He is treated like a God in India, he has pretty much broken all batting records, including having scored the most amount of runs, the most test centuries and most ODI centuries. The question is if Sachin Tendulkar will retire soon, if he does there are some players who could possibly break either his test match century record or ODI century record. Personally I think it will be hard to break his combined ODI and Test century number (100 centuries).
If I were to have said this about 5 years ago, many would have said that these records would last quite a while, this was because Sachin at the time was out playing his closest rivals Ponting and Kallis and did not look to be anywhere near retirement. But now things have changed as Sachin’s rate of centuries has slowed down, Kallis has regained form and retirement is on the cards this could go. Sachin could still add to his tally before he retires.
Lets look at some of the possible candidates:
Jacques Kallis: This is the most likely guy to challenge Sachin’s test centuries. Currently he needs six centuries to equal Tendulkar, that’s if Sachin does not add to any. He has been on fire recently with his latest century in the first test. He is now 37 and still in good shape, he could get pretty close to the record if he plays another two years.
Ricky Ponting: He like Kallis was pretty close to Tendulkar’s test record a few years back, but has seriously tailed off now. He needs 10 more test centuries to break the test record. This would take some turn around in recent form, I can see him getting another one or two but not more than five.
Kumar Sangakara: He like Ponting has 30 test centuries, at the age of 35 he has around 3/4 years left in the game. If he were to score four centuries every year for four years he still would have only 46 test centuries. So it is a hard task for him, I don’t think he can.
Virat Kohli: At only 24 I am in no doubt that if he continues his ODI form of the last two years he will smash the 49 ODI centuries that Tendulkar has. He already has 13 centuries to his name and if he stays fit and away from injuries I think he will play around another 12 years. Even if he only scores 4 centuries every year for these twelve years he will pass Sachin’s record.
A.B Devilliars: He like Kohli has 13 ODI centuries to his name, although he is four years older than his RCB colleague. I think he will struggle to get near 49 ODI centuries but could be around the 40 mark. He has a lot of pressure on him, being the captain, wicket-keeper and best batsmen.
For me the only player who could challenge the test record is Kallis, there may be a younger player who can challenge the test century record. Some names to throw into the hat are: Amla, Cook, Clarke.
As for the ODI record I can see Kohli eventually breaking this, although it will take some time. There could be some other players coming through who in the future but Tendulkar is so far ahead that it will take a young guy to beat this record.