On this day: Sachin Tendulkar scores his 100th hundred in international cricket

A dab towards the square leg and there it was! An achievement that was so mind-boggling that it wasn’t thought of until Sachin Tendulkar turned it into a statistic. International centuries was not a cricket metric until the Indian legend racked up so many. After piling up 51 Test tons and 48 ODI centuries, the Master Blaster finally touched the golden number of 100 hundreds with his 114-run knock against Bangladesh in Dhaka. This Asia Cup encounter took place on 16th March 2012.

The wait of the hundredth

Tendulkar’s 111 against South Africa in Nagpur during a 2011 World Cup encounter was his 99th century in international cricket. After this ton, the anticipation for the elusive 100th 100 began in full cry. It grew louder in Mohali where he reached 85 against Pakistan in the semi-final. There was an innings of 91 at The Oval and a knock 94 on his home turf, Mumbai versus West Indies in Tests but the three-figure mark kept slipping away.

The 100th hundred

The 2012 Asia Cup included hosts Bangladesh alongside India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. India defeated Sri Lanka in their opening encounter. In the next game at Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur, Bangladesh won the toss and chose to field first.

Batting on a typically slow and low Bangladesh pitch, India exercised caution. Yet, the Master Blaster was alert to boundary-scoring opportunities. He pounced swiftly on anything wide and short outside the off stump. 20 out of his first 24 runs came via boundaries. He went on to forge a 148-run partnership with Virat Kohli for the 2nd wicket. As Tendulkar closed in on his century, Raina arrived at the crease.

With the death overs approaching, Tendulkar and Raina kept the scoreboard moving with quick singles. And then on the 4th ball of the 44th over, the moment arrived. Tendulkar gently flicked Shakib Al Hasan’s delivery to the leg side to complete a historic ton. He removed his helmet, bowed to the heavens and acknowledged applauses as he finally ticked off the milestone the cricketing fraternity was holding its breath upon.

“I was not thinking about the milestone, the media started all this; wherever I went, the restaurant, room service, everyone was talking about the 100th hundred. Nobody talked about my 99 hundreds. It became mentally tough for me because nobody talked about my 99 hundreds…After scoring 99 tons you are made to realise the value of a hundred. It’s not easy, it was a testing period, but there were many people who helped me,” Tendulkar commented.

Tendulkar’s hundred international hundreds is still a record that remains untouched. Virat Kohli is second on the list but he is still 25 centuries away from this illustrious milestone.

Most centuries in international cricket

Sachin Tendulkar 100, Matches 664

Virat Kohli 75, Matches 494

Ricky Ponting 71, Matches 560

Kumar Sangakkara 63, Matches 594

Here is an opposition-wise break-up of Tendulkar’s 100 international centuries. He struck 1/5th of his total centuries against Australia.

OpponentsTest centuriesODI centuries
v England72
v Australia119
v South Africa75
v Sri Lanka98
v West Indies34
v New Zealand45
v Pakistan25
v Zimbabwe35
v Bangladesh51
v Namibia..1
v Kenya..4