1. 119 not out (225 minutes, 189 balls, 17 fours, 62.96 strike rate) in the fourth innings v England at Manchester on August 14, 1990: Brief score (England - 519 & 320 for 4 declared; India - 432 & 343 for 6), match drawn. Chasing a victory target of 408, India were precariously placed at 109 for four when Tendulkar walked in. With defeat written all over the place, the little master played a gem of an innings to remain unbeaten till the end. In the company of two all-rounders Kapil Dev and Manoj Prabhakar, he guided India to safety and in the process registered his maiden hundred. At the age of 17 years and 112 days, he became the youngest Indian and second youngest in the world to score a test ton. With this innings coming in the last essay, he began his illustrious career of playing under pressure.
2. 148 not out (298 minutes, 213 balls, 14 fours, 69.48 strike rate) in the second innings v Australia at Sydney on January 5, 1992: Brief score (Australia - 313 & 173 for 8; India - 483), match drawn. On a turning track and replying to home team's first innings score of 313, India were 201 for four when Tendulkar joined his Mumbai compatriot and opener Ravi Shastri. The duo were associated in 196-run stand for the fifth wicket as Tendulkar went to play yet another classic innings and remained unbeaten with 148 runs to his credit. His mature and fluent knock lasted almost five hours as he became the youngest man to score a test century in Australia at the age of 18 years and 256 days.
3. 114 (228 minutes, 161 balls, 16 fours, 70.80 strike rate) in the second innings v Australia at Perth on February 3, 1992: Brief score (Australia - 346 & 367 for 6 declared; India - 272 & 141), India lost by 300 runs. Regarded by many as one of Tendulkar's best three-figure innings in test cricket. India's bedrock was a captivating 114 from Tendulkar from 161 deliveries with 16 hits to the boundaries, the bulk of them from square cuts. He came in at 69 for two and was ninth out at 240, after almost four hours at the crease, and a record ninth-wicket stand for India against Australia, of 81, with Kiran More. On the third morning, as he ran out of partners, he scored his second fifty from 55 balls. However, his innings failed to prevent India from losing the game by a huge margin of 300 runs.
Text: Anant Gaundalkar
Image: Indian cricket captain Sachin Tendulkar acknowledges the cheers of the crowd as he reaches his century.