Raj Singh Dungarpur is credited for the selection of Tendulkar for the Indian tour of Pakistan in late
1989, after one first class season. The Indian selection committee had shown interest in selecting
Tendulkar for the tour of the West Indies held earlier that year, but eventually did not select him, as
they did not want him to be exposed to the dominant fast bowlers of the West Indies so early in his
career. Tendulkar made his Test debut against Pakistan in Karachi in November 1989 aged 16 years and 205
days. He made 15 runs, being bowled by Waqar Younis, who also made his debut in that match, but was noted
for how he handled numerous blows to his body at the hands of the Pakistani pace attack. In the fourth
and final Test in Sialkot, he was hit on the nose by a bouncer bowled by Younis, but he declined medical
assistance and continued to bat even as he gushed blood from it. In a 20-over exhibition game in
Peshawar, held in parallel with the bilateral series, Tendulkar made 53 runs off 18 balls, including an
over in which he scored 27 runs (6, 4, 0, 6, 6, 6) off leg-spinner Abdul Qadir. This was later called
"one of the best innings I have seen" by the then Indian captain Krishnamachari Srikkanth.
In all, he
scored 215 runs at an average of 35.83 in the Test series, and was dismissed without scoring a run in the
only One Day International (ODI) he played. Thus Sachin Tendulkar became the youngest player to
debut for India in Tests at the age of 16 years and 205 days and also the youngest player to debut for
India in ODIs at the age of 16 years and 238 days.
The series was followed by a tour of New Zealand in which he scored 117 runs at an average of 29.25 in
Tests including an innings of 88 in the second Test. He was dismissed without scoring in one of the
two one-day games he played, and scored 36 in the other. On his next tour, a summer tour to England of
1990, on 14 August, he became the second youngest cricketer to score a Test century as he made 119 not out
in the second Test at Old Trafford in Manchester, an innings which contributed to a draw and saved India
from certain defeat in the match. Wisden described his innings as "a disciplined display of immense
maturity" and also wrote:
He looked the embodiment of India's famous opener, Gavaskar, and indeed was wearing a pair of his pads.
While he displayed a full repertoire of strokes in compiling his maiden Test hundred, most remarkable were
his off-side shots from the back foot.
Though only 5ft 5in tall, he was still able to control without
difficulty short deliveries from the English pacemen.
Tendulkar further enhanced his reputation as a future great during the 1991–92 tour of Australia held
before the 1992 Cricket World Cup, that included an unbeaten 148 in the third Test at Sydney, making him
the youngest batsman to score a century in Australia. He then scored 114 on a fast, bouncing pitch in the
final Test at Perth against a pace attack comprising Merv Hughes, Bruce Reid and Craig McDermott. Hughes
commented to Allan Border at the time that "This little prick's going to get more runs than you, AB."
Tendulkar's performance through the years 1994–1999 coincided with his physical peak, in his early
twenties. He opened the batting at Auckland against New Zealand in 1994, making 82 runs off 49 balls.
He scored his first ODI century on 9 September 1994 against Australia in Sri Lanka at Colombo. It
took him 78 ODIs to score his first century.
Tendulkar's rise continued when he was the leading run scorer at the 1996 World Cup, scoring two
centuries. He was the only Indian batsman to perform well in the semi-final against Sri Lanka.
Tendulkar fell amid a batting collapse and the match referee, Clive Lloyd, awarded Sri Lanka the match
after the crowd began rioting and throwing litter onto the field.
After the World Cup, in the same year against Pakistan at Sharjah, Indian captain Mohammed Azharuddin was
going through a lean patch. Tendulkar and Navjot Singh Sidhu both made centuries to set a then record
partnership for the second wicket. After getting out, Tendulkar found Azharuddin in two minds about
whether he should bat. Tendulkar convinced Azharuddin to bat and Azharuddin subsequently
unleashed 24 runs off one over. India went on to win that match. It enabled India to post a score in
excess of 300 runs for the first time in an ODI.
