Happy birthday Sachin Tendulkar: Top 5 ODI knocks from the little master
Sachin Tendulkar after completing his hundred on the historic day when he became first batsman to score a double hundred in ODIs. Getty Images

Sachin Tendulkar’s critics often say that he was not at his best in pressure cooker situations. Those situations were seldom when the Master Blaster got going. Tendulkar has played 452 ODI innings, scoring 49 hundreds and 96 half-centuries. Picking out his top five ODI knocks is perhaps the most difficult task. Taking on the challenge, Suvajit Mustafi picks out five of his favourite Tendulkar ODI knocks from the sea.

5. 140 (101)* v Kenya, Bristol, May 1999

It was not the strongest of the oppositions but it was the World Cup and India had an ordinary start. It was a passionate, awe-inspiring display by Tendulkar that kept India in the hunt for the Super Six. He had returned from his father s funeral a day back and to do what he did out in the middle was unimaginable.

4. 98 (75) v Pakistan, Centurion, March 2003

He spent sleepless nights preparing for this encounter and when it was played, he unleashed himself. Tendulkar butchered the strong Pakistan bowling attack consisting of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar, Shahid Afridi, as India went on to register one of their most memorable ODI wins. Read more: Video: Sachin Tendulkar’s 98 destroys Pakistan at Centurion

3. 143 (131) v Australia, Sharjah, April 1998

Who can forget those hits off Shane Warne and Michael Kasprowicz. Tendulkar owned the year 1998. In one of the greatest ODI knocks, played in unusual conditions, Tendulkar single-handedly ensured India a berth in the finals. The desert storm was countered; India lost the game but played the finals. On his 25th birthday, Tendulkar hit another ton in the finals and India went on to beat the strong Australia to lift the Coca-Cola cup. More: Sachin Tendulkar s sandstorm innings powers India to Sharjah Cup final

2. 200* (147) v South Africa, Gwalior, Feb 2010

If any man deserved to be the first double centurion in ODI cricket, it had to be him. On a placid batting track, Tendulkar was in a different zone as he launched himself to the likes of Dale Steyns and Wayne Parnells, registering a world record. India easily went on to win the match. MORE: When Sachin Tendulkar scored ODI’s first double hundred

1. 175 (141) v Australia, Hyderabad, Nov 2009

Tendulkar himself terms this as one of his best . A magical knock indeed, while chasing a mammoth 351 and falling four runs shot. Unfortunately he did not have enough support from the other batters or else this innings would go right up there as ODI cricket s one of the finest. Apart from the runs, the knock was of high quality.

(Suvajit Mustafi consumes cricket for lunch, fiction for dinner and munches numerous other snacks throughout the day. Yes, a jack of several trades, all Suvajit dreamt of was being India s World Cup winning skipper but ended up being a sports writer, author, screenwriter, director, copywriter, graphic designer, sports marketer, strategist, entrepreneur, philosopher and traveller. Donning so many hats, it s cricket which gives him the ultimate high and where he finds solace. He can be followed at @RibsGully and rivu7)