The Part 1 on the topic “Top Innings by Indian Batsmen That Meant More Than A Century ” is listed here.
The part of this articles includes Sachin Tendulkar’s 98 against pakistan at Centurion, Gautam Gambhir’s World Cup winning knock of 97 against Sri Lanka at Mumbai, Rahul Dravid’s 92 off 63 against England at Bristol, Ajit Agarkar’s 67 off 25 against Zimbabwe at Rajkot, Yuvraj Singh’s 84 against Australia at Nairobi, Kenya. There are also few more knocks that can be included with these. So, here is the part II of the top 5 innings by the Indian players that meant more than a century:
5. Sachin Tendulkar 91(121) vs Australia (2nd Final, CB Series 2008):
A well-compiled innings by the master blaster under pressure. In the all important 2nd final of the CB Series, MS Dhoni won the toss and chose to bat. India started off cautiously as Sachin along with Robin Uthappa put 94 runs in 20 overs. After losing Uthappa and Gambhir in quick succession, Sachin stabilized the innings by taking singles and doubles to make it it easy for Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni to attack Michael Clarke and Andrew Symonds from the other end. It was one of those nervous nineties of Tendulkar that proved more than a century. The way he carried team’s innings together was quite exceptional. One thing that made this innings great was that Sachin got the better of the best bowlers of the Australian team(Brett Lee, Nathan Bracken) and once he accomplished that, half the job was done and the remaining part was covered well by the bowlers to secure India CB Series victory.
4. Sachin Tendulkar 82(49) vs New Zealand (India’s tour of New Zealand 1994):
This was the first time when Sachin Tendulkar opened the innings for India. Regular opener Navjot Singh Sidhu was injured and no one else in the team agreed to open the innings. So, Sachin stepped up and came really hard at the New Zealand bowlers as he hit 15 fours and 2 sixes in his innings of 82, i.e. more than 90% of his runs came in boundaries. An unbelievable innings! Even after the match, Tendulkar himself said the following words:
“It was a dream like innings and such innings happen once in a life time.”
3. Virender Sehwag 99*(100) vs Sri Lanka (Triangular Series, Sri Lanka, 2010):
Very unlucky to miss out on a hundred as Suraj Randiv intentionally bowled a no-ball when India required a run to win. Randiv was severely criticized for his actions as he didn’t play in the spirit of the game. With what Randiv did, I rate this innings as one of the top-class innings in the history of ODI Cricket. After getting Sri Lanka out for 170, Indian team was struggling at 91/4 in 22 overs. The bowl was swinging a lot under lights and it was getting difficult for the Indian batsmen to score. But when Virender Sehwag is on the crease, everything seems easy. Out of nowhere, put on 80 runs inside 14 overs with MS Dhoni to seal the deal for India. Sehwag was the only batsman in the match who looked comfortable on the crease as out of his 99, he scored 56 runs in fours and sixes.
2. MS Dhoni 91*(79) vs Sri Lanka (ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 Final):
After having a poor World Cup 2011 with the bat, MS Dhoni lead from the front in the final with his magnificent innings. To maintain the left-right combination, Dhoni came ahead of in-form Yuvraj Singh at five and this proved to be one of his best moves as he put a 109 run partnership with Gautam Gambhir inside 20 overs to guide India to World Cup victory after a span of 28 years. The best part of his innings was that he played like he always plays. The pressure to chase 275 in the final is always huge but the way Dhoni compiled his innings in such a high-pressure match was a treat to watch.
1. Mohammed Kaif 87*(75) vs England (Natwest Trophy 2002 Final):
The best of the lot. In the pursuit of 326 runs, India were struggling at 146/5 in 24 overs. In came in Mohammed Kaif and along with India’s hero of the ICC T20 World Cup 2007 win and ICC World Cup 2011 win Yuvraj Singh put 121 runs in 17.4 overs to haul India back into contention. India still needed 59 runs when Yuvraj got out. But Kaif ensured that India sealed a two-wicket win with three balls to spare. It was one of the most astonishing victories in the history of Indian Cricket and the credit has to go to Kaif for staying till the end when it mattered the most.