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. The focus was on the clash
between Tendulkar, the world's most dominating batsman and Shane Warne, the world's leading spinner, both
at the peak of their careers, clashing in a Test series. In the lead-up to the series, Tendulkar
simulated scenarios in the nets with Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, the former India leg spinner, donning the
role of Warne.In their tour opener, Australia faced the then Ranji Champions Mumbai at
the Brabourne Stadium in a three-day first class match. Tendulkar made an unbeaten 204 as Shane Warne
conceded 111 runs in 16 overs and Australia lost the match within three days. He also had a role
with the ball in the five-match ODI series in India following the Tests, including a five wicket haul in
an ODI in Kochi. Set 310 runs to win, Australia were cruising at 203 for 3 in the 31st over when Tendulkar
turned the match for India, taking the wickets of Michael Bevan, Steve Waugh, Darren Lehmann, Tom Moody
and Damien Martyn for 32 runs in 10 overs. The Test match success was followed by two consecutive
centuries in April 1998 in a Triangular cricket tournament in Sharjah—the first in a must-win game to take
India to the finals and then again in the finals, both against Australia. These twin knocks were also
known as the Desert Storm innings. Following the series, Warne ruefully joked that he was having
nightmares about his Indian nemesis.
Tendulkar's contribution in the ICC 1998 quarterfinal at Dhaka paved the way for India's entry into the
semifinals, when he took four Australian wickets after scoring 141 runs in 128 balls.
The inaugural Asian Test Championship took place in February and March 1999, involving India, Pakistan,
and Sri Lanka. In the first match, between India and Pakistan in Eden Gardens, Tendulkar was run out
for nine after colliding with Pakistan bowler Shoaib Akhtar. Around 100,000 people came to support India
during the initial four days of the tournament, breaking a 63-year-old record for aggregate Test
attendance record. The crowd's reaction to Tendulkar's dismissal was to throw objects at Akhtar, and
the players were taken off the field. The match resumed after Tendulkar and the president of the ICC
appealed to the crowd; however, further rioting meant that the match was finished in front of a crowd of
200 people. Tendulkar scored his 19th Test century in the second Test and the match resulted in a draw
with Sri Lanka. India did not progress to the final, which was won by Pakistan, and refused to
participate the next time the championship was held due to increasing political tensions between India and
In the Test against Pakistan at Chepauk in 1999, the first of a two-Test series, Sachin scored 136 in the
fourth innings with India chasing 271 for victory. However, he was out when India needed 17 more runs to
win, triggering a batting collapse, and India lost the match by 12 runs. The worst was yet to come as
Professor Ramesh Tendulkar, Sachin'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 to the World Cup scoring a century (140 not out off 101 balls) in his very next match
against Kenya in Bristol. He dedicated this century to his father.
Tendulkar'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, led India on a tour of Australia, where
the visitors were beaten 3–0 by the newly crowned world champions. Tendulkar, however, won the player
of the series award as well as player of the match in one of the games.
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.
During the Indian team's 2007 tour of England, the desire of Rahul Dravid to resign from the captaincy
became known. The BCCI President Sharad Pawar offered the captaincy to Tendulkar, who instead recommended
Mahendra Singh Dhoni to take over the reins. Pawar later revealed this conversation, crediting Tendulkar
for first forwarding the name of Dhoni, who since achieved much success as captain.
2003 World Cup
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
He continued to score heavily in ODI cricket that year, with two hundreds in a tri-series involving New
Zealand and Australia. As a part-time bowler, he dismissed an exhausted centurion, Matthew
Hayden in the tri-series final.
2003 Tour of Australia
The drawn series as India toured Australia in 2003–04 saw Tendulkar making his mark in the last Test of
the series, scoring 241 not out from 436 balls with 33 fours at a strike rate of 55.27 in Sydney, putting
India in a virtually unbeatable position. He spent 613 minutes at the crease during the innings. He
followed this up with an unbeaten 60 in the second innings of the Test. Prior to this Test match, he
had had an unusually horrible run of form, failing in all six innings in the preceding three
Tests. It was no aberration that 2003 was his worst year in Test cricket, with an average
of 17.00 and just one fifty.
