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Sachin – The batting maestro who set new tunes to linger forever

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Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, a legendary cricketer is the highest run-scorer of all time in international cricket. The former Indian cricketer was born on 24 April in 1973.

The greatest batsman in the history of cricket, took into cricket at an early stage and in his twenty-four years of cricket playing he made a lot of records. And most of them would stand for a long time to come.

Early Years of Sachin

Sachin - as a young boy with his family
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Tendulkar was born in Dadar, Bombay in Maharashtra to Ramesh Tendulkar and Rajni. His father was a novelist and a poet and his mother worked in an insurance company.

His father named him after his favorite musician, Sachin Dev Burman. Sachin has three elder siblings, brothers Nitin and Ajith, and a sister Savita. Ramesh’s first wife died after the birth of the third child and among the siblings, Ajith was instrumental in shaping his cricketing career.

Contrary to the gentleness for which he is fondly remembered, he was a bully in his childhood and often fought with other children in the school. To mend his ways, his brother Ajit made him play cricket in the year 1984.

The turning point in his life happened, when Ajith introduced Tendulkar to coach Ramakant Achrekar. He was a famous coach and a club cricketer at Shivaji Park, Dadar and Sachin joined his academy.

Achrekar advised that joining Sharadashram Vidyamandir School, a school at Dadar was the better option as the school had a prominent cricket team. Tendulkar joined the school and also got the coaching by Achrekar in the mornings and the evenings.

During the practice in the nets, the coach followed a novel way to boost the spirit of the young Tendulkar. When he looked tired, the coach used to place a one rupee coin on the stumps and would declare that the bowler who hit the stumps could get the coin. By defending his whole session, Tendulkar won many coins and he still cherished the 13 coins he won at the time as his most valuable possession.

Sachin at the school level competitions

Sachin - at school level
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The combination of talent and rigorous practice started to earn him a name as a child prodigy and he became the talk of the cricketing circles. And most of the people who saw him playing predicted a great future for the talented kid.

He got a regular place in his school team and played regularly for Matunga Gujarati Seva Mandal Shield.

He also started to play in club cricket and represented famous clubs like John Cricket Club, Kanga League and Cricket Club of India.

Then, in the year 1987, he attended MRF Pace Foundation with the intention of honing his pace bowling skills. The foundation was famous for identifying and mentoring many cricketing talents, who represented India later.

The then coach, the famous Australian fast bowler Dennis Lillee, advised Tendulkar against his bowling ambition and asked him to focus more on his batting skills. It was also a good thing that happened in the life of the cricketing legend and he started to focus more on his batting.

On 20 January 1987, in the match that marked the golden jubilee celebration of the Cricket Club of India, he took part as a substitute in Imran Khan’s team. Then, during the World Cup in 1987, he served as a ball boy when India played against England in the semifinal in Bombay.

In the year 1988, Tendulkar scored a century in all the innings he played. The remarkable partnership with his teammate Vinoth Kambli, who also played for India later, happened in the year.

It was a Lord Harris Shield inter-school game against St. Xavier High School. They made 664-run partnership and Tendulkar scored 326 not out in this innings. And he scored more than a thousand runs in the tournament.

Domestic matches at the early stages

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Ranji Trophy is India’s domestic first-class cricket tournament and getting entry into it is the aim of all aspiring cricketers. On 14 November 1987, Tendulkar was selected for the Ranji Trophy. He was only 14 years old and he represented Bombay.

In the tournament, he didn’t get a place in the playing eleven but he took part in some of the matches as a substitute player.

In next year, when he was 15 years and 232 days old, Tendulkar made his debut in the Ranji trophy and made a 100 not out in the match between Bombay and Gujarat. And he became the youngest Indian who made a century on his debut in first-class cricket.

Then he went on to score centuries in his first Deodhar and Duleep trophies, which are other famous Indian domestic tournaments.

In the 1988-89 Ranji Trophy season, he scored 583 runs with an average of 67.77. Consequently, at the start of the 1989-90 season, he scored an unbeaten century in the match against Delhi in the Irani Trophy.

In the years 1988 and 1989, he was part of the young Indian team which toured England and the team went under the Star Cricket Club Banner. Then in the 1990-91 Ranji season, Tendulkar made 96 from 76 balls against Haryana. Though, his team missed the victory by two runs, the chase he made on that day was a remarkable one.

Tendulkar scored his first double century against the visiting Australian side, in 1998, when he scored 204 not out for his Mumbai team. Sachin still holds the record for scoring a century on his debut in all three first-class domestic tournaments.

