Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar
Sachin's International career
Early careerTendulkar played his first Test match against Pakistan in Karachi in 1989 under the leadership of Kris Srikkanth. According to Cricinfo's Andrew Miller and Martin Williamson, India took an unconventional approach to combating the Pakistani pace attack by calling up a "baby-faced 16-year-old with one season of first-class cricket to his name". He made just 15 runs, being bowled by Waqar Younis, who also made his debut in that match, but was impressive in how he handled numerous blows to his body at the hands of the Pakistani pace attack. Tendulkar followed it up with his maiden Test fifty a few days later at Faisalabad. His One Day International (ODI) debut on December 18 was disappointing. He was dismissed without scoring a run, again by Waqar Younis. The series was followed by a tour of New Zealand in which he fell for 88 in the Second Test. His maiden Test century came in the next tour, to England in August 1990 at Old Trafford. Tendulkar further enhanced his development into a world-class batsman during the 1991–1992 tour of Australia that included an unbeaten 148 in Sydney (the first of many battles against Shane Warne who made his debut in the match) and a century on the fast and bouncy track at Perth. Merv Hughes famously commented to Allan Border at the time that "This little prick's going to get more runs than you, AB
Rise through the ranksTendulkar's performance through the years 1994–1999 coincided with his physical peak, in his early twenties. On the day of the Hindu festival Holi, Tendulkar was told to open the batting at Auckland against New Zealand in 1994. He went on to make 82 runs off 49 balls. He scored his first ODI century on September 9, 1994 against Australia in Sri Lanka at Colombo. It had taken him 79 ODIs to score a century.
In 1996 against Pakistan in Sharjah, Indian captain Mohammed Azharuddin was going through a lean patch. Tendulkar and Navjot Singh Sidhu both made centuries to set a record partnership for the second wicket. After getting out, Tendulkar found Azharuddin in two minds to bat out. Tendulkar boosted Azharuddin to bat and Azharuddin subsequently unleashed 29 runs in mere 10 balls. It enabled India post a score in excess of 300 runs for the first time. India went on to win that match.
Tendulkar's rise continued when he was the leading run scorer at the 1996 Cricket World Cup, topping the batting averages whilst scoring two centuries. He was the only Indian batsman to perform in the infamous semi-final of that World Cup. When Tendulkar's wicket fell, the Indian batting lineup collapsed and India conceded defeat after the crowd began angry demonstrations. This was the beginning of a period at the top of the batting world, culminating in the Australian tour of India in early 1998, with Tendulkar scoring three consecutive centuries. These were characterized by a premeditated plan to target Australian spinners Shane Warne and Gavin Robertson, to whom he regularly charged down the pitch to drive over the infield. This technique worked as India beat Australia. The test match success was followed by two scintillating knocks in Sharjah where he scored two consecutive centuries in a must-win game and then in finals against Australia tormenting Shane Warne once again. Following the series Warne ruefully joked that he was having nightmares about his Indian nemesis. He also had a role with the ball in that series, including a 5 wicket haul in an ODI. Set 310 runs to win, Australia were cruising comfortably at 3 for 203 in the 31st over when Tendulkar turned the match for India taking wickets of Michael Bevan, Steve Waugh, Darren Lehmann, Tom Moody and Damien Martyn for just 32 runs in 10 overs.
Tendulkar single-handedly won the ICC 1998 quarterfinal at Dhaka to pave way for India's entry into the semifinals, when he took 4 Australian wickets after scoring 141 runs in just 128 balls.
A chronic back problem flared up when Pakistan toured India in 1999, with India losing the historic Test at Chepauk despite a gritty century from Tendulkar himself. The worst was yet to come as Professor Ramesh Tendulkar, Tendulkar's father, died in the middle of the 1999 Cricket World Cup. Tendulkar flew back to India to attend the final rituals of his father, missing the match against Zimbabwe. However, he returned with a bang to the World cup scoring a century (unbeaten 140 off 101 balls) in his very next match against Kenya in Bristol. He dedicated this century to his father.
CaptaincyTendulkar's two tenures as captain of the Indian cricket team were not very successful. When Tendulkar took over as Captain in 1996, it was with huge hopes and expectations. However, by 1997 the team was performing poorly. Azharuddin was credited with saying "Nahin jeetega! Chote ki naseeb main jeet nahin hai!", which translates into: "He won't win! It's not in the small one's destiny".
Tendulkar, succeeding Azharuddin as captain for his second term, then led India on a tour of Australia, where the visitors were comprehensively beaten 3-0 by the newly-crowned world champions. After another Test series defeat, this time by a 0-2 margin at home against South Africa, Tendulkar resigned, and Sourav Ganguly took over as captain in 2000.
Tendulkar remains an integral part of the Indian team's strategic processes. He is often seen in discussion with the captain, at times actively involved in building strategies. Former captain Rahul Dravid publicly acknowledged that Tendulkar had been suggesting moves such as the promotion of Irfan Pathan up the batting order which, although only temporary, had an immediate effect on the team's fortunes.
InjuriesTendulkar continued his good form in Test cricket in 2001 and 2002, with some pivotal performances with both bat and ball. Tendulkar took three wickets on the final day of the famous Kolkata Test against Australia in 2001. Tendulkar took the key wickets of Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist, centurions in the previous test.
