29th June, 2020 marks 13 years since India's batting great Sachin Tendulkar reached 15,000 runs in ODIs. He remains the only cricketer to do so till date. Tendulkar reached the feat during the second match against South Africa during the side's tour to the United Kingdom. He missed his 42nd ODI century by merely seven runs in the innings but aided India to a six-wicket victory.
The year was a significantly difficult one for Team India in the beginning. After a series win against Sri Lanka and West Indies at home, it soon turned to a disaster for the side as they were ousted in the group stage of the 2007 World Cup. India faced a shocking defeat to Bangladesh in their opening game, and conceded another loss to Sri Lanka. The exit sparked outrage among the Indian fans and led to the resignation of coach Greg Chappell.
Tendulkar had admitted in his autobiography that he felt so terrible after the World Cup that he contemplated retirement. However, he revealed that he received a phone-call from West Indies great Sir Vivian Richards, who pushed him to continue, insisting that he had more cricket left in him.
After the debacle, India toured the United Kingdom for limited-overs matches against Ireland and South Africa, before taking on England in a three-match Test series and seven-match ODI series. It was the time to press the reset button and start afresh for the Indian team, which was now boosted with the arrival of youngsters like Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma and Piyush Chawla, among others.
India didn't have a bright start to the three-match ODI series against South Africa, losing the first game by four wickets. The side faced a do-or-die match next and made a remarkable comeback to the series. Restricting the South Africans on 226, India chased the target in the final over with six wickets to spare, with Tendulkar top-scoring (93) for the side. (ALSO READ: Former team manager reveals who stopped Ganguly, Tendulkar from playing in 2007 T20 WC)
He was supported well by opening partner Sourav Ganguly (42) and Yuvraj Singh (49*).
With a drive towards the covers in the 18th over of the match which also brought his half-century, Tendulkar reached the 15,000-run mark in the game.
India eventually won the series 2-1, winning the final match by six wickets.
Tendulkar became the first player in cricket history to reach the milestone in the fifty-over format. He was also the first to breach the five-figure mark in ODI history in 2001.
The 'Master Blaster' eventually ended up as the highest run-getter in the format, with 18,426 runs at an average of 44.83. He slammed 49 tons and 86 fifties in his career - both records. In addition, he was also the first cricketer to score a double-century in ODIs. Incidentally, he reached this record against South Africa, too.