Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, regarded as the best cricketer to have played the game, set the cricketing realm ablaze with a bagful of runs and records. The batsman, finished his international career with 34357 runs in 664 matches, including 200 Test games and 463 ODIs, and became the first player to score hundred centuries in the sport.

We relive his formative years, by having a detailed look at his century’s number sixteen to twenty.

#1 Century no. 16- 118 against Pakistan, Sharjah, 1996 (ODI)

Playing the fourth match of the Sharjah Cup, a tournament that also featured South Africa, India locked horns with Pakistan in quest for their first win in the tournament.

The two sides had already met in the first game of the event, wherein Pakistan had thrashed their neighbours by 38 runs. Desperate to turn the tables, Vikram Rathour and Sachin Tendulkar walked out to bat, with the aim of battling Pakistan away from the game. Rathour fell for just two and just when India was looking down the barrel, Tendulkar and Navjot Singh Sidhu combined to guide India to safer shores.

The Mumbaikar scored 118 runs in 140 balls, laced with eight boundaries and two sixes. Along with Sidhu, who too crossed the three-figure mark, India were able to notch up 305/5 on the board, which eventually proved a little too much for Pakistan, who eventually succumbed to 277.

#2 Century no.17- 122 against England, Birmingham, 1996 (Test)

The crucial Test series against England in 1996 began on an inauspicious note for the Indian team as they were shot out for 214 in the first innings of the first Test match at Birmingham. In reply, England scored 313 runs. Thus taking a crucial 99-run lead in the first innings.

With the score reading 17/2 when Tendulkar walked out to bat, India hoped that the little master would be able to guide the Indian team to safety. Though he settled down at the crease and hardly seemed perturbed against the likes of Chris Lewis and Dominic Cork, the other teammates were unable to provide able support and kept falling at intervals. Even though Tendulkar scripted a memorable 122 in 263 deliveries, it could not stop India from folding up for 219.

Set a target of 121, England hardly had any hiccups while cruising to an easy win.

#3 Century no. 18- 177 against England, Nottingham, 1996 (Test)

With India losing the first Test match of the England series, a remarkable comeback was needed in the second Test match to turn the momentum in India’s favour. The match at Lord’s hardly needs any introduction; for it was not only the launching pad of future stars, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, but it also helped India stage a fighting comeback in the series.

With the second Test match ending in a draw, India arrived at Nottingham, hopeful of drawing the series. Their intent began in right earnest, as they piled on 521 runs in the first innings, guided ably by Tendulkar’s 177 and Ganguly’s 136.

The former, in particular was a delight to watch. Coming in to bat with the score reading 33/2, Tendulkar took it upon himself to guide the youngster to his second successive Test hundred. The duo shared a 255-run partnership as hopes of a victory came gushing forth.

However, England in reply, scored 564 and the match ended in a draw, handing the hosts a series triumph.

#4 Century no. 19- 110 against Sri Lanka, Colombo, 1996 (ODI)

The second match of the Singer World Series, between India and Sri Lanka in Colombo, began with the unfortunate run-out of Ajay Jadeja, with the score reading just 4. The series, also featuring Australia and Zimbabwe, was India’s best chance to avenge their World Cup semi-final loss, suffered at the hands of their island neighbours, earlier in the year.

With the early dismissal of Jadeja, Tendulkar took it upon himself to guide his team to a position of safety. He scored 110 in 138 deliveries, with five boundaries and a maximum, but sans Mohammad Azharuddin’s half century, none of the other India batsmen looked at ease and in the end, the Indian team could manage just 226 runs in their quota of overs.

The target was easily chased down by the Sri Lankans, with 9 wickets in hand and 34 deliveries to spare.

#5 Century no. 20- 114 against South Africa, Mumbai, 1996 (ODI)

Tendulkar capped off a memorable calendar year, in which he scored 2234 runs in Tests and ODIs at an average of 49.64, with his eighth hundred in 1996 against South Africa in the only ODI game between the two sides in Mumbai.

Opting to bat first, the Indian team got off to a solid start, with Tendulkar and WV Raman putting up 90 runs for the first wicket. Once again, the lack of able support to Tendulkar was the talking point, and for a major part of the innings, he was the lone warrior for the Indian side. His 114 came off 157 deliveries, with fourteen boundaries, and it was a major reason why the home side could manage 267 runs on the board.

In reply, the Proteas folded up for just 193, courtesy a 4-wicket haul by Venkatesh Prasad, but it was Tendulkar who walked home with the Man of the Match award in his hometown.