Tendulkar made 673 runs in 11 matches in the 2003 Cricket World Cup, helping India reach the final. While Australia retained the trophy that they had won in 1999, Tendulkar was given the Man of the Tournament award. The drawn series as India toured Australia in 2003/04 saw Tendulkar making his mark in the last Test of the series, with 241* in Sydney, putting India in a virtually unbeatable position. He followed up the innings with an unbeaten 50 in the second innings of the test and then an unbeaten 194 against Pakistan at Multan in the following series. The 194 was controversial in that he was stranded prior to reaching his double century as a result of a declaration by Rahul Dravid. In meeting with the press that evening, Tendulkar responded to a question on missing 200 against Pakistan by stating that he was disappointed and that the declaration had taken him by surprise. Many former cricketers commented that Dravid's declaration was in bad taste. The media noted at the time that the decision had apparently been made by Sourav Ganguly, and Ganguly himself later admitted that it had been a mistake. The controversy was put to rest when Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and coach John Wright spoke to the media after the team's victory and stated that the matter was spoken internally and put to rest.
Although he was in strong form, tennis elbow then took its toll on Tendulkar, leaving him out of the side for most of the year, coming back only for the last two tests when Australia toured India in 2004. He played a part in India's victory in Mumbai in that series, though Australia took the series 2-1. On December 10, 2005 at Feroz Shah Kotla, Tendulkar scored his record-breaking 35th Test century, against the Sri Lankans. On February 6, 2006, he scored his 39th ODI hundred, in a match against Pakistan. He followed with a run-a-ball 42 in the second one-day international against Pakistan on February 11, 2006, and then a 95 in hostile, seaming conditions on February 13, 2006 in Lahore, which set up an Indian victory.
On March 19, 2006, after scoring an unconvincing 1 off 21 balls against England in the first innings of the third Test in his home ground, Wankhede, Tendulkar was booed off the ground by a section of the crowd, the first time that he had ever faced such flak. Tendulkar was to end the three-Test series without a single half-century to his credit, and news of a shoulder operation raised more questions about his longevity. Tendulkar was operated upon for his injured shoulder. In July 2006, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced that Tendulkar had overcome his injury problem following a rehabilitation programme and was available for selection, and he was eventually selected for the next series.
ComebackTendulkar's comeback came in the DLF cup in Malaysia and he was the only Indian batsman to shine. In his comeback match, against West Indies on September 14, 2006, Tendulkar responded to his critics who believed that his career was inexorably sliding with his 40th ODI century. Though he scored 141*, West Indies won the rain-affected match by the D/L method.
In the preparation for the 2007 Cricket World Cup, Tendulkar was criticized by Greg Chappell on his attitude. As per the report, Chappell felt that Tendulkar would be more useful down the order, while the latter felt that he would be better off opening the innings, the role he had played for most of his career. Chappell also believed that Tendulkar's repeated failures were hurting the team's chances. In a rare show of emotion, Tendulkar hit out at the comments attributed to Chappell by pointing out that no coach has ever suggested his attitude towards cricket is incorrect. On April 7, 2007, the Board of Control for Cricket in India issued a notice to Tendulkar asking for an explanation for his comments made to the media. At the Cricket World Cup 2007 in the West Indies, Tendulkar and the Indian cricket team, led by Rahul Dravid had a dismal campaign. Tendulkar, who was pushed to bat lower down the order by the Greg Chappell had scores of 7 (Bangladesh), 57* (Bermuda) and 0 (Sri Lanka). As a result, former Australian captain Ian Chappell, brother of the then Indian coach Greg, called for Tendulkar to retire in his column for Mumbai's Mid Day newspaper.
In the subsequent series against Bangladesh, Tendulkar returned to his opening slot and was Man of the Series. He continued by scoring two consecutive scores of 90+ in the Future Cup against South Africa. He was the leading run scorer and was adjudged the Man of the Series.[ On the second day of the Nottingham Test (July 28, 2007) Tendulkar became the third cricketer to complete 11,000 Test runs. In the subsequent One day series against England, Tendulkar was the leading run scorer from India with an average of 53.42. In the ODI Series against Australia in October 2007 Tendulkar was the leading Indian run scorer with 278 runs.
Tendulkar was dismissed seven times in 2007 between 90 and 100, including three times at 99, leading some to suggest that he struggles to cope with nerves in this phase of his career. Tendulkar has got out 23 times between 90 and 100 in his international career. On November 8, 2007 he got out on 99 against Pakistan in an ODI at Mohali to the bowling of Umar Gul caught by Kamran Akmal. In the fourth ODI, he got out on 97 (off 102 balls with 16 fours) after dragging a delivery from Umar Gul on to his stumps, falling short of another century in ODIs in 2007.
In the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, 2007-08, Tendulkar showed exceptional form, becoming the leading run scorer with 493 runs in four Tests, despite consistently failing in the second innings. Sachin scored 62 runs in the first innings of the first Test at the MCG in Melbourne, but couldn't prevent a heavy 337-run win for Australia. In the controversial New Years Test at Sydney, Tendulkar scored an unbeaten 154 as India lost the Test. This was his third century at the SCG, earning him an average of 221.33 at the ground. In the third Test at the WACA in Perth, Sachin was instrumental in India's first innings score of 330, scoring a well compiled 71, only to be dismissed by what was later confirmed to be a questionable LBW decision. India went on to record a historic triumph at the WACA. In the fourth Test at Adelaide, which ended in a draw, he scored 153 in the first innings, involving in a crucial 126 run stand with V.V.S. Laxman for the fifth wicket to lead India to a score of 282 for 5 from 156 for 4. He secured the Player of the Match award.
In the One-Day International Commonwealth Bank Tri-Series involving Sri Lanka and Australia, Tendulkar became the first and only batsman to complete 16,000 runs in ODIs. He achieved this feat against Sri Lanka on February 5, 2008 at Brisbane. He started the CB series well notching up scores of 10, 35, 44 and 32, but could not convert the starts into bigger scores. His form dipped a bit in the middle of the tournament, but Sachin came back strongly in India's must-win game against Sri Lanka at Hobart, scoring 63 off 54 balls. He finished the series with a match winning 117 not out of 120 balls in the first final, and 91 runs in the second final.