When we asked readers if Sachin's record would be eclipsed in our feature on top Test century-makers, we received many, many responses. Monday onwards, we began posting the responses. Check them out.
It might look Sachin's record may be eclipsed but it is quite difficult. The reason is we expect Sachin to score more centuries than Ricky over the next 5 years. The same strategy was there when Gavaskar and Border played. Border also could score faster than Gavaskar but here the scenario is different.
We hope all the pressure on Sachin is gone and wish Sachin remains on the top.
No one can break the record.
To break the record, Ponting will have to be the 'next Sachin. This is not possible.
Statistics wise: I think Sachin will go on to hit at least 50 Test centuries.
What you forget is the age factor. Sachin is only 32 years old. He can play for another 5 to 8 years and will leave with a record that will be very hard to beat by any of his contemporaries.
Also, remember Sachin was out for most of last year and has been bothered by a tennis elbow for at least two of those five years you put on the site. Still he hit 11 centuries! The surgery on his elbow is clearly a success and with his doctors' admission it will take Sachin at least a year to get back to optimum physical fitness. Hence, I have no doubt Sachin will hit the high gear by the end of this year.
By the time he leaves he will have more than 100 centuries in both forms of the game. Plus, Sachin and Lara are still the two greatest batsmen of this era because they have dominated the likes of McGrath and Warne which Ponting obviously has never done. Sounds unfair but he did come woefuly short playing Harbhajan Singh in India.
In the last 16 years no bowler has been able to dominate either Sachin or Lara as embarassingly as Harbhajan dominated Ponting. He had more catches in the series than the runs he scored! Regardless, Ponting is a great batsman but no one in their right mind will put him in the same bracket as Sachin or Lara.
Truth: Pointing will simply never know the kind of pressure both Lara and Tendulkar have carried over the years for their respective teams. The core truth shines in the sheer quality of the art of batting that Lara and Tendulkar posssess, the quality of their strokes, the genius of their craft puts them in a category reserved for very few mortals.
Even the never die determination of Steve Waugh, the stubbornees of Kallis and the magnanmous presence of Inzamam can't make the cut to that realm.
This category is reserved for those touched with a divine spark: We call them genius. It's not all in the numbers after all. The two batsmen of this era that make that cut with resounding justice are Lara and Tendulkar. None other.
It's the same category that Kumble with all his doggedness cannot enter yet Warne was born for it. Divine Spark. Genius. A gift of God to cricket. When you think of this category, you automatically think of Bradman, Sobers, Richards...
To illustrate this again, ask yourself: Are McGrath and Wasim Akram in the same league? Put the numbers up and do your math and you will say absolutely. Truth? One is great, the other is a genius! That's the difference between Tendulkar/Lara and the rest.
From the current batsmen, I see that spark in Sehwag but only time will unfold his destiny.
It is not just because I am an Indian that I would like to praise Sachin. Even the Aussie great Chappell said 'the hopes that the man shoulders when he goes into bat is 1,000 times more powerful than what even the great Sir Don Bradman had.'
The whole nation of one billion people wants him to play every match with a hundred and he has done proper justice to it by creating invincible records.
Ricky Ponting is just grooming up to be a great batsman.
Probably Ponting may have a couple of years; then he will run out of steam. But Sachin stays forever. He has played 20 years of solid, great cricket.
Ponting may be good but he can't be compared with Sachin.
Sachin has only one batsman to be compared with -- Sir Don. No one else.
Records are there to be broken, but legends stay forever. Sachin is a legend and his record as a great legend in both forms of cricket will never be beaten. It may be equalled by someone but cannot be overtaken.
--Vinod Kumar Balasubramanian
Definitely, Sachin's record will be eclipsed by Ricky Ponting.
It is not a big secret actually. The amount of Tests that Ponting and Hayden are playing and more dangerously the frequency with which they hit 100s is awesome.
At 67 Tests in 5 years, 24 100s -- that is per 13.4 Tests, 4.8 100s for Hayden.
In 62 Tests in 5 years, 21 100s -- that is at 12.4 Tests per year 4.2 100s for Ponting, less than 3 Tests for a 100.
Their fitness is good; they are not likely to miss tests.
Dravid has got 12 100s in 54 Tests in 5 years, and Sachin 11 100s in 47 Tests in 5 years. You can see the difference in the number of Tests our batsmen are getting against the Aussies. Even with the 10-year ICC plan in place the difference is pretty huge.
His record will be eclipsed by the end of 2006 or early 2007. I think Ricky Ponting and Matthew Hayden will beat that record.