team. He has also been a think-tank for the Mumbai teams post his retirement and continues to be associated with the franchise.
Here are five instances from the IPL where Sachin Tendulkar reminded everyone why he is considered a cricket God.
5) Sachin storm hits the Knight Riders (2009)
South Africa is Sachin's home away from home. The way he dominated the bowlers in the 2003 World Cup where he shouldered Indian to the cusp on a World Cup title is proof of his love for the South African pitches. The country was the host to IPL's second season and in Port Elizabeth, against a talented Kolkata Knight Riders side, Sachin pulled off one of his best innings in a Mumbai shirt.
The pitch had plenty to offer for the pacers but the Master Blaster judged the conditions perfectly to give the Mumbai side a grand opening. Partnering him at the other end of Sri Lankan stalwart Sanath Jayasuriya and together the two secured 127 runs before the opening wicket. The highlight of the match was Sachin's sixes off Ajantha Mendia, the mystery spinners that Indians had struggled to contain in the 2007 ODI World Cup. Sachin's 68 from 45 balls steered the team to a tally of 187 in the 20 overs which proved too much for KKR to chase.
4) A royal onslaught (2010)
Sachin's experience and talent meant he could pace the innings according to what the situation demanded. One such example was his two-paced knock against Rajasthan Royals in 2010. With Sanath Jayasuriya and Ambati Rayudu gone in quick succession, Tendulkar anchored the Mumbai innings in the initial stages of the game.
The time spent on the crease helped Tendulkar analyse the situation and he changed his approach in the final stages to help Mumbai Indians reach a respectable tally. He smashed arch-rival and opposition captain Shane Warne for three boundaries in an over as he switched to his beast mode. Siddarth Trivedi suffered the most under the hands of the blaster though, going for 20 runs in an over. Sachin remained 89* off just 59 balls with 10 fours and two sixes and his team reached a commendable 174 - a tally the Royals could not match.
3) Chasing Super Kings (2010)
Chasing a big total of 180 against Chennai Super Kings, Sachin hit 72 runs of 52 balls to see Mumbai through. Playing in front of a packed audience at Brabourne, CSK had raced to a good start with Suresh Raina and Badrinath leading the pack. But Sachin had no plans of letting his home crowd go home without a victory.
With a well-calculated innings that saw him hitting eight fours and one six, Sachin guided Mumbai to safety. The match also sowed the seeds for a rivalry that will go on to dominate the Indian Premier League for ages. MS Dhoni's CSK versus Rohit Sharma's Mumbai Indians will again be the most interesting rivalry when the season starts in the summer.
2) Decoding the devils (2010)
The 2010 IPL season was without doubt Sachin Tendulkar's best season in the Indian Premier League. He performed consistently throughout the season and only failed to deliver in the final which unfortunately Mumbai went on to lose. The Master Blaster was in fact adjudged the player of the series and his knock against Delhi Daredevils was yet-another example of why he thoroughly deserved to win the award. He was also the recipient of the Orange Cap at the end of tournament for maximum runs.
The Mumbai opener smashed 63 runs from just 32 balls with a strike rate close to 200 as MI scored a whopping 218 against a hapless Delhi team. The innings was filled with swag and unconventional cricket shots that also showed how the Little Master had mastered the shortest format of the game in quick time.
1) Taming the Tuskers (2011)
What record does Sachin Tendulkar not have in cricket? The record-setter ensured he jumped into elite category of the sport when he smashed a century in 66 balls against IPL 2011's new entrants Kochi Tuskers in Mumbai. Not so surprisingly, Sachin scored the runs while still maintaining the poise of a Test match opener (what is it that the man can't do?).
It was also in a sense a poetic justice to see the Blaster score his maiden T20 hundred in front of packed Wankhede crowd - the same stadium where India, anchored by Tendulkar, defeated Sri Lanka to clinch the ODI World Cup that year.
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