Sachin Tendulkar won the World Cup in 2011, which happens to be his last World Cup for India © Getty Images
Sachin Tendulkar won the World Cup in 2011, which happened to be his last World Cup for India © Getty Images

Sachin Tendulkar announced his retirement from One-Day Internationals (ODIs) on December 23, 2012. Since then, a lot has changed in Indian cricket, from the team composition to the batting order. But how much has Tendulkar’s retirement affected India’s ODI performances? Shiamak Unwalla finds out.

To say that Sachin Tendulkar carried Indian cricket on his shoulders for the better part of the ‘90s would not be too much of an exaggeration. The team depended heavily on their talismanic little master, and on the occasions when he fell early, India usually rolled over without much fight. Tendulkar’s opening partnerships with Ganguly and Sehwag among the best in ODI 

This trend began to change with the advent of the likes of Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid in the late ‘90s, Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh in the early 2000s, MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, and Gautam Gambhir in the late 2000s, and Virat Kohli in the 2010s. By the time Tendulkar hung up his boots, India were a successful ODI side, full of talented youngsters and experienced pros — a World Cup winning side. Sachin Tendulkar – Not just talent, but immaculate work ethic

So how much has India truly missed Tendulkar?

Here are Tendulkar’s overall stats in ODI cricket:

Period

M

Runs

HS

Ave

SR

100s

50s

1989-2012

463

18426

200*

44.83

86.2

49

96

To call these numbers intimidating would be an understatement of gross magnitude. Instead, let us look at the numbers of India’s top five run-scorers since Tendulkar announced his retirement in December 2014:

Name

Period

M

Runs

HS

Ave

SR

100s

50s

Virat Kohli

2012-2014

56

2322

139*

54

98.26

8

12

Shikhar Dhawan

2013-2014

44

1977

119

49.4

92.86

6

10

Rohit Sharma

2012-2014

41

1778

264

50.8

84.38

3

11

Suresh Raina

2012-2014

52

1352

100

36.5

92.03

1

8

MS Dhoni

2012-2014

39

1284

139*

64.2

94.2

2

10

Shockingly, since Tendulkar’s retirement, the top five Indian batsmen have actually enjoyed a record that is comparable with that of Tendulkar’s. Virat Kohli is of course at the top. In many ways, Kohli is the Tendulkar of India’s current generation, with the exception being that Kohli doesn’t need to carry the team on his shoulders; the others can carry themselves. Sachin Tendulkar’s savage attack that became the defining moment in India’s ODI 

With the exception of Suresh Raina, each Indian batsman in the top five enjoy a higher average since December 2012 than Tendulkar’s career average. And barring Rohit Sharma, each of them have a better strike rate as well. As for Tendulkar’s highest score of 200 not out, Rohit has surpassed it twice over.

However, since Tendulkar spent most of his time as an opener, it would be prudent to check his numbers at the very top of the order; a record that is more impressive than his overall career stats:

Period

M

Runs

HS

Ave

SR

100s

50s

1994-2012

344

15,310

200*

48.29

88.1

45

75

Let us compare his record against that of India’s top five opening batsmen since December 2012:

Name

Period

M

Runs

HS

Ave

SR

100s

50s

Shikhar Dhawan

2011-2014

48

2046

119

46.5

90.93

6

11

Rohit Sharma

2011-2014

42

1785

264

48.2

83.88

3

11

Ajinkya Rahane

2011-2014

31

962

111

31

79.7

2

5

Virender Sehwag

2011-2013

23

893

219

38.8

114

2

2

Gautam Gambhir

2011-2013

24

881

102

36.7

80.23

2

6

This is where the contrast becomes start; Tendulkar outshines his opening competition by a long way. That said, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit have not done too badly. The duo — who are at this point India’s first-choice ODI openers —enjoy averages north of 46 each, while also boasting of excellent strike rates and the proven ability to hit big hundreds. Sachin Tendulkar – Miles ahead of the other greats in ODIs

What about the team’s overall performance? Of the 463 matches India played which featured Tendulkar, India won 234 and lost 200 for a win/loss ratio of a meagre 1.170.

Period

M

W

L

T

NR

W/L

1990-2012

463

234

200

5

24

1.170

Since Tendulkar’s retirement, the scenario becomes rather different. Due to a number of reasons — most notably a far stronger overall ODI side — India’s record has drastically bettered since Tendulkar’s retirement:

Period

M

W

L

T

NR

W/L

2012-2014

64

40

20

1

3

2

India after Tendulkar has not fallen apart. On the contrary, statistics say that India have not done too badly in the post-Tendulkar days; if anything the fact that there would be no familiar No. 10 shirt to bail the team out of trouble seems to have galvanised the young team into a dominating force. Two years after his retirement, Tendulkar can rest easy knowing that there are young players holding up his mantle and serving Indian cricket with distinction. Sachin Tendulkar – the man who changed ODIs and Indian cricket forever

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and cricket fanatic. You can follow him on Twitter @ShiamakUnwalla)