He was just 16 when he donned the whites for the Indian team against Pakistan on Nov 15th 1989. He made just 15 runs, being bowled by another debutant Waqar Younis. He was even hit on the mouth by Waqar but continued to bat, in a blood-soaked shirt.Looking at his first innings nobody could ever imagine that one day he would become the most prolific batsmen in both forms of the game. Yes the man in question is none other than our very own Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar.He is just 10 days short of completing 20 years in international cricket and it’s incredible to see him play with the same passion that he had when he played his first game. If you have to describe his career then this has to be it…
“He has competed against the best in the world across different eras; against grizzly pros when he was a kid and brash, irreverent young men now; he has played on feverishly seaming pitches and on raging turners, on cold, cloudy days and blazingly hot ones; at home surrounded by family and fans and away amidst loneliness; when the body is obeying all commands and when pain and fatigue bring you to your knees. And he hasn’t just survived; he’s left his imprint on every situation” – Harsha Bhogle
I don’t even move when Sachin is batting : Anjali
Career spanning 2 Decades
Two decades ago, when India’s World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev placed a friendly bet, challenging Sachin Tendulkar to play 10 years for India, little did Sachin realize that he would not only win the bet, but actually double those years. Having won that bet hands down, the Master Blaster now wants to continue playing for India atleast till world cup 2011.
It all began at Karachi where he made his international debut for India playing against Pakistan at Karachi. Though he didn’t score many everybody applauded him for the way he handled the Pakistani seamers. It took him a while to get his first test century (9th match and 16th inning) but once he got it there was no stopping him. The circumstances in which he scored his 1st ton convinced many that here was a man who would break all records.
England had piled up 519 on a benign pitch, and India replied with 432. England however stretched the lead to 407 and India found themselves in deep water at 127 for 5 with only one recognized batsman left. And he was Sachin(17 years) who battles for nearly four hours, grimly but never dourly, and ends the day with 119. India lost just one more wicket ending up with 343. With one more session, they might even have won.
First TON in Test Cricket
Sachin made his ODI debut on Dec 18, 1989 against Pakistan. It took him 5 long years and 79 matches to get his first ODI century It was on 9th September 1994 vs Australia at Premadasa Stadium Colombo where he cracked the first of the many tons that were to follow. It took him only 355 matches to go from 1 to 44 hundreds which turns out to be a hundred per 8 matches
When you see youngster struggling to carry their form from one season to another, its incredible to find such a man who has lasted for 20 years and can last a few more for sure. Like any cricketer he has had his ups and downs in his career but he has stood the test of time and has moved on.
Some reactions :
Yuvraj Singh: He is the ‘Grand Pa’ of Indian cricket. He has been playing for the last 20 years and it is interesting to see that the hunger is still there in him. Playing with him has been a great learning experience.
Ponting: The number of innings of his I have been able to sit back and watch, I think he is an amazing player. Look at his stats and records and it’s quite incredible for someone to have stayed in the game for 20 years. He has set benchmarks for guys like me to chase him and get as close as we can. If I had to last 20 years, I would probably be batting in a wheelchair. He is an ideal role model for youngsters.
He might have failed to clear his 12th boards but ever since he started playing cricket he has kept the statitions on their toes. After playing for 20 years you are bound to have records but the milestones that he has achieved year after year is just incredible. If we had to list out all his achievements then it would be close to 100. Some of the Major ones are
Highest run scorer in Tests: 12773 at an average of 55.48
Highest run scorer in ODI: 17168 at an average of 44.59
Most No of 100’s in ODI and Tests: 45 & 42
Most Man of the Match & Man of the Series awards: 71 & 18.
Apart from these, Tendulkar holds a wide battery of records that no other cricketer could boast of, ranging from most number of runs in a World Cup to first player to reach 10000, 11000, 12000, 13000, 14000, 15000, 16000 and 17000 runs in ODIs. In fact, many of the records were created by him during his prolific career.
He is the only cricketer to receive the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, India’s highest sporting honour and also Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian honor of India. He was awarded Padma Shri in 1999.
What others think of him
He is widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time and has conquered the hearts & imaginations of millions of people throughout the world. He has been praised the world over for his skills but the greatest ever comment that he has received and he too cherishes that moment when he was recognized by Sir Donald Bradman, a man whom almost every cricket enthusiast considers the greatest of all batsmen to have graced a cricket field, as his modern-day incarnation.
Wasim Akram: Sachin Tendulkar will easily break all international batting records. He has everything a top batsman needs. He is a classic example of a player being so good that his age is an irrelevance.
Dennis Lillee: If I’ve to bowl to Sachin, I’ll bowl with my helmet on. He hits the ball so hard.
Shane Warne: I’ll be going to bed having nightmares of Sachin just running down the wicket and belting me back over the head for six. He was unstoppable. I don’t think anyone, apart from Don Bradman, is in the same class as Sachin Tendulkar. He is just an amazing player.
Australian Media: “The most exciting batsman of his time because he finds the right balance between reason and passion, technique and power, nerves and placement and judgement that applies to all tastes.”
Navjot Sidhu: His mind is like a computer. He stores data on bowlers and knows where they are going to pitch the ball.
Border: It’s scary, where the hell do we bowl to him.
Ian Chappell: Yeah mate, but that’s with all great players.
Border: Well yes, but imagine what he’ll be like when he’s 28.
Greg Chappell: I’d like to see him go out and bat one day with a stump. I tell you he’d do okay.
POWER -> MRF -> ADIDAS
When you have a batsman who has almost every record under the sun, you would expect the sponsors to line up to lure the little master into having their logo on his bat but only 3 have been lucky enough to do so.
Twenty years ago, when Sachin Tendulkar entered the imagination of the cricketing world, “Power” the sports goods brand was visible prominently on his bat.
A few years later he went on to attain legendary status and also drove the “MRF” brand along with him to attain cult status amongst his Fan Followers,thanks to its visibility on his broad bat. The “MRF Bat” has been the one he has been using since ages now and it has featured in almost everywhere he has been and done that, from being depicted as a GOD to His Madame Tussauds wax statue and through many Centuries
After been associated with MRF for a decade he shifted to Adidas in the recently concluded Compaq cup 2009. The red initials of the tyre company were replaced by global sports goods firm “Adidas“ probably to suggest that Impossible is nothing for this MRF Genius
Bat Speaks to him
What makes him so Special??
To be the best in the business is not impossible (after all somebody has to be at the top) but to be consistent for 20 long years is no ordinary thing. Self belief, the will to win, the fear and respect of the rival have made him the man he is today. There is no one thing to greatness. It is physical, alertness, technique, wisdom, humility, patience, vision, but more a confluence of these that makes the little man the Genius that he is today.
He has perfect technique of meeting the ball under the chin and the eyebrow where timing comes sweetest. Many people are gifted with talent but to put it to the best use is what makes Sachin a class apart from the rest. So where does this motivation come from. Records? No. He just says “It’s the challenge that drives me.”