Widely regarded as the greatest to ever play the sport, Sachin Tendulkar has conquered every height that exists in the game of cricket, no matter how dizzying it may seem. The record books and fans sing his name in glory with equal delight and there's hardly a trophy that hasn't been held by the great little man.
However, the one aspect of cricket that did not witness Sachin at his very best is the format of T20I. The shortest format of the sport arrived too late in his career for Master Blaster to embrace it fully and he retired having played just a single T20 International, against South Africa on 1st December 2006.
But that's where the IPL takes center-stage. Choosing not to embrace the newfound frenzy of International T20 cricket, Sachin Tendulkar, did helm the Indian Premier League for the first five seasons.
As wishes continue to pour in on the Master Blaster's birthday, let's take a look at his greatest IPL knocks:
5. Riding on splendour against the Knights, IPL 2009
South Africa hosted IPL 2009 because of the Lok Sabha elections in India that year. On the track of Port Elizabeth, Sachin Tendulkar punished the Kolkata Knight Riders bowlers with much disdain.
Tendulkar was at the peak of his powers during the 2003 World Cup held in the country. He invoked the sense of nostalgia in fans once again when he began proceedings with a six cut over point akin to the manner in which he smashed Shoaib Akhtar in that World Cup.
His innings consisted of beautiful stroke-playing all around the park but the major highlight of his 45-ball 68 was his battle against Sri Lanka's Ajantha Mendis. The mystery spinner had been in red-hot form and had bested several players during the 2007 World T20.
Sachin smashed sixes off Mendis' bowling and along with Sanath Jayasuriya at the other end, put up 127 runs before the first wicket fell.
4. A Royal Charge, IPL 2010
Against Rajasthan Royals in 2010, Sachin Tendulkar displayed his immense maturity and understanding of the game to help Mumbai get out of a difficult situation. Having lost Rayudu and Jayasuriya early, Mumbai were caught in a bit of a pickle. It was then, that the legend took charge and anchored the innings with a steady hand.
Towards the final chapter of his innings, he changed his approach drastically and started taking the game to the bowlers, including Shane Warne. Tendulkar hit three boundaries off Warne in the 19th over and ended up with an 89 not out off just 59 deliveries.
3. Dethroning the Kings, IPL 2010
Chasing a total of 180 runs against Dhoni's CSK is no easy business. Mumbai Indians needed their saviour to deliver once again and Tendulkar played out of his skin during the run-chase.
His well-calculated innings saw him hitting 8 fours and a six. Sachin also dealt with the spin threat of Muttiah Muralitharan and Shadab Jakati extremely well. He was dismissed on 72 in the final over, but by that time, MI were well-positioned to win the game.
2. Destroying the Daredevils, IPL 2010
2010 was a pretty special year in the life and career of the Master Blaster. He became the first men's player to score a double-century in ODI cricket and also had a fruitful IPL season, scoring 618 runs and winning both the Orange Cap and the Man of the Tournament award.
Delhi Daredevils faced the wrath of Tendulkar in that IPL when the quiet, little man took off his calculating, yet precise batting approach and turned into a monster hell-bent on destruction. He slammed a 32-ball 63 against the side at a strike rate close to 200. What was special about his innings was the number of uncharacteristic and unconventional shots he played.
1. Taming the Tuskers, IPL 2011
It's hard to find a record in cricket that doesn't have the name Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar enlisted beside it. The owner of 100 international centuries ensured that T20 cricket would not be bereft of a classic Sachin Tendulkar century.
Beginning his innings with the poise of a Test batsman, Sachin took the Kochi Tuskers Kerala bowlers to the sword soon after. His knock was replete with majestic shots and some breathtaking power hitting. Tendulkar took just 66 deliveries to slam a century in the shortest format of the game. The fact that it arrived in front of his home crowd at the Wankhede made the day even more remarkable.