Born on 24th April, 1973, Sachin Tendulkar is considered to be the Greatest Ever Cricketer of the modern times. In the overall Cricketing history, Sachin Tendulkar’s place is argued to be second to Sir Donald Bradman of Australia. Tendulkar’s prime achievements are being the highest run getter in Tests and ODIs, the two records which just cannot be beaten by any other cricketer in the coming few years.
Sachin Tendulkar hails from a middle class family. His father is the Late Ramesh Tendulkar, a popular Marathi novelist. The little Tendulkar was named after the famous music director Rahul Dev Burman. Sachin Tendulkar was pushed into cricket at an early age in 1984 by his half brother Ajit who would take him to coaching in Shivaji Park under the watchful eyes of Ramakanth Achrekar. The teacher-pupil story has become quite a legend. Achrekar thanks to his brilliant pupil was even honoured with the Dronacharya Award.
Tendulkar’s cricket started with his alma mater – the Sharadashram Vidyamandir in Dadar. Along with Vinod Kambli, who also went onto become an Indian Cricketer, Tendulkar held a long lasting world record partnership in school cricket. The diminutive sized Tendulkar had a desire to become a fast bowler and he followed that by visiting the MRF Pace Foundation where former fast bowling great Dennis Lillee straightaway sent him back. Tendulkar would not have been the batsman that he is today had he gone onto pursuit his overambitious dream of becoming a fast bowler given the kind of built that he was made of.
By 1987, Tendulkar had his first steps in competitive cricket, when he was selected to play for Bombay in the Ranji Trophy. For one season, Tendulkar warmed up the bench but the next season he not only made his debut but did so with a bang scoring a century on First Class Debut at a tender age of 15! Tendulkar went onto score a centuries in his first Duleep and Deodhar Trophy appearances.
In 1989, taken aback by this precious talent in hand, the National Selectors blooded Sachin Tendulkar for the tour of Pakistan. Tendulkar made his International Debut at the age of 16 and was up against quicks like Imran Khan, Wasim Akram and Waquar Younis. On the same tour, Tendulkar was hit on his nose by a Waquar Younis bouncer in the days when there was no visor to his helmet. Tendulkar continued to bat despite the nasty blow and showed first signs of resilience against all odds. It was in an exhibition match, that Sachin showed that he was something special when he ran away with a score of 53 in 18 balls while plundering one of the best spinners on earth – Abdul Qadir for 27 runs in one over!
There was no looking back for Tendulkar since 1989. The little fellow proved that he wasn’t a fluke by scoring runs all around the globe – especially in tough batting conditions in Australia, England and South Africa. By the time, he reached an age of 25 or so, Tendulkar was already a veteran of sorts. He was also made the Captain of India, something which he didn’t enjoy much and had to give up following a string of failures.
Tendulkar has been carrying the burden of expectations on his shoulders for more than two decades now. Players who had come after him in International Cricket from not just India but in other countries have even retired and settled into newer roles but not Sachin Tendulkar who is still doing what he has been doing since the last 27 years or so, that of holding a cricket bat. Only recently did the Little Master give up the ODI format and now looks to be on the brink of his cricketing career.