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The Final Flourish That Will Not End.

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Submitted By pranaymjain
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21st May 1997: A date that has annoyed, irritated or in some cases tormented many a cricket fan. It was on this day that Saeed Anwar broke Viv Richards’ record for the highest ever score in a One Day International. The record was thus passed on from a legend of the game to a player who was merely good, but by no stretch extraordinary – Anwar averaged 37.62 against the major nations in ODIs, and away from home his average shrank to 26.70.
Then last year, another name joined Anwar at the top of the list: Charles Coventry. Even after he scored 194 not out, a lot of people in a lot of cricketing discussions over lots of beers in lots of pubs, would still be asking: Charles who?
The anomaly at the top of the record charts was begging to be corrected. I was waiting for this day since that fateful May night almost 13 years ago. I was not alone. There were thousands – millions probably – who felt that the name that belonged at the top of the table was that of Sachin Tendulkar.
In what is proving to be a golden twilight of his career, Tendulkar has systematically gone about checking all the un-checked boxes in his cricketing CV. One important one was ticked when he led a mammoth fourth innings chase against England at the same ground that he had failed to complete the job against Pakistan in 1999. Another was accomplished on 24th Feb 2010, with the world’s highest ODI score and first ODI double-century. No other name seemed to have belonged so naturally at the top of the list than his.
Until 23rd Feb 2010, Tendulkar had seemed like the logical successor to Viv Richards as the greatest ODI batsman of his generation. Not anymore.
He is now undoubtedly, the greatest ODI batsman ever. He has made the great Viv seem like a mere prelude to the real thing.
From the moment he came out to bat and stroked his first boundary to the moment when he raised his arms in triumph, in…...

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