Why those innings didn’t make it

We asked Y Ananth Narayan, who devised the ratings system for the Wisden 100, why neither of the Sachin Tendulkar innings which most of our entrants talked about didn’t make the Top 100:
What about Tendulkar’s matchwinning innings of 155 not out against Australia in 1997-98?

There’s no doubt that this was a very good innings. It has probably attained immortality because of the assault Tendulkar unleashed against Shane Warne. But there are three main reasons why it it doesn’t come very high in the Wisden 100. First, the bowling attack was one of the weakest Australian have fielded in recent years – Michael Kasprowicz, Paul Reiffel, Warne (below-par, but this factor is ignored), Gavin Robertson (who?), Greg Blewett and the Waugh twins. Secondly, Tendulkar got good support during the innings – two fifties (from Sidhu and Dravid) preceded his hundred and another followed it (Azharuddin). And finally there was less pressure on Tendulkar than there might have been, as this was the third innings of the match, not the fourth.

And what about his fighting innings of 136, with a bad back, at Chennai against Pakistan?

Back spasms are not in scorecards. What goes on record is the score and the result. In the end Pakistan won that match, despite Sachin’s fine innings. As an experiment I pretended that Tendulkar had scored another ten runs and taken India to a twoor three-wicket win: then his innings would have been close to the overall Top Ten. Indeed, if the other Indian players had taken them to a win, Tendulkar’s innings would have comfortably made it into the Wisden 100 and the Indian Top Ten. Winning was the difference between, say, Brian Lara’s 153 not out (when West Indies beat Australia by one wicket) and this innings. Winning is not everything, but it is quite important.

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