November 15, 1989. Sachin Tendulkar, the man whose bat ruled the game over the next 22 years, set foot on a Test ground for the first time. Sachin made his Test debut in Karachi against Pakistan. Sachin was 16-year-old boy when he walked in to bat in Karachi to replace Manoj Prabhakar. However, he didn’t make much of an impact in that match and instead it was Pakistan’s debutant Waqar Younis who left a mark, picking the wickets of Tendulkar, Prabhakar, Sanjay Manjrekar and Kapil Dev in the first innings.
However, Tendulkar made a mark in the second Test. He didn’t looked like a teenager as he fended off the likes of Wasim Akram and Imran Khan and scored 172-ball 59. He then score another half century in the final Test. He then went on to impress the selectors and went on to become a mainstay in Mohammed Azharuddin’s Team India in 1990. That was also the time when Tendulkar went into a bit of an overdrive. He scored his first Test century at the age of 17 against Australia, saving India from imminent defeat in the process. And by the age of 25, he had 16 Test centuries.
In his Test career, the master blaster scored 15,921 runs at an averaga of 53.78, including a record 51 hundreds in unprecedent 200 Tests. This was apart from 18,426 runs in 463 ODIs at an average of 44.83. Tendulkar’s 41 centuries in ODIs complete the magical number of 100 international centuries. Meanwhile, it will be an injustice to not mention Sachin the bowler, who could virtually bowl anything from seam-up medium pace to a googly, and it shows in his 46 wickets in Tests and 154 in ODIs, which included the best of 5/32.
His career also had its fair share of lows. A recurring tennis elbow had hampered his performances. But he carried on and hit top form once again in 2012. That was also the year when he broke the 200-run barrier in ODIs, becoming the first ever to to do so in limited overs cricket. He broke records at will and is the only man in history to get to 100 international centuries. Tendulkar called time on his glorious career when he announced his retirement on November 16, 2013, after playing his 200th Test match, against the West Indies in Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.
Coincidentally, both India and Pakistan had two other players making their Test debuts in the same match were, Salil Ankola and Shahid Saeed, respectively. Interestingly, for both the players it proved to be the only Test they played in their careers.