Sachin Tendulkar

This Month In ... 1998

Rankings Rewind

Hit For Six!
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Tendulkar's magical knocks in Sharjah against Australia did wonders for him even as the likes of Lara, Pollock and Ambrose dominated the batting and bowling charts.

Sachin Tendulkar's back-to-back centuries against Australia in Sharjah on 22 and 24 April 1998 are now a part of cricketing folklore. Scored within the span of three days and in two crucial games, his knocks of 143 and 134 not only provided India a tournament win but also marked the beginning of a year in which Tendulkar scored 1894 runs in one-day international cricket at 65.31 and an ahead-of-its-time strike rate of 102.15.

While the 143 helped India qualify for the final of the tri-series – New Zealand was the third team – despite losing the game, the 134 gave India a famous five-wicket win in the final over Australia, who were on the doorstep of world dominance, a run that would see them winning three consecutive ICC Cricket World Cups – 1999, 2003 and 2007 – and become one of the most difficult teams to beat.

Here's how the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Player Rankings for batsmen stood at the beginning of that Sharjah series, on 16 April.

Ranking Player Country Ranking points
Brian Lara Windies 892
2 Michael Bevan Australia 852
3 Gary Kirsten South Africa  816
4 Sanath Jayasuriya Sri Lanka 799
5 Mark Waugh Australia 787
6 Sachin Tendulkar India 785
7 Aravinda de Silva Sri Lanka 778
8 Mohammad Azharuddin India 770
9 Saeed Anwar Pakistan  768
10 Hansie Cronje South Africa 766


In the ODI rankings for batsmen, Tendulkar's feat helped him gain 61 points – he went from 785 points on 16 April to 846 points on 25 April, after the final. These points gained him three places in the rankings as he climbed from No.6 to No.3.

The man he replaced at the third spot, South Africa's Gary Kirsten, lost three points despite his half-century against Pakistan at home.

Mark Waugh, who ended the series with 149 runs in five games at an underwhelming average of 37.25, lost 13 points and a place and slipped to the sixth position while Sourav Ganguly, who started the series with a 105 against New Zealand but returned scores of 8, 31, 17 and 23 after that, entered the top 10 despite losing a point. He had 750 points before the series and ended it with 749 to his name. However, he had jumped to 774 points in between those two standings.

Sourav Ganguly broke into the top 10 rankings for batsmen after the tri-series in Sharjah
Sourav Ganguly broke into the top 10 rankings for batsmen after the tri-series in Sharjah


Brian Lara (892) and Michael Bevan – he went from 852 to 872 points after ending the series as the second-highest scorer with 276 runs at 92 – retained their No.1 and No.2 positions respectively, while Sanath Jayasuriya lost eight points but hung on to the fifth spot with 791 points.

Here's how the rankings looked like after the final of the tri-series on 25 April 1998.

Ranking Player Country Ranking points
Brian Lara Windies 892
2 Michael Bevan Australia 872
3 Sachin Tendulkar India 846
4 Gary Kirsten South Africa 813
5 Sanath Jayasuriya Sri Lanka 791
6 Mark Waugh Australia 774
7 Hansie Cronje South Africa 766
8 Aravinda de Silva Sri Lanka 765
9 Saeed Anwar Pakistan  757
10 Sourav Ganguly India 749


South Africa's Hansie Cronje climbed three places to occupy the seventh spot even though he did not gain any points even as Sri Lanka's Aravinda de Silva lost 13 points to slip from the seventh to the eighth position. 

Saeed Anwar remained steadfast at No.9 despite losing 11 points, while Mohammad Azharuddin, who was ranked eighth on 16 April, found himself out of the top 10.

There was less turbulence in the table for bowlers. Here's how the rankings looked on 16 April 1998.

Ranking Player Country Ranking points
Shaun Pollock South Africa 771
2 Curtly Ambrose Windies 764
3 Allan Donald South Africa 758
4 Saqlain Mushtaq Pakistan 748
5 Chaminda Vaas Sri Lanka 720
6 Muttiah Muralitharan Sri Lanka 708
7 Wasim Akram Pakistan 707
8 Courtney Walsh Windies 682
9 Gavin Larsen New Zealand 664
10 Darren Gough England 661


Among the bowlers, Damien Fleming, who ended with 10 wickets in the tri-series including a 4/28 against New Zealand, broke into the top 10 with 658 points. He replaced New Zealand's Gavin Larsen by gaining 81 points and 15 positions. He was ranked 25th in the world with 577 points before the series.

Damien Fleming took 10 wickets in the series and was ranked 10th after the final
Damien Fleming took 10 wickets in the series and was ranked 10th after the final


Elsewhere, Wasim Akram gained six points to move from the seventh to the fifth spot while Muttiah Muralitharan lost a place and nine points to slip from sixth to the seventh spot – he went from 708 to 699 points. Muralitharan's teammate Chaminda Vaas went from 720 to 702 and lost a place to occupy the sixth position.

Here's how the rankings looked like after the final of the tri-series on 25 April 1998.

Ranking Player Country Ranking points
Shaun Pollock South Africa 804
2 Curtly Ambrose Windies 764
3 Allan Donald South Africa 756
4 Saqlain Mushtaq Pakistan 741
5 Wasim Akram Pakistan 713
6 Chaminda Vaas Sri Lanka 702
7 Muttiah Muralitharan Sri Lanka 699
8 Courtney Walsh Windies 682
9 Darren Gough England 661
10 Damien Fleming Australia 658


Courtney Walsh and Darren Gough stuck to their No.8 and No.9 positions, respectively. Shaun Pollock gained 33 points and strengthened his position at the top of the rankings with 804 points. He was followed by Curtly Ambrose at No.2, who had 764 points, and Allan Donald at No.3, who had 756 points to his name.

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