Sachin Tendulkar confirmed his status as one of cricket’s all-time great batsmen on Wednesday, adding the highest individual one-day international score to his list of world records.
The 36-year-old became the first player to score a double-century in the 50-over format as India thrashed South Africa by 153 runs in the second match of the series in Gwalior to take an unassailable 2-0 lead.
Tendulkar surpassed the previous record of 194, which was jointly held by Pakistan’s Saeed Anwar and Charles Coventry of Zimbabwe, to take his record total of runs to 17,598 in 442 one-day internationals played.
He passed three figures for the 46th time, and has now scored 17 more one-day centuries than his closest rival Ricky Ponting of Australia.
Tendulkar, one of India’s most popular sporting heroes, also holds the records for most runs and most centuries in the five-day Test format.
“I don’t know how to react to this,” he told reporters after being presented with a silver bat to mark his 20 years in the sport.
“I would like to dedicate this double hundred to all the people of India who stood with me for the last 20 years. I really appreciate their support. This is for all the people in India.”
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni hailed his teammate, with whom he added an unbroken 101 at breakneck pace.
“Even when he’s tired and can’t play the big shots, he’s very clever to use the pace of the bowler,” Dhoni said. “It’s very difficult for the bowlers, they don’t know exactly where to bowl, so I think he batted really well.”
Tendulkar made only four in India’s victory in the first match on Sunday, but batted throughout the home team’s innings of 401-3 as he made exactly 200.
Tendulkar put on 194 for the second wicket with Dinesh Karthik after the early departure of Virender Sehwag for nine with the score on 25.
Tendulkar scorched to his 50 from only 37 deliveries before Karthik became Wayne Parnell’s second victim, having made 79 off 85 balls with three sixes.
Yusuf Pathan matched Tendulkar’s ferocious scoring rate as he clubbed 36 off 23 deliveries, adding 81 with the man known as “the Little Master.”
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni then joined in with a rapid 68 off only 35 balls, hitting four sixes, while Tendulkar reached 200 with a single off Charl Langeveldt in the final over.
As well as three sixes, he hit 25 boundaries — the most in any individual one-day innings — in his 147-ball knock.
South Africa set the record for highest run chase of 438-9 against Australia in 2006, and needed to score the third biggest mark to overhaul India’s total.
But the tourists did not get close, being dismissed for 248 with 7.1 overs left in their allocation.
A.B. De Villiers top-scored with an unbeaten 114, his fifth one-day century, but the Proteas’ next best was 34 from opener Hashim Amla.
Recalled seam bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth took three wickets for India, while Ravindra Jadeja, Pathan and Ashish Nehra claimed two victims each.