Coming straight to the facts,
Sachin has played 177 test matches to date. Generally a batsman gets 2 innings in a test match. Sachin mostly played in upper order so there's a good chance he has played most of the second innings as well. He has played 453 ODIs.
Total innings to date Sachin played are 290 + 453 = 743. That's a huge number for any batsman by today's standards.
So if he's played 743 innings and total centuries are 98, then
98 / 743 * 100 = 13.19%.
So his total conversion rate for centuries is 13.19% per game to get a century. For a batsman who has opened 330 ODI innings for his country.
Wisdon 100: (Wikipedia Link)
The Wisden 100 is a set of lists created by Wisden which attempted to objectively rate the 100 best individual innings performances in Test and One Day International cricket in each of the disciplines of batting and bowling. The Test list was released in 2001 and the ODI list was released in 2002.
The ratings were calculated by scoring each individual batting and bowling performance in various criteria. Apart from the player's actual score or figures, criteria which were taken into account included the strength of the opposition players, the quality of the pitch, the result of the match, and the player's contribution to this result. The maximum possible rating was 300.
Top 10 Batting performances Test CricketThe top-rated batting performance was Donald Bradman's 270 for Australia against England at Melbourne in the 1936-37 Ashes series. 5 of Bradman's innings appeared in the top 100, more than any other batsman.
|2||Brian Lara||153*||West Indies||Australia||Bridgetown||1998-99||255.2|
|3||Graham Gooch||154*||England||West Indies||Leeds||1991||252.0|
|5||Donald Bradman||299*||Australia||South Africa||Adelaide||1931-32||236.8|
|6||V. V. S. Laxman||281||India||Australia||Kolkata||2000-01||234.8|
|8||Azhar Mahmood||132||Pakistan||South Africa||Durban||1997-98||232.6|
|9||Kim Hughes||100*||Australia||West Indies||Melbourne||1981-82||229.7|
|10||Brian Lara||375||West Indies||England||St. John's||1993-94||228.1|
Top 10 Batting performances in ODIFollowing the success of the list for Test cricket, the Wisden 100 list for ODI cricket was released on 1 February 2002.
The top-rated batting performance was Viv Richards' 189* for West Indies against England at Manchester in 1984. 7 of Richards' innings appeared in the top 100, more than any other batsman.
|1||Viv Richards||189*||West Indies||England||Old Trafford||1984||257.59|
|2||Viv Richards||138*||West Indies||England||Lord's, London||1979||245.76|
|3||Sanath Jayasuriya||189||Sri Lanka||India||Sharjah||2000||245.33|
|4||Kapil Dev||175*||India||Zimbabwe||Tunbridge Wells||1983||241.87|
|6||David Gower||158||England||New Zealand||Brisbane||1983||219.84|
|7||Brian Lara||169||West Indies||Sri Lanka||Sharjah||1995||215.21|
|8||Aravinda de Silva||107*||Sri Lanka||Australia||Lahore||1996||212.91|
|9||Clive Lloyd||102||West Indies||Australia||Lord's, London||1975||209.84|
|10||Brian Lara||153||West Indies||Pakistan||Sharjah||1993||204.46|
ICC Top Batsman of all times cricket ratings: (Wikipedia Link)
|Rank||Name||Played for||Highest rating|
|1||Sir Don Bradman||Australia||961|
|2||Sir Len Hutton||England||945|
|3||Sir Jack Hobbs||England||942|
|6||Sir Vivian Richards||West Indies||938|
|6||Kumar Sangakkara||Sri Lanka||938|
|6||Sir Garry Sobers||West Indies||938|
|6||Sir Clyde Walcott||West Indies||938|
|10||Jacques Kallis||South Africa||935|
|13||Sir Everton Weekes||West Indies||927|
|13||Graeme Pollock||South Africa||927|
|15||Dudley Nourse||South Africa||922|
|21||George Headley||West Indies||915|
|23||Brian Lara||West Indies||911|
|25||Shivnarine Chanderpaul||West Indies||901|
Sachin is not even in the list of top 25.
Comparison with Ricky Ponting and Jacques Kallis:
These guys have the most number of centuries after Tendulkar in recent times (Ricky 69 100s) (Kallis 57 100s)
If you try to compare this conversion rate with some of the other batsmen to date then Ponting has 11.29% and he doesn't even open the innings for Australia. Kallis has 10.4% and he doesn't open the innings for South Africa.
Ricky Ponting (achievements) has only opened in ODIs 3 times. All his innings come at middle and lower middle order positions. Same case with Kallis (Wikipedia Page >> Achievements), he only opened 6 times in ODIs.
Those guys play according to the situation of the game because in later overs normally batsmen don't have too much time to play out their innings and the game generally comes down to slogging.
They're pretty close to Tendulkar's conversion rate with not even opening half of the games he's opened with.
So it's not fair to compare their number of centuries to Tendulkar.
Can you say this conversion rate belongs to the best batsman in the world? Considering the fact that the guy goes on and opens the innings more than anybody in his class? Not at all.
Problems in Middle Order:
Tendulkar has found it difficult to maintain a good average and scoring rate at positions lower down the order. His overall average in ODIs coming at No. 3 is 10.22, at No. 4 is 38.85, at no 5 is 28.46. These positions are supposed to be held by key batsmen who need to score no matter what.
Why can't Tendulkar perform? The reason is obvious. Later on in the innings you have to craft your runs because there are no field restrictions so it's harder to get runs. So again, he has had a clear advantage throughout his career in opening for India when the fielders are inside the circle and it's easier to get boundaries.
Batsman and Captaincy?
Tendulkar lost more matches than he won when he was a captain. He couldn't handle the pressure very well that is why he had to resign from captaincy because he had problems coping with the pressure and only wanted to concentrate on his batting so he left Indian captaincy.
In his track record he played 72 ODIs as a captain, won only 23 and lost 42 of them.
Sure Sachin has made the most number of centuries and reached many other milestones but how many big matches has he won India really?
2011 World Cup Final, Sachin only scored 18 runs out of 21 balls.
2009-2010 ICC Champions Trophy only managed to make 8 runs against Pakistan in whole series!
2007 World Cup Sachin only averaged 32 with his highest score 57* against Bermuda! While, Ricky Pontings average was 67.38.
2006-2007 ICC Champions Trophy Sachin averaged only 24 with his highest against England being 35 runs!
2003 World Cup Final Sachin scored only 4 and got out in the first over! While Ricky Ponting's average was 51.88.
2002-2003 ICC Champions Trophy Sachin averaged 19.50 with his best of 16 against South Africa.
1999 ICC World Cup Sachin scored 140 against Kenya an underdog and managed to provide totals like 22 (SAF), 2 (SRL), 22 (ENG), 0 (AUS), 16 (ENG).
The list goes on and on. Sachin just crumbles on big occasions. Overall if you look up the stats Sachin's stats are wonderful. On paper. But he has a tendency of falling under huge pressure.
If Sachin is the best batsman in the world then why is he struggling in big matches?
He is one of the great players for sure. Not the best though.
An assessment of Sachin Tendulkar's current popularity can be made through Google Trends here. Sachin Tendulkar is the top most searched keyword only in India and after that United Arab Emirates. No body else is searching for him around the world that is of much significance of google!
Having said that, I'm a big fan of Sachin's batting style. He's a good sight to watch when he's playing well. Here is a list of achievements of Sachin Tendulkar http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achievements_of_Sachin_Tendulkar. :)
But I'm not blind and don't like to treat cricket players as gods. They're just human beings and people should know they have limitations as well.
Here's a special tribute for Sachin Tendulkar from me,