Caricature- Vasim Maner

Sachin Tendulkar is not strongly associated with the shortest form of the game. He played just one T20I match in his career – in 2006 against South Africa; it was India’s debut T20I match as well. For the record, he made 10 but thanks to two Dineshs (Karthik and Mongia) and captain Sehwag, India won by 6 wickets.

How the senior Indian team avoided going to the T20 World Cup in 2007 (much to their dismay eventually) has been well-documented. Thanks to India’s triumph in that tournament, the IPL strongly took root in 2008 with the senior players back as ‘Icon Players’ for their franchises. Obviously, Tendulkar was Mumbai Indians’.


Tendulkar played 78 matches for Mumbai Indians over 6 IPL seasons. For the most part, he redefined his role in the format brilliantly.

Instead of going hell-for-leather, as many might have expected, he became a stabilising force and as it happens, amongst the best in the business here too.

He is still the third-highest Pressure Impact batsman in the history of IPL (minimum 30 matches) after S Badrinath and Kevin Pietersen . This means that he absorbed the pressure of falling wickets with regularity and assurance.

Vs Rajasthan Royals, Jaipur, 2010. Tendulkar’s highest impact IPL innings came when MI were 12 for 2 at one stage and later 30 for 3 in about 4 overs. He built two partnerships, a relatively sedate one with Duminy at first, then an explosive one with Pollard – finishing with an unbeaten 89 off 59 balls, powering MI to 174. RR crumbled early and were never in the game on that pitch.

Tendulkar also has the third-highest Partnership Building Impact in IPL history after Shaun Marsh and Michael Hussey.

If we don’t account for Tournament-defining performances (a big performance in any knockout game when own team goes on to win the tournament), Tendulkar is the sixth-highest impact batsman in the IPL, after Chris Gayle, Shaun Marsh, Matthew Hayden, David Warner and Michael Hussey – a particularly stunning fact.

Vs Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai, 2012. In reply to CSK’s formidable 174, MI were 8 for 1 when Rohit Sharma joined Tendulkar. Together, they batted with control, and were 134 for 1 in the 16th over – when Tendulkar was dismissed for 74 off 44 balls. An inexplicable collapse commenced 13 runs later, and at one stage MI were 158 for 7, with 16 required off the last over. Dwayne Smith announced himself in the IPL with 6,4,4 off the last three balls to win the match for MI. But the early foundation came from Tendulkar.


Tendulkar’s value becomes even more magnified when we look at it only through the Mumbai Indians lens.

He scored the highest proportion of runs for MI ( Runs Tally Impact ).

He participated in the most partnerships ( Partnership-building Impact ) for MI.

He was the most consistent batsman by a distance for MI with a failure rate of just 32% over the 78 games he played.

Vs Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai, 2010. Chasing CSK’s 180, Shikhar Dhawan and Tendulkar began well. But after Dhawan’s dismissal (at 92 for 1), things were tougher. Wickets fell on and off, but Tendulkar kept the innings together. He finally was dismissed for 72 off 52 balls, just 9 runs from the target with almost 2 overs to go. MI won it in that over itself.

If we do not take tournament-defining performances into account, Tendulkar is the highest impact MI batsman till date (min. 25 matches).

For three consecutive years (2010-2012), Tendulkar was the highest impact batsman for MI.

In 2010, when MI reached the final, he was the third-highest impact batsman in the tournament, after Raina and Badrinath. He had the highest Runs Tally Impact amongst all IPL players that year.

Given that Tendulkar played with batsmen like Kevin Pietersen, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Brendon McCullum amongst others as contemporaries, it is remarkable that he was higher impact than all of them when it comes to IPL history.

Even in what is supposed to be a young man’s sport, he was beating them in their own game.



Jaideep Varma/ Soham Sarkhel

NOTE: Impact Index has undergone an upgradation in November 2015, and though 95% of its findings remain the same, there have been some minor shifts. This piece was updated post that, and is up-to-date as of August 2016.