What an afternoon there at Gwalior. It was easy to see early in the innings when India elected to bat first that it was a pitch totally in favour of the batsmen, and whoever the bowler was the odds were really stacked against him. The pitch was flat, the ground is small and just the atmosphere there – every second of third ball was disappearing for four. Considering all that, India needed to do something special given the team they are with so many world- class batsmen and so much depth in their batting. And that is what they did ending up with more than 400 runs and of course, Sachin Tendulkar’s milestone.
It was incredible; 200 runs in an ODI innings is quite an achievement. Sachin has close to a hundred centuries in international cricket but he really needed this; something very special in an individual innings. He has got so many very good hundreds, but he needed that one knock that would create history. He doesn’t have a triple hundred in Tests, he doesn’t have the quickest fifty or hundred [in ODIs] or the fastest hundred in Tests. He has just got loads of very good Tests and ODI hundreds. So this is something he will especially cherish. He has that one individual innings that he can be really proud of.
It is a feat that has taken a while despite the number of ODIs being played and no one has really come close. Recently Charles Coventry got into the 190s but going past 200, like Sachin did and so comfortably – he didn’t really struggle for much time or overs and got there quite easily in the end, [a testimony] to his fitness.
One of the changes that I have seen with Tendulkar in the last couple of years and which was noticeable in this innings was that two years back he would set his mind on a hundred right at the start of the innings. What has changed in the last two years is that he goes out there to enjoy his batting and play his shots and then when he is in his nineties, he gets conscious of a hundred and then goes past it.
On this occasion when he got past his hundred I don’t think he was aiming for a double hundred. He realised quickly that these conditions were best for batting and he was just having a great time hitting the balls for fours and sixes and there were some excellent shots in that innings. Just when he came to the 190s he realised he had a great opportunity to get a double hundred and that was when he started thinking of that. That is one change you have seen in him in the last two years and its no surprise that some of his big hundreds in the last one year or so: the 160  against New Zealand and the 170  against Australia and now a double hundred against South Africa. It was a terrific innings and there is no one more deserving of getting that record than Tendulkar himself.
“I think if you ask Saeed Anwar, he would say he’s happy that Tendulkar broke his record. The reason for his success is that he has a great respect for the game.”
Aamer Sohail, Saeed Anwar’s good friend and opening partner, pays a fitting tribute to the new record-holder
“He should aim for more. Maybe a Test innings of 450 or an ODI knock of 250. And then he himself wants to win next year’s World Cup. There is a little boy in Tendulkar who wants to keep playing. That spirit keeps him going. It’s absolutely incredible how he keeps going.”
Keeping with the Mumbai ways, Sunil Gavaskar is not yet sated
“Come on Sachin my friend get your 200. World record to please! You deserve it… Nervous for my good friend Sachin everything crossed for you mate… Glad I’m not bowling to him today ha ha ha.”
Tendulkar’s old pal Shane Warne tweets his excitement as he nears the double-century
“It shows his mental and physical toughness. He’s a player who does not throw away his wicket once he’s set. He always places a huge price on his wicket.”
Dilip Vengsarkar salutes the attributes that such a knock needs
“Sachin – the greatest ever player ever – without any doubt… I salute Sachin… World’s greatest sportsman. We can see him only rise. (He is an) inspiration to us all. He is the best.”
IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi waxes beyond eloquent, on his twitter page
“What an innings it was. He had come close to achieving it twice. I always felt that Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya are capable of doing that.”
Kumar Sangakkara has not forgotten Tendulkar’s recent dazzling form
“He is my favourite player. I had said that one day he would go on to break all batting records and now you see him scoring runs and runs.”
Javed Miandad kinda saw it coming
“Whatever record is seen to be impossible to achieve, he makes it possible. That’s all I can say. It seems as he’s getting older, he is becoming more and more mature. No wonder Sir Donald Bradman saw himself in the way Sachin bats.”
King of parsimony Bapu Nadkarni is not parsimonious with his praise..