In 1992, when he was 19, Yorkshire selected him to play the county matches and it was a distinction, as Yorkshire never before selected players, even from other English counties. In the 16 matches he played there, Tendulkar scored 1070 runs at an average of 46.52

International career of Sachin

Early career

Sachin - as a young cricketer with Azharuddin
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Tendulkar made his international debut in test matches against Pakistan. Sachin was 16 years and 205 days in age when he made his debut in November 1989 in Karachi.

He faced the well-famed Pakistani pace attack and the way he handled the blows to his body was notable. Tendulkar scored 15 runs in the innings and Waqar Younis who also made his debut bowled him out.

In the fourth test played at Sialkot, Sachin was hit by a bouncer from Waqar Younis. He showed his guts at the tender age and continued the innings with the bleeding nose by declining any medical assistance.

Consequently, when Sachin hit 27 runs in a single over from the then famed Pakistani spinner Abdul Qadir, he became the cynosure of all eyes. He made 53 runs in 18 balls in that exhibition match held in Peshawar.

In his debut test series, he scored 215 runs at an average of 35.83 runs. In the tournament against Pakistan, he played in one one-day match only and scored no runs in the match.

Then Sachin became the youngest test player to debut for India and also the youngest one-day international player to debut for India.

In his next tour, he scored 117 runs in the test matches at an average of 29.25 runs against New Zealand. In the series, he scored 88 runs in an innings. Then, he played two one day matches. He was dismissed without scoring in a match and scored 36 runs in another match.

Maiden Test Century

In 1990, on August 14 Sachin scored his maiden test century when he played against England in Old Trafford in Manchester. Then, he became the second-youngest cricketer to score a Test century and he was undefeated at 119.

His timely century saved India from defeat and the match came to a draw. And his display of patience and stroke play attracted sports critics in the world media and they praised his ability to face the short deliveries from the pace bowlers without difficulty.

In the 1991-92 tour of Australia, when he scored an unbeaten 148 in the third Test at Sydney, he became the youngest cricketer to score a century in Australia. Then, he scored 114 in the final test at Perth and it came from a bouncy pitch and against the famed Australian pace bowlers.

Sachin Growth in Stature

Sachin - with Kapil Dev & Azharuddin

During the years 1994-1999, with the gained experience in international pitches and the physical strength, Tendulkar began to make an impression in every innings he played.

In 1994, he started to play as an opener, and in his first match as an opener he made 82 runs off 49 balls, against New Zealand in Auckland. Consequently, on his 78th one-day international match, he scored his first century when he played the match against Australia in Colombo.

His form continued and he was the leading run-scorer in the 1994 World Cup. In the World Cup he scored two centuries and Sachin was the only run-scorer in the semi-final against Srilanka. The Indian batting line collapsed in the match and the match was awarded to Srilanka due to the unruly behavior of the crowd and the continued disturbance.

In the same year, in a match against Pakistan in Sharjah, Tendulkar, and Navjot Singh Sidhu, both scored centuries, and eventually, India made more than 300 runs for the first time in a one day international.

Tendulkar exhibited his mastery in cricket in the Australian Tour of India in the year 1998. In the series he scored three consecutive centuries. Even before the beginning of the series, the expectation was high to see the contest between Tendulkar and Shane Warne, the world’s leading Australian spinner.

In the tour opener, Australia faced India in a three-day first-class match and Tendulkar made an unbeaten 204 as a part of the Mumbai Ranji team. Shane Warne conceded 111 runs in 16 overs and Australia lost the match.

In the subsequent one day series, he also exhibited his bowling skill in a match, where Australia chased 310 runs. At a time Australia was strong in position and scored 203 for 3 in 31 overs. Then, Tendulkar took five important wickets and turned the match in India’s favor.

Then came his two one day international centuries in Sharjah, which are known as ‘Desert Storm Innings’. He got the first century in a must-win match against Australia in the triangular tournament and the second one in the finals, against Australia again.

In the ICC international in 1998, Sachin scored 141 runs in 128 balls and took four wickets against Australia. This performance in the quarterfinal helped India to reach the semi-finals.

In the year 1999, the inaugural Asian Test Championship took place between India, Pakistan, and Srilanka. The first match brought a record in crowd attendance in Eden Gardens and more than 100,000 people attended the match.

But, the crowd went into a riot as Tendulkar got run out in nine after colliding with the Pakistani bowler Shoab Akhtar. Finally, the match was finished in front of a small crowd. In the series, he scored a century in the second test match against Sri Lanka.

In a test match played against Pakistan at Chepauk in the year 1999, Sachin scored 136 runs in the fourth innings. During the 1999 Cricket World Cup, he lost his father and had to leave the tournament midway. He missed a match against Zimbabwe. But in his next match against Kenya, he scored a century.

