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'Sachin Tendulkar scores a hundred and India loses' was nothing but a myth
Scoring a century in international matches is like a dream come true for any batsman. But if the team does not win despite his heroics, one can understand the pain and frustration the batsman will feel.
India's recent ODI series down under witnessed 11 centuries by both the sides in 5 ODI encounters. Five Indian centuries and one Australian century ended in a losing cause. Similarly in T20I series, Shane Watson's brilliant 124 not out in 71 deliveries ended in Australia's defeat in the 3rd T20I at Sydney.

So it follows that scoring a century does not necessarily mean that the team will win.

Starting from the home series against South Africa in November-December 2015, Rohit Sharma had scored five centuries in ODIs and T20Is that could not make India victorious. Cricket fans feel that Rohit is going like Sachin, i.e. scoring hundreds but not winning matches for India. But my point is how people believe that Sachin Tendulkar's hundreds were for losing cause?

Take a look at stat books. Sachin Tendulkar had scored 49 ODI tons out of which India was victorious on 34 occasions, lost on 13 instances and the remaining two hundreds contributed to a 'No Result' or a 'Tie'. Out of 51 hundreds in Test matches, India won on 20 occasions, lost on 11 instances and 20 remaining hundreds ensured draw. Overall Sachin had 100 international centuries with 54 resulting in win for India and 24 for loss. So one out of four centuries scored by Sachin ended as defeat. This is not bad at all considering the quality of Indian team during Sachin's 24 years of playing time.

Take one example. In the 1997-98 Coca Cola cup at Sharjah, India required to score 240 plus runs in reply to Australia's 284 to pip New Zealand out of contention based on net run rate. Sachin's hundred ensured that India qualified for the finals even though India lost that match.

In the final, Sachin scored another century, this time winning the match and trophy for India. Both these hundreds are famous now as 'Desert Classics'. So even if in losing cause, Sachin's hundreds also helped India to qualify for the final in a multi team event when net run rate came to consideration.

Two people looking at the same thing can come out with two different interpretations. If one goes by the number, then 13 hundreds in ODIs and 11 in Tests for losing cause looks like a big thing and thus the impression or myth was created that Sachin's hundreds usually end in a losing cause. Contrary to that, if someone goes through the entire performance of Sachin, then the myth is busted as Sachin has the highest contribution in winning matches. Ironically, many batsmen struggle to get that many centuries in their life time which Sachin scored in losing cause for India.

If one considers the nervous nineties by Sachin (9 in Tests and 18 in ODIs) as centuries, then the win percentage goes even higher.

In addition, most of the times Sachin fought a lone battle as all other batsmen faltered. Sachin never compromised on scoring rate either. His career strike rate in ODIS is 86.23. He got most of his hundreds at better than run a ball.

Of all the centuries Sachin scored, the worst is 101 with a strike rate of 72 against Sri Lanka at Sharjah. But India scored only 205 runs in that match. What the other batsmen were doing?

If the batsman compromises with the strike rate in order to get a century, then one should label allegations that the batsman is playing for milestones rather than the team's cause. In case of Sachin or Rohit, it is never true. It is only coincidental that the team lost despite their well-made tons.

No one can forget the run fest during the greatest ever chase in ODIs. South Africa chased 434 runs scored by Australia at Johannesburg riding on a splendid hundred by Gibbs (175 runs, 111 balls, 21X4, 7X6) trumping an equally splendid ton by Ricky Ponting (164 runs, 105 balls, 13X4, 9X6). Now which critic has a bone in his tongue to find fault in Ponting's hundred although it did not win the match for Australia?

Rohit's or Sachin's tons got wasted like Ponting's. But no one can disparage them.

Virendra Sehwag is the only batsman who always gave a damn to milestones. Time and again he would go for a six or a boundary to complete his hundred or double hundred or even triple hundred. That is the kind of batsman he was during his playing days. But every cricketer has his unique style and not everyone can become a Sehwag.

Virat Kohli is now being looked upon as our new Sachin. He had a tremendous record of winning matches by his centuries. But even he had to face the reality when two of his fine hundreds ended in a losing cause in Australia.

So whenever a top class hundred goes in vain, have empathy and sympathy with the batsman rather than disparaging him. After all, getting a hundred is always difficult.

My attempt is to eliminate the myth 'Sachin scores a hundred and India loses'. The statistics never support the myth and only show that what Sachin has achieved will take ages to emulate.

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