Sachin Tendulkar

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Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar (born April 24, 1973) is India's most famous ever cricketer and sporting icon. He has been a 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 by many as the greatest of his era. His cricketing and batting abilities are widely regarded as genius by many stalwarts of the game. In a famous instance, Sir Donald Bradman, who is himself universally regarded as the greatest ever batsman to play the game, said of Sachin: "He reminds me of myself". Tendulkar is affectionately known as 'The Little Master' by his adoring fans. As this epithet was previously applied to another great Indian batsman, Sunil Gavaskar, Gavaskar himself conferred the title "The Little Champion" on Tendulkar. Tendulkar received India's highest sporting honour, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in the year 1997-1998 and the civilian award Padma Shri from the Government of India in 1999.

Early Days

Born in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) into a middle class family, Tendulkar was named after his family's favorite music director Sachin Dev Burman. He went to Sharadashram Vidyamandir School where he started his cricketing career. He, when in school was involved in a mammoth 664 run partnership in a Harris Shield game with friend and International team mate Vinod Kambli, and in 1988/89 scored 100 not out in his first first-class match, for Bombay against Gujarat. Aged 15 years 232 days, he was then by some distance the youngest player to score a century on debut.

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 fell for 88 in a test match, thus missing the chance to be the youngest player to score a test hundred. 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.

Personal Life

Ramesh Tendulkar, his father, supported Sachin when he was faced with the choice of complete devotion to cricket, or to re-build his academic career and pursue college. His father left the decision to Sachin, and backed him up when his son opted for cricket. This is significant due to the high emphasis of education and the strong influence of parents over children in Indian culture. His brother Ajit Tendulkar was also close and supportive of his intense efforts to master and excel at the game.

Tendulkar married Anjali Mehta, a Gujarati doctor in 1998. It was a love marriage, despite his wife being a few years older than Sachin. They have two children. Tendulkar remains a very devoted family man, and preserves the privacy and sanctity of his personal life despite the otherwise overwhelming media coverage on him.

Famous Innings

Test Cricket

Runs Against Venue (Year) Result
114 Australia Perth (1991-92) Australia
179 West Indies Nagpur (1994-95) Drawn
169 South Africa Capetown (1996-97) South Africa
155 not out Australia Chennai (1997-98) India
136 Pakistan Chennai (1998-99) Pakistan
155 South Africa Bloemfontein (2001-02) South Africa
193 England Leeds (2002) India
241 not out Australia Sydney (2004) Drawn
194 not out Pakistan Multan (2004) India
248 not out* Bangladesh Dhaka (2004) India
52** Pakistan Calcutta (2005) India

* Equalled the world record for most centuries (34) in test cricket, along with Sunil Gavaskar. ** crossed 10,000 runs in test cricket, second Indian to do so along with Sunil Gavaskar

One-Day Cricket

Runs Against Venue (Year) Result
90 Australia Mumbai (1996 WC+) Australia
104 Zimbabwe Benoni (1997) India
143 Australia Sharjah (1998) Australia
134 Australia Sharjah(1998) India
98 Pakistan Centurion (2003 WC) India
141 Pakistan Rawalpindi (2004) Pakistan
123 Pakistan Ahmedabad (2005) Pakistan
93 Sri Lanka Nagpur (2005) India

+WC-World Cup


Sir Garfield Sobers handing over the Man of Tournament trophy to Sachin Tendulkar at the 2003 World Cup
File:Sachin Tendulkar.png
Sachin Tendulkar's career performance graph.

Some remarkable achievements of his career are:

  • 4th highest tally of runs in test cricket (10,134) at an outstanding average of 57.25 (highest among those who have scored over 8,500 test runs) as of March 2005
  • Most runs (13805 as of Oct 29, 2005) and centuries (39) in one-day internationals
  • Highest ODI batting average among Indian batsmen and among all batsmen who have scored over 7,500 ODI runs (as of April 3 2005)
  • Most Number of Man of the Matches (50) in one-day internationals
  • Only player to have over 100 innings of 50+ runs in ODIs as of April 2005
  • Most Number of Runs (1732 at an average of 59.72) in World Cup Cricket History
  • First cricketer to cross 10,000-run mark in ODIs
  • Has equalled Sunil Gavaskar's record of 34 test centuries.
  • 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 10,000 runs in Test matches.
  • He has the most centuries in ODI cricket against Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.
  • He is the fastest to score 10,000 runs in test cricket history. He holds this record along with Brian Lara. Both of them achieved this feat in 195 innings.
  • To go with this he has 34 hundreds in Test cricket at an average of 57. An average above 50 distinguishes a batsman as an all time great.
  • Highest individual score in ODIs among Indian batsmen (186* against New Zealand at Hyderabad in 1999)
  • Second fastest player to reach 9000 runs (Brian Lara made 9000 in 177 innings, Sachin in 179.)

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.

Incidentally, Sachin is the first batsman to be declared run out by third umpire in 1992 in South Africa.

Man of the Match Awards

Test Cricket (10)

Date Against Venue
August 9 1990 England Old Trafford
February 11 1993 England Chidambaram Stadium
October 25 1995 New Zealand Chidambaram Stadium
March 6 1998 Australia Chidambaram Stadium
January 28 1999 Pakistan Chidambaram Stadium
October 29 1999 New Zealand Sardar Patel Stadium
December 26 1999 Australia Melbourne Cricket Ground
February 24 2000 South Africa Wankhede Stadium
October 30 2002 West Indies Eden Gardens
January 2 2004 Australia Sydney Cricket Ground

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. 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 1994[1] 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 as outstanding as his batting performance. 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 was recovering from tennis elbow. He was struggling to be fit for the home test series against Australia. However, he has overcome the injury well, as he displayed in the recent double hundred against Bangladesh.

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 particularly bad time against Tendulkar. He described incidents when he got up in the night from nightmares where Tendulkar was smashing him around the ground.

For last couple of years Sachin has been less aggressive than what he was during his peak time. His once flamboyant style is seldom seen now and has himself admitted that he would be toning down his approach to the game with Virender Sehwag taking on the mantle of the aggressor. Experts have opined that it could be due to age, though surprisingly his average in tests has been at an all time high indicating the capacity of his new self to gather runs instead of plundering runs. However, in the current ODI series against Sri Lanka (Oct-Nov 2005), Sachin may have reinvented himself and gained the plundering form of old, as he came out all guns blazing in the first two ODIs to score 93 and 67* in commanding style.

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External links

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