Sachin Tendulkar's five best innings

Sports Mole takes a look at five of soon-too-be-retired Sachin Tendulkar's best innings for India.

Sachin Tendulkar is retiring. It was a day that Indian cricket fans - and many others, in truth - hoped would never happen, but one of the greatest batsmen of all time finally decided yesterday to call an end to his career after his 200th Test match.

With that in mind, Sports Mole has compiled our favourite five Tendulkar innings. From the attacking to the ground-out innings, Tendulkar could do it all.

1. ODI 98 vs. Pakistan, World Cup 2003

Although Sachin was remembered mostly for his Test match batting, he certainly knew how to score quickly when required. He helped India to a win against bitter rivals Pakistan in the 2003 World Cup with 98 runs off 75 balls. This, he said, was his best innings in one-day international cricket.

2. Test 136 vs. Pakistan, 1999

Tendulkar in this Test did everything humanly possible to win it for his side. This was the first time in nearly 10 years that Pakistan had toured India and they had made the most of it. In the first Test Saqlain Mushtaq ripped into the hosts' batting, with Sachin himself out for a duck in the first innings. However, he dug out a quite magnificent 136 to leave the tail requiring 17. They did not manage it. If he had stayed in, it could have been one of the great Test innings.

3. Test 241 vs. Australia, 2004

Before the fourth Test in Sydney in 2004, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman were the dominant batsmen in the series. However, he partnered Laxman in the first innings to put the game beyond the Australians on the opening two days. Tendulkar's innings was perhaps not one of his best technically, but for sheer determination to hang on to his wicket it deserves a place.

4. Test 146 vs. South Africa, 2011

It is impossible to count the number of times Tendulkar's batting saved games for India. His side were 28-2 in the first innings of the third Test in Cape Town and up against none other than Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel. While his teammates clattered around him Tendulkar used every year of his experience to play a superb innings full of timing and guide India past the total.

5. Test 169 vs. South Africa, 1997

Tendulkar had the habit of saving his best performances for when it matters against the big sides. Here, he managed to save India from facing the follow-on against another magnificent South African bowling attack of Allan Donald and Shaun Pollock. He went into his shell and put away all the scorable balls to bring India back from 58-5.

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