Sachin Tendulkar’s Journey
Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar- this isn’t just a name, but an emotion that surface in the heart and soul of billions for over two decades. Perhaps the most decorated batsman and a prolific run-maker the world has ever witnessed, Sachin Tendulkar- The esteemed “God Of Cricket” is indeed the epitome of greatness. Who could ever forget those exquisite leg-glances, crisp cover-drives, and the precise straight drives? Oh dear, I could just continue admiring the quality the master possessed with his ravishing stroke-play!
Born in the city of dreams Mumbai on 24th April 1973, Sachin started his cricketing career at the tender age of 16 and nurtured himself with time. He made his International debut in both Test and ODIs against the arch-rivals Pakistan in 1989. He surfaced a lean patch at the start of his international career as it took him more than 70 innings to get to his first International ton. But once he registered a scintillating unbeaten 119 against England in August 1990, there was nothing stopping him. He still holds the record of being the youngest Indian to score a Test century.
The score of 119 against England was just the spark of the big blast Sachin was destined to deliver. He got a rapid century against Australia in 1992 and registered 5 Test centuries before the age of 20, a record still held by the little master.
Sachin Tendulkar‘s love affair with the might Aussies!
The first phase of International cricket was ruled by the Caribbeans. Clive Lloyd led West Indies won two World Cups on the trot in the year 1975, 1979. It was the Indian team who broke the jinx and eluded the West Indies from a hat-trick of the World Cup, and since then, the Caribbeans still awaits for their third 50-over World Cup triumph.
The dominance then shifted in favor of the mighty Aussies, and they became the ‘Don of Cricket.’ After winning their first World Cup in 1987, Australia went on to win the biggest prize in World Cricket on five occasions, including the 1987 triumph. There was no doubt about their dominance and the way they used to muster their opponents, but Sachin Tendulkar was someone who loved to take challenges upon himself and deliver with the best he can.
Many of his finest performances came against Australia, the overwhelmingly dominant team of his era. His outrageous ton at the tender age of 19 on the fastest surface in the word WACA, Perth, is still considered as one of his perennial innings of all time. He has accumulated over 2500 runs against this very opposition, a feat that hasn’t been managed by any other batsman against a single opposition, forget about two. He has scored 3630 runs from 39 matches and averages 51.54 against Australia in Tests, and has scored 16 fifties and 11 centuries against this opposition.
Every great story is somehow tainted with a bad phase, and for Sachin, it was captaincy. Blessed with the keenest of cricket minds and armed with a loathing for losing, Tendulkar already did what it took to become one of the best batsmen in the world. Sachin was first handed the captaincy in the year 1996 after ending the 1996 World Cup as the leading run-getter.
His game was getting better day-by-day, and this was one of the primary reasons why he was handed the captaincy across formats. However, his tenure serving as the captain didn’t go the way he wanted. From 25 Tests, he could only manage 4 wins, and from 73 ODIs, India could only manage 23 wins. During his tenure, India visited Australia and was clean swept 3-0 by the newly crowned world champions. After some underwhelming performances from the team under his captaincy, Tendulkar resigned from the post, and Sourav Ganguly took over as captain in 2000.
Records held by the Great Man
Talking about records, Sachin Tendulkar holds almost every record one could ever imagine in International cricket. If we pen down each and every record held by the little master, we could be out of time, and this post will never end. However, we have compiled some of the most imperial ones below,
- Most ODI runs till date- 18,426 runs
- Moist ODI appearances- 463 matches
- The only player to feature in 200 Test matches
- Most Test runs till date- 15,921
- 100 international tons. 49 in ODIs and 51 in Tests
- Debut with hundreds in domestic cricket
- First overseas player to play for Yorkshire Cricket Club
- Scored five centuries before turning 20
- Most runs in World Cup history i.e. above 2000 runs
- Sachin also holds the record for the most number of runs in a single World Cup event (673 runs in the 2003 World Cup)
- Only player in the history of the game to register a unique double of scoring 15000+ runs and scalping 150+ wickets in ODIs
- The only player to have scored 30,000 international runs (Tests and ODIs combined)
- Sachin leads the pack of scoring most 50+ scores. In World Cup matches, he has crossed the 50-run mark on 21 occasions (including 6 World Cup centuries). Ricky Ponting is in second place with eleven 50+ scores (including 5 World Cup centuries), while Herschelle Gibbs, with ten 50+ scores, stands at the third place (including 2 World Cup centuries)
- The first individual to reach 12,000 right up to 15,000 runs in Test cricket.
- Holds the record for most Man of The Match awards in ODIs
- A world record holder Sachin has scored over 1000 runs in a calendar year on 7 different occasions (1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2003, and 2007)
Well, this isn’t the end of the records held by the master in an enticing career spanning 24 years. His career may have ended in 2013, but the memories he has transpired has motivated the fans and inspired the budding cricketers around the globe. Tendulkar will forever, by a distance, remain the most worshipped cricketer in the world.
Time to wrap up:
Here it is, the journey of a person who in a span of 24 years carried Indian cricket on his shoulders. We have plucked some of the best parts of the cricketing journey of the best who embraced the ‘Gentleman’s game’ with his presence.