Power Ranking Sachin Tendulkar's Best Years in International Cricket

Alex Telfer@@troyspeerFeatured ColumnistOctober 22, 2013

Power Ranking Sachin Tendulkar's Best Years in International Cricket

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    Sachin Tendulkar's 200th Test Match will be his last as the legendary batsman recently announced he will retire at the end of the forthcoming series against the West Indies.

    Since making his debut at the age of just 16, the Little Master has scored more runs than anyone else in the history of Test and ODI cricket.

     MatchesInningsNot OutsRunsHSAverage50100

    It hasn't always been plain sailing however. Along the way, Tendulkar has battled injuries, loss of form and even calls for him to retire but deservedly, the legend will get to depart on his own terms next month.

    Read on as Bleacher Report looks back over his career to pick out the top six seasons, based on run quantity and/or value of innings, from the Indian superstar's 25-year tenure.

6: 1992

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    Test Match Runs: 419

    Average: 41.90

    50s/100s: 0/3

    ODI Runs: 704

    Average: 39.11

    50s/100s: 6/0

    Although perhaps not prolific in terms of numbers, Tendulkar's 114 against the Australians on a wicked WACA wicket (try saying that 10 times in a row) was a key moment in his career.

    At that point in time, despite making his debut in 1989, the Mumbai man was still trying to establish himself in the upper echelons of the game.

    A measured hundred against England at Lord's in 1990 was his only triple-figure Test score until a tour of Australia in 1992.

    Tendulkar registered 142 in Sydney before his innings of 114 against a rampant Aussie side on a rapid bouncy Perth pitch truly announced his arrival on the world stage.

5: 2002

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    Test Match Runs: 1392

    Average: 55.68

    50s/100s: 5/4

    ODI Runs: 741

    Average: 52.93

    50s/100s: 3/2

    Some would say that Tendulkar's career began to decline after 2002, but it couldn't go much higher after a hugely prolific 12 months in terms of run accumulation.

    Tons versus Zimbabwe, England and two against the West Indies helped the Little Master total well over 1,000 runs in the long form of the game in which he also passed his 100-appearance milestone.

    In white-ball cricket Tendulkar posted a healthy average of 52.93 and added two more centuries to help India share the Champions Trophy with Sri Lanka.

4: 1996

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    Test Match Runs: 623

    Average: 41.53

    50s/100s: 2/2

    ODI Runs: 1611

    Average: 53.70

    50s/100s: 9/6

    Relatively speaking Tendulkar made a slow start to his ODI career, taking 79 matches to register his first century.

    But after three tons in 1994 and one in 1995, the Little Master went ballistic in 1996 by blasting six triple-figure scores in limited-overs cricket alone.

    Tendulkar was the leading run scorer at the 1996 World Cup where he compiled two centuries in among a personal haul of 523 runs although he couldn't help his country progress beyond the semi-finals.

    While two more centuries against Pakistan, in the space of 10 days in April, further cemented him into the heart of India's ardent fans.

3: 1999

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    Test Match Runs: 1088

    Average: 68.00

    50s/100s: 4/5

    ODI Runs: 843

    Average: 42.15

    50s/100s: 1/3

    Riding a rich vein of form, Tendulkar kept up his relentless quest for runs in 1999, notching up eight more centuries.

    He delivered his first double century in Test cricket against New Zealand in Ahmedabad.

    But an even more impressive innings was during a tense run chase as India needed 271 to beat rivals Pakistan on a turning wicket in Chennai.

    The Little Master batted superbly to make 136 on a difficult pitch but fell with 17 runs still required and had to watch as his side crumbled to defeat.

    The 1999 World Cup was a disappointment for India as they failed to get past the Super 6 stage. but Tendulkar overcame the death of his father during the tournament to score an emotional century in his very next innings against Kenya.

2: 2010

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    Test Match Runs: 1562

    Average: 78.10

    50s/100s: 5/7

    ODI Runs: 204

    Average: 204.00

    50s/100s: 0/1

    At the ripe old age of 37, and with the clamour for Tendulkar to retire escalating, 2010 proved to be one of his most prolific seasons of Test cricket.

    He accumulated over 1,500 runs with an incredible seven centuries including three against a South Africa side, over two different series, whose bowling attack was led by Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel.

    At Bangalore for the second Test of Australia's tour of India, Tendulkar recorded the sixth double century of his career finishing on 214 to help his country win a crucial match.

    And although his limited-overs efforts were reduced to just two games, the Little Master scored another double ton, this one the first ever ODI double century, against the long-suffering Proteas.

    To cap a sensational 12 months, Tendulkar won the 2010 Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for cricketer of the year at the ICC awards.

1: 1998

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    Test Match Runs: 647

    Average: 80.88

    50s/100s: 1/3

    ODI Runs: 1894

    Average: 65.31

    50s/100s: 7/9

    This was the period that Tendulkar's skills were at their sharpest as evidenced by his haul of 2,500 international runs and an incredible twelve centuries.

    Amazingly in one calandar year, the Little Master hit six triple-figure scores against the Australians alone giving legendary leg spinner, Shane Warne, nightmares.

    Two of the tons plundered off the Baggy Greens were in tense must-win ODI scenarios and helped guide India to Coca-Cola Cup success in Sharjah.

    Once more the Aussies were the victims at the ICC Champions Trophy quarterfinal in Dhaka where Tendulkar scored 141 runs off just 128 balls and chipped in with four wickets for good measure.

    Former Indian captain, Anshuman Gaekwad, had this to say about Tendulkar in 1998 according to www.dnaindia.com:

    For me his two hundreds at Chennai: 155 not out against Australia and 136 against Pakistan and his twin tons at Sharjah were among the best innings he has ever played.