Tendulkar as captain

He donned the role of Indian captaincy with much expectation. He became the captain of the Indian team in 1996 but he was not successful as a captain. The team performed not up to the mark in the year 1997.

Under his captaincy India lost a test series 3-0 when India toured Australia. But, he retained his individual best performance and won the player of the series award. Then again, India lost a home series against South Africa 0-2. Then in the year 2000, Tendulkar resigned and Sourav Ganguly took over the captaincy.

After the intention of Rahul Dravid to resign from the captaincy was known, Tendulkar was again offered the role of captaincy during the 2007 tour of England. However, Tendulkar declined the offer and recommended Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the post.

Performance in the years 2001 and 2002

In the year 2001, he performed well both with the ball and the bat. In the famous test match against Australia in Kolkata, on the final day he took three key wickets and changed the course of the match. Eventually, India won the match which was earlier in a position to draw the match.

Following the match series, he took his 100th wicket in the one-day international series. Sachin bowled the famous Australian captain Steve Waugh in the final match of the series to claim his 100th wicket.

Sachin went past Sir Donald Bradman

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Then he played in the 2002 Test series in the West Indies. In the first test Sachin scored 79 runs and when he scored 117 runs in the first innings of the second test, he equaled the record of Sir Donald Bradman for 29 test hundreds. The Formula One Champion Michael Schumacher awarded him a “Ferrari” for achieving this feat.

In the next four innings he scored 0,0,8 and 0 which is an uncharacteristic batting display. But in the last test he scored 41 and 86. Consequently, when Sachin scored his 30th test century against England in the third match, he went past Bradman’s record and he achieved it in his 99th match.

Cricket World Cup – 2003

In the 2003 world cup, Tendulkar made 673 runs in 11 matches and helped India reach the final. But, Australia retained the trophy, which the team won in the previous world cup.

Further, in the year, he went ahead and scored two more centuries against NewZealand and Australia in one-day international matches.

Performance during 2003 to 2006

Sachin - thanking god by raising his bat to the sky
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In 2003-2004, India tour of Australia, Tendulkar made his mark by scoring 241 not out in the first innings and followed it by an unbeatable 60 in the second innings.

Before the stroke full innings, he failed to make it in all the previous six innings and the year 2003 was the worst one his test career and his batting average was 17.25 only

In the following test series against Pakistan, Tendulkar made 194 against Pakistan at Multan.

As most of the sportsmen suffer, Tendulkar also faced injuries. He suffered from tennis elbow and he remained out of the team for the most part of the year. Then, he played only in the last two tests in the year 2004, when Australia toured India. He made a fast 55 which helped India to win the match, though Australia won the series 2-1.

In 2005, he scored his 35th test century against Sri Lanka. Then came the longest gap in his career without a test century. He played 17 innings and didn’t make a century. Then, he broke this gap by scoring 101 against Bangladesh in May 2007.

On February 6, 2006, he scored his 39th ODI hundred against Pakistan. In the second ODI match in the series he scored 42 runs. And he scored 95 runs in a hard to bat pitch which helped the Indian victory.

Tendulkar was heckled by the crowd for the first time in his career when he got out for just one run in the first innings of the third test against England. It took place in his home ground on 19 March 2006. He ended the series without a half-century and the need for a shoulder surgery raised doubt about his fitness.

Then, he proved his critics wrong with his comeback innings he played against the West Indies in the DLF cup in Malaysia. It was his 40th ODI century and he scored 141 not out in the match.

Sachin in Cricket World Cup 2007

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In the preparation phase itself, there emerged a clash of opinion between the coach Greg Chappell and Tendulkar about the order of his batting. Greg suggested batting down the order, while Tendulkar believed his experience in playing at the top order would be helpful in building good innings.

In the world cup held in the West Indies in 2007, the team led by Rahul Dravid performed poorly and Tendulkar who batted down the order also scored few runs only.

Sachin got back his form

After the World Cup, Tendulkar returned to his old form in the subsequent matches. He batted in the opening slot and got the man of the series title in the test series against Bangladesh.

Then in the Future Cup, Sachin scored 99 and 93 against South Africa in the first two ODIs. During the second match, he became the first batsman to score 15,000 runs in ODIs. And he also won the man of the series award.

On 28 July 2007, Tendulkar became the third cricketer to complete 11,000 runs in test cricket on the second day of the Nottingham Test against England.

Further, in the subsequent one day series against England he scored runs with an average of 53.42 and became the leading run-scorer. Again he was the leading run-scorer in the one day series against Australia with 278 runs.

In the year 2007 alone, Tendulkar got dismissed seven times when his score was between 90 and 100. And he got out 27 times in the 90s during his international career.

