Centurion: It was a century that the entire nation was eagerly awaiting from Sachin Tendulkar and he ensured that Indians had a ‘Super Sunday’ as he completed a historic 50th Test century against South Africa at the Centurion on Sunday.
The moment Sachin found a gap through the extra cover region to push a Dale Steyn delivery for a single, the entire stadium stood up to salute one of the true legends of the game.
It is Sachin’s 175th Test match --- most by any player in the history of the game. It took him four Test matches to reach the milestone after having scored his 49th against Australia in October this year.
He played 197 deliveries and 258 minutes to reach the milestone. He hit 12 boundaries and a big six over long-off with left-arm spinner Paul Harris being the sufferer. This is his seventh century in the year 2010.
If some of the Indian players like Sreesanth were seen saluting Sachin on his achievement, South African players like skipper Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla congratulated the maestro.
The century should rank among one of the best considering the amount of pressure Indian team are in after being all out for a paltry 136 in the first innings.
With established top-order players like Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Suresh Raina and VVS Laxman back in the pavilion, Sachin found an able ally in skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni who not only showed positive intent but also let the maestro play his natural game.
This is Sachin’s fourth Test century on South African soil and indeed one he would cherish the most.
Incidentally, it was the same opponents South Africa against whom he scored the first ever double hundred by a player in ODIs at Gwalior earlier this year.