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Updated: December 24, 2012 12:49 IST

Sachin’s special romance with city

V. V. Subrahmanyam
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Sachin Tendulkar
AFP Sachin Tendulkar

The master blaster came up with three sterling centuries in the ‘City of Pearls’ during his illustrious ODI career.

Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar has a special romance with Hyderabad. The master blaster came up with three sterling centuries in the ‘City of Pearls’ in his long and illustrious career.

First, in the 1999 one-day series against New Zealand, Sachin Tendulkar set the Lal Bahadur Stadium ablaze with a magnificent unbeaten 186 (then his highest individual score in ODIs) – a day before the Deepavali fireworks lit the entire city.

In the company of an equally illustrious Rahul Dravid, the Mumbai genius put on a massive 331-run stand partnership for the second wicket which shunted the hapless Kiwis out of the match.

Exactly a decade later, Sachin played what is arguably rated as one of the top five innings of his one-day career itself – an amazing 175 against Ricky Ponting’s Australians at the Uppal stadium.

The mood of the capacity crowd was seen to be believed. The fans were clearly in a different world. And, on their feet every time the celebrated batsman caressed the ball to the fence. The entire venue, under lights, was soaked in his brilliance as he almost pulled off a sensational win against the Aussies.

The deafening silence from the till then boisterous crowd when he walked back to the pavilion disappointed – failing to producing the finishing the touch – was perhaps the perfect indication of how much was expected of him and how much he was adored.

For the record, India folded up for 347 chasing 351 despite Sachin’s brilliance. An innings, which all those present at the venue and millions who watched it on television, will not easily forget.

“Sachin played a mighty innings. It was a knock which could have taken the game away from us. That is why his dismissal was the turning point in our victory today,” was how Australian captain Ricky Ponting summed up that effort.

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