Tendulkar scored an unbeaten 194 against Pakistan at Multan in the following series. Indian captain Rahul
Dravid declared before Tendulkar reached 200; had he done so it would have been the fourth time he had
passed the landmark in Tests. Tendulkar said 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. After the match, which India won, Dravid said that the matter had been discussed
internally and put to rest
A tennis elbow injury 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 with a fast 55, though Australia took the series 2–1.
On 10 December 2005 at Feroz Shah Kotla, Tendulkar scored his record-breaking 35th Test century, against
the Sri Lankans. After this, Tendulkar endured the longest[needs update] spell of his career without a
Test century: 17 innings elapsed before he scored 101 against Bangladesh in May 2007. Tendulkar
scored his 39th ODI hundred on 6 February 2006 in a match against Pakistan. He followed with a 42 in
the second One-Day International against Pakistan on 11 February 2006, and then a 95 in hostile,
seaming conditions on 13 February 2006 in Lahore, which set up an Indian victory. On 19 March 2006,
after being dismissed for only one run 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 ended the three-Test series without a half-century to his credit,
and the need for a shoulder operation raised more questions about his longevity.
Tendulkar'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 14 September 2006, Tendulkar responded to his critics who believed
that his career was inexorably sliding with his 40th ODI century. Though he scored 141 not out, West
Indies won the rain-affected match by the D/L method.
During the preparation for the 2007 World Cup, Tendulkar's attitude was criticised by Indian team coach
Greg Chappell. Chappell reportedly 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 had ever suggested his attitude towards cricket was incorrect. On 7 April 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. Chappell subsequently resigned as coach but said that this affair had no bearing on his
decision and that he and Tendulkar were on good terms.
At the World Cup 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 had scores of 7 against Bangladesh,
57 not out against Bermuda and 0 against Sri Lanka. As a result, former Australian
captain Ian Chappell, brother of Greg, called for Tendulkar to retire in his newspaper column.
2007/08 tour of Australia
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 could not prevent a heavy 337-run
win for Australia. In the controversial New Years' Test at Sydney, Tendulkar scored an unbeaten 154,
even though India lost the Test. This was his third century at the SCG and his 38th Test century overall,
earning him an average of 326 at the ground at the time of completing the innings. In the third
Test at the WACA cricket ground in Perth, Sachin was instrumental in India's first innings score of 330,
scoring a well-compiled 71. India went on to record a historic triumph at the WACA, ending Australia's run
of 16 consecutive wins. In the fourth Test at the Adelaide Oval, which ended in a draw, he scored 153
in the first innings, being involved 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 Man of the Match award.
In the One-Day International Commonwealth Bank Tri-Series involving India, Sri Lanka and Australia,
Tendulkar became the only batsman to complete 16,000 runs in ODIs. He achieved this feat against Sri
Lanka on 5 February 2008 at the Gabba in Brisbane. He started the series wth scores of 10, 35, 44 and
32. His form dipped a bit in the middle of the tournament, but Tendulkar came
back strongly in India's must-win game against Sri Lanka at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart, scoring 63 off
54 balls. He finished the series with a match winning 117 not out off 120 balls in the first
final, and 91 runs in the second final. Both the knocks were nominated to be the ODI Batting
Performance of the year by ESPNCricinfo.
In early 2009, India revisited Sri Lanka for five ODIs, as the Pakistan series had been cancelled due to
the security situation in Pakistan and the attacks in Mumbai. Tendulkar scored 5, 6 and 7
in the first three matches, being dismissed leg before wicket in all of them, and did not play in the
remaining two matches.
India's next assignment was an away series against New Zealand, consisting of three Tests and five ODIs.
In the ODI series, Tendulkar made an unbeaten 163 in the third match before stomach cramps forced him to
end his innings. India made 392, won the match and eventually won the series 3–1. Tendulkar made
160 in the first Test, his 42nd Test century, and India won. He made 49 and 64 in the second
Test and 62 and 9 in the third, in which play was halted on the last day due to rain with India
needing only two wickets to win. India won the series 1–0.
