Here, we are in no way belittling Sachin's achievements, rather stating a few relevant figures.
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At the start of the year, Tendulkar was 588 runs short. He started with a bang, scoring a majestic 154 not out against Australia at Sydney and followed it up with an equally impressive 153 at Adelaide. But it was downhill since then -- a perfect case of diminishing marginal utility. After missing the first two home Tests against South Africa owing to injury, he was sans a half-century in his last 10 Test innings.
And ever since India toured Sri Lanka in August -- with Tendulkar needing 172 runs to overtake Lara -- speculation was rife about him attaining the feat.
The fact that he could muster just 95 runs in six innings against the Lankans can be explained in two ways -- either he was woefully off form (an explanation we will accept for Tendulkar's sake) or he was under intense pressure.