After announcing his retirement from ODI cricket last year, Sachin Tendulkar has decided to bid adieu to the Indian Premier League. After serving Mumbai Indians for six years, Tendulkar had the most fitting end to his IPL stint with Mumbai lifting the trophy for the first time in the final on Sunday.
Here, Cricketnext compiles some of his most defining IPL innings.
59* v Chennai Super Kings, 2009: Tendulkar had missed the majority of the first IPL due to a groin injury. The second edition held in South Africa saw Mumbai taking on CSK in the season opener. Opening the innings with Sanath Jayasuriya, Tendukar did not get much of the strike throughout the innings. His first boundary, which was an uppish cut off the back foot towards cover off Manpreet Gony, sent ominous signs to the opposition. This innings was a combination of deft paddle sweeps and a few lusty blows towards sweeper-cover and long-off. His 49-ball 59 not out helped Mumbai register a 19-run victory at Cape Town and also fetched him his first IPL Man-of-the-Match award.
68 v Kolkata Knight Riders, 2009: This fixture at Port Elizabeth saw Mumbai romp over KKR n what eventually turned out to be a mismatch of sorts. Tendulkar and Jayasuriya got Mumbai off to a flyer by crossing the 100-run mark in just 10 overs. Tendulkar was at his brutal best smashing six boundaries and four massive sixes. After being beaten a couple of times by Ishant Sharma, Tendulkar upper-cut Ashok Dinda for six and flicked four to set the wheels in motion. Tendulkar showed amazing wrist work and his cuts and pulls reversed back the clock. Ajantha Mendis was carved over long-on in his very first over and Chris Gayle was reverse-swept and glided down to third man for boundaries leaving the entire KKR unit in awe. They had no clue to this assault and fell short by a massive 92 runs.
63 v Delhi Daredevils, 2010: The 2010 season was by far the best for Tendulkar. After becoming the first man to score 200 in an ODI, Tendulkar carried on his rich vein of form into the third edition of the IPL. Against Delhi Daredevils at the Feroz Shah Kotla, Tendulkar showed how a good innings at the top of the order can have an impact on a match. A quick-fire 63 off 32 balls included 11 boundaries (strike-rate of 196). He started off by flicking the ball and finding the gaps before chipping down the track and hitting in the air. Tendulkar was one of the prime reasons Mumbai made it to the final for the first time and took away the Orange Cap by scoring 618 runs in just 14 innings.
72 against Chennai Super Kings, 2010: Mumbai chased down Chennai's target of 181 with an over to spare and it was mainly due to Tendulkar's extreme composure in this match. From the very moment he came out to bat, he made sure to stay there till the end and he almost did so. However that did not stop him from playing shots as he started by putting away to the fence, a good length delivery from Albie Morkel in the first over. He targeted spinners Shadab Jakati and Muttiah Muralitharan and was helped by some ordinary seam bowling from the Chennai bowlers who produced regular full-tosses and often drifted on to his legs. By the time he held out to Dhoni off a slower one from Balaji, Mumbai needed just nine runs off 10 balls which was easily achieved.
89* v Rajasthan Royals, 2010: Continuing his tremendous form, Tendulkar produced another memorable innings at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. Being put into bat, Tendulkar started the Mumbai innings hitting Yusuf Pathan for two fours in the first over. Wickets kept tumbling at the other end but it did not faze the skipper, who brought back old memories of the 1998 Sharjah innings when he smashed Shane Warne for three boundaries in the 12th over. Tendulkar picked his spots and accelerated towards the end nicely, with Shane Watson and Siddharth Trivedi bearing his brunt. He was harsh especially on Trivedi, scoring 20 off the last over and dispatching his slower balls into the crowd for consecutive sixes. Tendulkar's 59-ball innings fetched him another Man-of-the-Match award.
100* v Kochi Tuskers Kerala, 2011: At 37, Tendulkar did the one thing many people thought he couldn't - score an IPL hundred. This was perhaps one of the cleanest IPL innings ever. He found the middle of his bat, picked up gaps and ran like a 20-year-old. He started off with a signature Tendulkar straight-drive off RP Singh and followed it with a fierce cut over point off Vinay Kumar in the next over. Bringing all his experience into play, Tendulkar displayed a wonderful exhibition of innovative shots. He showed full dominance playing shots on the up and was severe, especially on Vinay. His first fifty came off 43 balls and the next off a mere 23. Tendulkar's hundred, however, went in vain as Kochi came out on top.
48 v Kolkata Knight Riders, 2013: In what turned out to be his sixth and last edition of the IPL, Tendulkar slowly and steadily got into the groove and played an innings contrary to many people's belief against KKR at the Wankhede Stadium. After Dwayne Smith played the first over from L Balaji quietly, Tendulkar in the next over provided fans with an IPL moment when he carved Ryan Mclaren for five boundaries on the trot. He seemed in a different mood altogether as he took the aerial route on three of those occasions. Scoring at a brisk pace, Tendulkar kept on finding the boundaries constantly and scored a 28-ball 48 with the help of eight boundaries which helped Mumbai post a challenging 170 which proved to be too much for the Kolkata side.