Tendulkar rested himself for the ODI tour of West Indies, but was back for the Compaq Cup Tri Series
between India, Sri Lanka and New Zealand in early September 2009. He made 46 and 27 in the
league matches before notching up 138 in the final, as India made 319 and won by 46 runs.This was
Tendulkar's sixth century in a final of an ODI tournament and his third consecutive score of over 50 in
Tendulkar played only one innings in the ICC Champions trophy in South Africa, scoring 8 against Pakistan
as India lost. The next match against Australia was abandoned due to rain and he was out with a
stomach infection in the third match against the West Indies, as India were eliminated.
Australia returned for a seven-match ODI series in India in October, and Tendulkar made 14, 4, 32 and 40
in the first four games. In the fifth match, with the series tied at 2–2, Australia amassed 350/4 in
50 overs. Tendulkar made his 45th ODI hundred, a 175 off 141 balls. Just when it seemed that he would
steer India to the large victory target, he tried to scoop a slower delivery from debutant bowler Clint
McKay over short fine leg only to be caught by Nathan Hauritz, with India needing 19 runs to win with 18
balls and four wickets left. The Indian tail collapsed, and Australia won the match by three
runs. During this match, Tendulkar also became the first player to reach 17,000 ODI
runs, and achieved his personal best against Australia, as well as the third-highest score
in a defeat. The knock was voted as the Best ODI Batting Performance of 2009 by ESPNCricinfo.
In the five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka in 2009–10, Tendulkar scored 69, 43, 96 not out and 8 in
the first four matches, with the fifth match being abandoned as the pitch was deemed unfit and
potentially dangerous.India won the series 3–1. In the Test series that followed, he scored a
100 not out in the first Test, which was drawn, and 40 and 53 in the second and third Tests, respectively,
as India clinched innings victories in both the Tests, to win the series 2–0.
Sachin rested himself for the ODI tri-series in Bangladesh in 2010, but played in the subsequent Test
series. He made 105 not out and 16 in the first Test, and 143 in the second. India won both the
In the two-Test Series against South Africa, Tendulkar made 7 and 100 in the first Test. He then
scored 106 in the first innings of the second Test, which was his 47th hundred in Test cricket. It was
also his fourth hundred in successive Tests, and he was the fourth Indian to achieve this feat.
In the second match of the subsequent ODI series, Tendulkar scored 200 not out, becoming the world's first
batsman to score a double century in ODI cricket and breaking the previous highest score of 194 jointly
held by Pakistan's Saeed Anwar and Zimbabwe's Charles Coventry.
2011 World Cup
From February to April, Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka hosted the 2011 World Cup. Amassing 482 runs at
an average of 53.55 including two centuries, Tendulkar was India's leading run-scorer for the tournament;
only Tillakaratne Dilshan of Sri Lanka scored more runs in the 2011 tournament, and was named in the
ICC 'Team of the Tournament'. India defeated Sri Lanka in the final. Shortly after the victory,
Tendulkar commented that "Winning the World Cup is the proudest moment of my life. ... I couldn't control
my tears of joy."
India were due to tour the West Indies in June, although Tendulkar chose not to participate. He returned
to the squad in July for India's tour of England. Throughout the tour there was much hype in the
media about whether Tendulkar would reach his 100th century in international cricket (Test and ODIs
combined). However, his highest score in the Tests was 91; Tendulkar averaged 34.12 in the series as
England won 4–0 as they deposed India as the No. 1 ranked Test side. The injury Tendulkar
sustained to his right foot in 2001 flared up and as a result he was ruled out of the ODI series that
followed.Tendulkar created another record on 8 November 2011 when he became the first cricketer to
score 15,000 runs in Test cricket, during the opening Test match against the West Indies at the Feroz Shah
Kotla Stadium in New Delhi. For his performances in 2011, he was named in the World Test XI by