Sachin Tendulkar, the talisman of Indian cricket, has announced his retirement from all forms of the game. Tendulkar has said that following India’s two-match Test series at home to the West Indies, he will be hanging up his bat, pads, helmet, gloves and box for the last time.
The end to an illustrious career in the game, and his performances at Trent Bridge have been fitting of a man of his ability, more than his stature.
In what proved to be the first of many historic knocks in Nottingham, Tendulkar’s first appearance was one to remember. Entering with the score at 33-2, Sachin took matters into his own hands and put on a colossal 177. Ably helped by Ganguly, by the time Mark Ealham had Tendulkar caught by Patel, the score had moved on to 377-4. If that wasn’t enough, he made 77 in the visitors’ second innings too, before the match ended in a high-scoring draw.
'When the two sides met again in 2007, Tendulkar saw off another milestone.'
Big scores punctuated England and India’s 2002 draw too, Virender Sehwag making 106 in India’s first innings, before the hosts responded with 617. Michael Vaughan made 197, Alec Stewart 87 and Craig White 94. Tendulkar got in on the act in the second innings, adding a third-wicket partnership of 163 with Rahul Dravid.
Clearly, with England bemused as to how to see off Tendulkar, desperate times called for desperate measures. Fortunately, Michael Vaughan came to the rescue, clean bowling Sachin before he reached 100.
When the two sides met again in 2007, Tendulkar saw off another milestone. In what proved to be a resounding victory for the visitors, Sachin passed 11,000 Test runs. His milestone was met with excellent applause from all in attendance.
One thing he’ll be far keener to lose from the back of his mind was how his first innings ended. Lining up against the fearsome pace attack of Ryan Sidebottom, Jimmy Anderson and Chris Tremlett, it was the wily approach of Paul Collingwood who finished him, trapping him nine shy of his century.
His dismissal in the second was far more routine, and far earlier in the innings. After patiently looking to play himself in for fifteen minutes, Tremlett found an edge and Cook gratefully saw off the little magician for one.
What has proven to be Sachin’s last appearance at Trent Bridge, during the 2011 Test series, unfortunately didn’t involve the fireworks of 2007. His first innings was ended by Stuart Broad’s first wicket of the match, before five more followed and despite making 56 in the second, Jimmy Anderson trapped him LBW before he went on for a big score.
With India arriving at Trent Bridge once again for both a Test and One Day International next summer, it remains to be seen how they’ll react to his absence. Will they fill the void? Who knows, but it’s sure to be quite the spectacle.