Sachin in between the years 2007 and 2010

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Tendulkar exhibited his proficiency in batting during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in 2007-2008. He went on to score 493 runs in four tests. In the third Test at Perth, his innings was instrumental in ending the 16 consecutive winnings of the Australian team.

On 5 February 2008 at the Gabba in Brisbane, in the match played against Srilanka, Tendulkar became the only batsman to complete 16,000 runs in ODIs.

It was the One-Day International Commonwealth Bank Tri-Series between India, Srilanka, and Australia, and his performance in the two finals was nominated as the ODI Batting Performance of the year by ESPNCricinfo.

Next Sachin played one innings only in the South Africa tour of India in March 2008 and missed the rest of the series due to groin injury. He also had to miss the following tri-series with Bangladesh, the 2008 Asia Cup, and the first half of the first IPL season.

Tendulkar started to play in the India tour of Srilanka with the much expectation to break Brian Lara’s record of 11,953 test runs as he needed only 177 runs. But he failed in all six innings and scored a total of 95 runs only. And also missed the following ODI series due to injury.

He worked and got his fitness back in the following Australia tour of India. And also returned to form. Sachin made 88 runs in the first innings of the second test. With this, he broke the record of Brian Lara for most test runs.

He also reached the landmark of 12,000 tests runs by an individual. Further he scored a fifty in the third test and 109 in the fourth test. As a result India went on to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

In the following England tour of India, he was not able to play the first three ODIs because of an injury. It was a seven-match series and he played in the fourth and fifth matches. But the series was eventually called off due to the terrorist attack in Mumbai in 2008.

In the following test series against England, while chasing 387 runs for victory. Tendulkar scored 103 not out and built an unbroken partnership of 163 runs with Yuvaraj Singh. Eventually, India won the match.

In early 2009, India visited Srilanka and played five ODIs. Tendulkar scored 5, 6, and 7 in the first three matches. And he was dismissed leg before wicket in all the three matches. Then, he didn’t play the remaining two matches.

In the next cricket series away from home against New Zealand, Tendulkar made an unbeaten 163 runs in the third ODI. India won the match and also won the series 3-1. He also played well in the test series, made his 42nd test century. It helped India to win the test series 1-0.

In early September 2009, Tendulkar played in the Compaq cup tri-series between India, Sri Lanka, and New Zealand. He made 138 in the final and India won the cup.

Then came the Australian tour of India for a seven-match ODI series in India in October. The series was leveled 2-2 and Australia made 350/4 in the fifth match.

While chasing the huge total, Tendulkar made 175 runs in 141 balls. He got out when India needed 19 runs in 18 balls. India lost the remaining four wickets quickly and Australia won the match by three runs. Tendulkar also crossed his 17,000 ODI runs in this match.

In the following five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka in 2009-10, Tendulkar performed well and India won the series 3-1. Further, he scored a century in the test series, and India won the series 2-0.

Sachin didn’t play in the ODI series against Bangladesh in 2010. But he played in the test series and made two centuries. And India won both the test matches.

Then he played in the two tests against South Africa and made centuries in both the matches. Thus, he scored consecutive four centuries in test matches and became the fourth Indian to achieve this feat.

Further, he played in the ODI series against South Africa and made 200 not out in the second match. Then, he became the first batsman to make a double century in ODI cricket.

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Cricket World Cup – 2011

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Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka hosted the 2011 World Cup. In the tournament, Tendulkar scored well. He got 482 runs in total with a batting average of 53.55. And he scored two centuries also.

In the final, India defeated Sri Lanka and won the world cup. After winning the final, Tendulkar said, “Winning the World Cup is the proudest moment of my life. … I couldn’t control my tears of joy”.

100th international century

During his next tour to England, there was much expectation about his 100th century in international cricket. Though he made 91 runs in an innings, he didn’t make his 100th century. And his batting average was only 34.12 in the series.

On November 8, 2011, he became the first cricketer to score 15,000 runs in test cricket. He achieved it during the opening test match against the West Indies in New Delhi.

Then, on 16 March 2012, Tendulkar scored his 100th international hundred against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup. And became the first person in history to achieve this feat.

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Retirement

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Following his poor performance against England in 2012, Tendulkar announced his retirement from ODIs on 23 December 2012. But he was available to play test cricket.

Then he announced his retirement from the IPL, after his team, Mumbai Indians won in the final on 26 May 2013. He retired from 20-20 cricket after playing the 2013 Champions League in India for Mumbai Indians.

On October 10 2013, he announced his retirement. Further, he said that he would retire from all forms of cricket after playing the two-match test series against West Indies in November.

BCCI arranged the last match in his home ground so that the maestro would get a fitting farewell. He scored 74 runs in his last innings and Sachin retired from cricket on November 16, 2013.

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