x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

The 'Little Master' at work

Sachin Tendulkar's greatness was established early on in his career.

The India batsman Sachin Tendulkar.
The India batsman Sachin Tendulkar.

Sachin Tendulkar's greatness was established early on in his career. He was only 16-years-old when he made his Test debut for India in 1989 and was given a baptism of fire by the Pakistan fast bowler Waqar Younis ? also making his debut ? but the "Little Master" continued to bat, in a blood-soaked shirt. His first Test hundred, a match-saving one at Old Trafford against England, came when he was 17, and he had 16 Test hundreds under his belt before he turned 25.

In 2000 he became the first batsman to have scored 50 international hundreds, and he currently holds the record for most hundreds in both Tests and ODIs ? remarkable, considering he did not score his first ODI hundred till his 79th match. Tendulkar has scored a total of 39 centuries in Test matches and 42 centuries in ODIs, each of which is a world record. He is yet to score a century in a Twenty20 international match. He has been Man of the Match 11 times in Test matches and Man of the Series four times, two of them in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia. We take a look back on one of the most prolific run scoring batsman's career:

1973 - Born on April 24 in Mumbai. 1988 - Seen as a child prodigy in Mumbai cricketing circles, Tendulkar scores a century in every innings he plays. Notches 326 in a 644-run partnership with Vinod Kambli ? another future Indian batsman ? in a Lord Harris Shield inter-school game, a record that stood until 2006. Becomes the youngest cricketer to score a century on his first-class debut for Bombay against Gujarat.

1989 - Makes Test debut against Pakistan in Karachi and One Day International against the same opponents aged 16. Is bowled out by Waqar Younis ? himself making his test debut ? for just 15 runs but receives glowing praise for handling numerous blows to his body and hands by the Pakistan pace bowlers. 1990 - Scores maiden Test century at Old Trafford against England. 1991-1992 - Scores an unbeaten 148 against an Australia side which includes debutant Shane Warne as the first of many epic duels between the two cricketing greats begins. Follows that up with another ton in Perth.

1992 - Aged 19, Tendulkar became the first overseas born player to represent Yorkshire in the English County Championship, playing 16 first-class matches for the county and scoring 1070 runs at an average of 46.52. 1994 - Makes 82 runs off 49 balls against New Zealand in Auckland and registers first century in ODI format in his 79th game against Australia in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Given the Arjuna Award by the Government of India in recognition of his outstanding achievement in Cricket.

1996 - Leading run scorer at the Cricket World Cup including two centuries. Puts tourists Australia to the sword with three consecutive centuries to win the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, tormenting the Australian spinners Warne and Gavin Robertson, prompting the former to joke to having "nightmares" about the man they call "Little Master". Tendulkar succeeds Mohammed Azharuddin for his first stint as Indian captain.

1997 - Awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, India's highest honour given for achievement in sports. 1999 - Flies home from Cricket World Cup to attend his father's funeral, missing the match against Zimbabwe. Returns with a familiar century against Kenya (unbeaten 140 off 101 balls), dedicating his latest ton to his late father. Awarded the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian award. 2000 - Leads India on unsuccessful tour of Australia with the visitors whitewashed 3-0 by the World Cup winners. However, Tendulkar picks up a personal accolade as he picks up the first of his two Man of the Series awards in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series for a brilliant batting display. The series would be known as the Tendulkar v Warne series.

Resigns after another Test series defeat, this time losing 2-0 to South Africa in India, to be replaced by Sourav Ganguly. 2001 - Shows great form with the bat and ball, hitting 126 in Chennai in Test series against Australia before taking the key wickets of feared Australian batsmen Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist on the final day of the Kolkata Test to clinch the series 2-1 for India. 2002 - The cricket bible Wisden rank him the second greatest Test batsman of all time next only to Sir Donald Bradman of Australia, and the second greatest ODI batsman of all time next only to Sir Viv Richards of the West Indies.

2003 - Scores 673 runs in 11 matches at the 2003 Cricket World Cup to help India reach the final (lost to Australia). Tendulkar earns Man of the Tournament award. A key member of the team that drew the Test series in Australia, scoring 241 in final Test in Sydney. The India captain Rahul Dravid and teammate Sourav Ganguly draw criticism for declaring India's innings against Pakistan in Multan with Tendulkar just six runs short of his double century. Ganguly later admitted it had been the wrong decision.

2004 - Season is blighted by tennis elbow injury. 2005 - Creates history by becoming the highest century-getter in history with his 35th Test century against Sri Lanka and scores his 39th ODI ton against Pakistan. 2006 - Booed off his home ground in Wankhede after scoring just one run off 21 balls against England in March. Has surgery on a troublesome shoulder injury shortly after as many begin to question whether his career is in decline.

Responds to those who question his longevity with his 40th ODI against Windies on 14 Sept, 2006, in his comeback match. His 141 was not enough to win the match though as the Windies win by the D/L method. 2007 - India endure a miserable 2007 Cricket World Cup with the coach Greg Chappell questioning Tendulkar's attitude after asking him to drop down the batting order. Returns to open the batting in series against Bangladesh and voted Man of the Series. Follows that up with two scores of 90 plus against South Africa in the Future Cup and is proclaimed Man of the Series in that series as well.

July 28, 2007 ? Nottingham, England, Tendulkar breaks the 11,000 Test runs barrier ? becoming the first Indian cricketer to do so ? joining Lara (11,953) and the former Australian captain Allan Border (11,174). 2008 - Tendulkar shows excellent form in the Border-Ganaskar Trophy, scoring a Herculean 493 runs in four Tests. Scores his third Test century at Sydney Cricket Ground on New Years Test but cannot prevent India from losing. His 153 in the fourth Test in Adelaide helps secure him the Player of the Match award.

Fast forward to the One-Day International Commonwealth Bank Tri-Series involving Sri Lanka and Australia and Tendulkar makes history again as the first and only batsman to amass 16,000 runs. Named captain for his home side, the Mumbai Indians in the inaugural Indian Premier League Twenty20 competition and presented with the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian award. Oct 17, 2008 - Overtakes the West Indian batsman Brian Lara's record aggregate of 11,953 Test runs with a score of 15 runs after tea in the first innings against Australia during the second Test in Mohali. This gave Tendulkar a career record of 11,955 runs.

sluckings@thenational.ae *With agencies