New Delhi: Sachin Tendulkar went a notch further in Test cricket by registering his 51st Test century on Tuesday and his 97th in international cricket, within two weeks of reaching the landmark 50th century, effectively putting to rest talks of Ricky Ponting or Jacques Kallis standing a chance of eclipsing his feat.
Going by the pace at which runs keep flowing from the middle of the master's bat, it would take a Herculean effort to overhaul any record set by the Indian legend, be it the number of Test runs or centuries. The master blaster has found a rejuvenated hunger at 37 and is scoring at a pace that makes even the most prolific youngsters look pedestrian.
In comparison, the Australian skipper - at the fag end of his career at 36 - is facing a backlash in Australia after a dismal performance in the Ashes, with fans and experts calling for his head.
While Kallis looks better than Ponting on current form, he too - 12 Test hundreds behind Tendulkar - is undoubtedly in the last couple of years of his career. But with Sachin still around and scoring like he is, another year in Test cricket from the maestro will shut the door on anybody who is daydreaming about breaking Sachin's record, whether it is Ponting, Kallis or anyone else.
The focus is now set to shift from Sachin's Test hundreds to international hundreds, as the Mumbaikar is now just three tons adrift from the magical 100 international tons. He had 95 tons under his belt when he arrived in South Africa and scored two in the three-Test series to take it to 97 (51 in Tests and 46 in one-dayers).
With a five-match ODI series coming up next against South Africa, followed by the World Cup in February-March, another peak is ready to welcome Sachin - arguably the greatest batsman the world has ever seen.