Most Worshipped Cricketer
Sachin Tendulkar is the greatest batsman of all time in ODI form of cricket and in tests he is considered parallel to Dan Bradman who by himself acknowledged the resemblance of Tendulkar’s batting style with his own. He is considered most complete batsman in the world of cricket with variety of strokes in his backpack. He could play shots on all sides of the ground effectively.
For those who don’t know, Tendulkar once fielded for Pakistan as a substitute during a one day practice match against India in early 1989. He was in Under 18 team at that time when two of Pakistani players went off the field after batting first. Two volunteers were called to field for Pakistan and Tendulkar was one of them.
Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar made his test debut in international cricket on 15 November 1989 against Pakistan in Karachi, aged 16 years and 223 days. He played his first one day international in the same series against the same team on 18 December. The first ball which he played in International cricket was bowled by legendary Waqar Younis, who was also debuting in the same match. Tendulkar was bowled on 15 runs in his first innings by Waqar Younis. Waqar took his wicket in second innings too. In the fourth test of the series which was played in Sialkot Tendulkar faced a bouncer from Waqar Younis. The bouncer was so quick that Tendulkar couldn’t avoid it and ball found the nose of little Tendulkar which starts bleeding and left him dazed. He put some water on his face and refused to go off the field and continued batting with in blood soaked shirt.
He was dismissed without scoring a run in his first one Day International against Pakistan. It took Tendulkar 78 ODIs to score his first one day international century which came against New Zealand in his 79th match. He improved his batting day by day and surfaced as a key player for the Indian cricket team. In 1992, at the age of 19, Tendulkar became the first overseas born player to represent the English county, Yorkshire. Prior to him no other player was selected for the county which was not born in England. Before him, Yorkshire also had the history of not even selecting players from other counties of their own country.
His fabulous form continued and he took over as captain of the Indian cricket team in 1996 with high expectations from him. But the team performed very poorly during both the tenure of his captaincy. Azhar-ud-din who was replaced by Tendulkar both times as captain is credited with saying “Naheen Jeetega! Chote k naseeb main jeet naheen hai” (He won’t win! It’s not in the small one’s destiny). India played 25 tests under his captaincy winning only 4 and 73 one day internationals winning 23 which show team’s dismal performance during Tendulkar’s period as captain. He suffered from inconsistent form and injuries from 2002 to 2007 and was criticized profoundly while some demanding his retirement. But in 2007 world cup, he regained his form and consistency. He once again continued to amuse his fans with his excellent and unparallel shot selection.
He holds more records than any other batsman in the world of cricket in tests and ODIs. It took Tendulkar one year to score his 100th century in international cricket which came against Bangladesh in 2012 Asia Cup. India lost the match despite his hundredth milestone. In India a diehard fan of Tendulkar hanged himself being distressed over Sachin’s failure to reach his 100th century.
He is now retired from all forms of cricket after playing his 200th test match against West Indies in November this year. Tendulkar will be remembered as one of the greatest players of cricketing world till the end of cricket. During Australian tour of India in 1998, Australian batsman, Mathew Hayden said “I have seen GOD. He bats at number 4 in India in tests”. Cricinfo truly accredited him as “The most worshipped cricketer in the world”.