Even after two decades of Nagpur showdown, Sachin Tendulkar, Andy Flower continue to fascinate cricket fans

It’s been almost 20 years to a blockbuster head-to-head showdown between the two legendary cricketers–India’s Sachin Tendulkar and Zimbabwe’s Andy Flower–in a Test match in Nagpur. However, the blistering knocks by the two superstars during that 2000 match still continue to fascinate the cricket fans.

During the second Test of two-match series between India and Zimbabwe in 2000 at Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground in Nagpur, the hosts won the toss and opted to bat first.

Coming to bat at No.4 spot, the master blaster not only smashed an unbeaten knock of 201 runs, including 27 boundaries, but also shared an over 100-run stand with Rahul Dravid (162) as India posted a massive score of 609 for six declared in their first-innings.

Meanwhile, the then opener Shiv Sunder Das was another notable scorer for India during that match with 110 runs.

In reply, Zimbabwe were bowled out for 282, with Andy Flower managing a half-century of 55 runs before hammering a superb unbeaten knock of 232 in the second-innings to guide his side to a score of 502 for six to end the match in a draw, the Herald reported.

Flower’s knock was the second highest score by a Zimbabwe player in the longest format of the game after David Houghton, who notched up a blistering innings of 266 against 
Sri Lanka in a Test match in Bulawayo in 1994-95.

The 232-run knock was also the highest-ever score by a wicketkeeper in Tests. Prior to him, Pakistan’s Taslim Arif held the record with a knock of 210 against Australia in 1980.

With the double ton, he also became the fourth Zimbabwean to notch up two hundreds after Houghton (266), Guy Whittall (203 not out) and his brother Grant’s (201 not out).

Almost twenty years after the showdown between Tendulkar and Flower, the two players continue to fascinate the game’s followers.

Regarded as one of the most complete batsman in the history of the game, Tendulkar holds almost all batting records which exists at the moment. 

Tendulkar made his international debut during a Test series againt arch-rivals Pakistan in Karachi in November 1989 and a month later, he received his maiden One-Day International (ODI) cap against the same opponent.

Hailed by many as the ‘ God of Cricket’, Tendulkar went on to make 200 appearances for India in Test cricket  and amassed 15,921 runs in the format. He also featured in 462 ODIs for the Men in Blue and scored 18,426 runs in it. Meanwhile, his only appearance in the shortest format of the game came during a T20I match  against South Africa in 2006.

Tendulkar is the top run scorer in the Test and ODI formats of the game. The former Indian opener also holds the record of highest number of centuries in the international cricket–a mind-numbing 100 tons.

However, there are many players who have bettered Tendulkar at some point of their cricketing careers. In fact, there are five players who began their international career after the master blaster’s arrival in international cricket and ended in a better position–Andy Flower is one of them.

Though Andy has played just 63 Tests for Zimbabwe, he had scored 41 more runs than Tendulkar by the end of that match. Sachin had scored 4,753 runs, while Andy had notched up 4,794 runs after playing 63 Tests.

However, Tendulkar had featured in 16 innings less than Flower at the conclusion of the 63rd Test match. In the same number of innings, the legendary Indian cricketers had scored nearly 900 runs more than the Zimbawean.


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Sagar Biswas

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