Sir Garfield Sobers handing over the Man of Tournament trophy to Sachin Tendulkar at the 2003 World Cup
Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar (born April 24, 1973) is a living cricket legend and member of the Indian cricket team since 1989. He made his international debut against Pakistan in 1989 at the age of 16. He is widely regarded as one of the best batsmen of all time and possibly the greatest of his era. Sir Donald Bradman, the Australian great said of Sachin, "He reminds me of myself".
Born in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) into a middle class family, Sachin was named after his family's favorite musician Sachin Dev Burman. He played his first international match against Pakistan in Karachi facing up to the likes of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. He scored just 15 runs and was bowled by Waqar Younis, who also made his debut in that match. It was an innings very different from how the rest of his career went. He followed it up with his maiden test fifty a few days later at Faisalabad. However he could not get a century in that series. His One-day International (ODI) debut on December 18 was equally disappointing where he was dismissed without scoring a run again by Waqar Younis. The series was followed by a non-descript tour of New Zealand in which he did not make remarkable contribution. In the tour of England in 1990 he scored his maiden test century but the other scores were not remarkable. It was in the 1991/1992 tour of Australia that he made his mark as a remarkable batsman. He has been man of the match 11 times in test matches and Man of the Series twice, both times in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia.
His maiden ODI century came on September 9, 1994 against Australia in Sri Lanka at Colombo.
He was named by Wisden as one of the Cricketers of the Year 1997 which was the first calendar year in which he scored a 1000 test runs. He repeated the feat in 1999, 2001 and 2002.
Some remarkable achievements of his career are:
- Most runs (over 13000) and centuries (37) in one-day internationals
- First cricketer to cross 10,000-run mark in ODIs
- Most centuries among those who have played less than 125 test matches
- Among those who have played over 100 test matches, he is the only one with a batting average above 55.
- Only second Indian to cross 9000 runs in Test matches, and one test century short of Sunil Gavaskar's record of 34.
- He has the most centuries in ODI cricket against Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.
- To go with this he has more than eight thousand runs in Test cricket and 31 hundreds, at an average of 56. An average above 50 distinguishes a batsman as an all time great.
While his batting ranks him among the best in the world, he is also a part-time bowler and has played a crucial role as a leg spinner or a medium pace bowler who tends to break partnerships. He has more than a hundred wickets in ODIs and 35 in tests, though his bowling averages are above 40. He continues to perform well under the massive weight of expectation of hundreds of millions of cricket followers, in India and around the world, and most recently was named Player Of The Tournament in the 2003 Cricket World Cup.
|179||West Indies||Nagpur (1994-95)||Drawn|
|169||South Africa||Cape Town (1996-97)||South Africa|
|155||South Africa||Bloemfontein (2001-02)||South Africa|
|241 not out||Australia||Sydney (2004)||Drawn|
|194 not out||Pakistan||Multan (2004)||India|
|90||Australia||Mumbai (1996 WC+)||Australia|
|98||Pakistan||Centurion (2003 WC)||India|
He seems to play his best cricket against the best teams, however he has been criticized for not leading India to more test match victories away from home. Only the last of the innings listed above led to an Indian victory abroad. However, for a good part of his career, the Indian team was not very competitive and he was the only redeeming quality about it. There were times where he has brought India to the verge of victory only to be let down by his teammates.
Sachin's batting in ODIs really took off after he was invited to open the innings at Auckland against New Zealand in 1994http://www.cricinfo.com/link_to_database/ARCHIVE/1993-94/IND_IN_NZ/IND_NZ_ODI2_27MAR1994.html after he had played nearly 70 matches. At the Auckland ODI Tendulkar slammed the ball all around the stadium with a firepower that was not seen in cricket in those days. He went on to make 82 runs in 49 balls. Tendulkar's considerably better performance as an opener dawned upon everyone else. He was to stay as India's opener for long time after that. His first hundred came later that year against Australia in Colombo. He now scores a century every six innings that he plays.
Tendulkar has a shrewd cricketing brain and has a good arm from the outfield. Sachin's record as captain, however, has not been outstanding. His contribution to the game and his role in attracting a following to the game goes beyond his record. His game is characterized by style, aggression and often dazzling brilliance. Sachin has earned respect from fans and cricketers around the world due to his down-to-earth nature which he maintains despite being treated as a national icon.
Tendulkar had an excellent fitness record but in 1999 he suffered a career-threatening back injury. This was followed by another fitness problem. Tendulkar had to miss out on two tournaments in as he is recovering from tennis elbow. He is struggling to be fit for the home test series against Australia. Tennis elbow, a rare injury for cricketers, is being attributed to wear and tear since he made his international debut as a 16-year-old in 1989.
Sachin's fame in his own country is such that he is virtually a prisoner in his own home with his appearances in public causing near-riots amongst fevered fans. He is known to take his car for late-night drives around the city as one of the few chances to escape the protective bubble in which he is forced to exist. Sachin is married to his childhood friend Dr. Anjali. He has a five year old daughter Sara and a son Arjun, who is three.
Perhaps the biggest reminder of his fame, Sachin was recently made a textbook lesson in Indian schools so that children can draw inspiration from his achievements.
Australian bowling great Shane Warne who is among Wisden's list of five greatest cricket players in 21st century has had a particular bad time against Tendulkar. He described incidents when he got up in the night from dreams where Tendulkar was smashing him around the ground.
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