Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar
Sachin's ProfileBorn 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. When in school he 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 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. 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 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 and a demi-god of sorts.
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 overcame the injury, and displayed proof of it in fine fashion scoring a 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. During the 1998-99 season he was quoted to have had nightmares of Sachin dancing down the track and smashing him for sixes
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. However in an attempt to keep the flow going he found himself in a mini-slump of sorts. But on the 10th of December 2005, at 16:44:19 IST he again reminded the world of his prowesses with a masterly crafted 35th record breaking ton against the Sri Lankans.