Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here

Home > Features >

Sachin Tendulkar – Jab tak hai jaan!

Sachin Tendulkar - Jab tak hai jaan!

Virat Kohli, India’s latest cricketing sensation, was little over a year old when Sachin Tendulkar (above) made his international debut! And Joe Root, on the English side, was not even born! The Tendulkar Marathon is as iconic as the Boston Marathon © Getty Images

Sachin Tendulkar completed 23 incredible years in international cricket on the opening day of the ongoing first Test between India and England. Nishad Pai Vaidya talks about the giant steps the baby-faced Tendulkar took in the testing conditions of Pakistan in 1989.

 

 

On November 15, 1989, a precociously talented 16-year-old walked into the league of big men. The baby-faced teenager was picked to play against arch-rivals Pakistan in their own den, against the three-pronged firepower of Imran Khan, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. While his talent was obvious, there were a few who looked at the move with scepticism and trepidation. Sachin Tendulkar, however, gave ample evidence not of his talent alone, but also his character – something that has been pivotal in the making of a legend. Tendulkar’s remarkable journey at the highest level began on this very day 23-years ago – a journey that has been glorious and taken Indian cricket to a number of peaks.

 

 

When he scored tons of runs in school cricket, Tendulkar was earmarked for greater things. At the age of 14, he was named in the Bombay Ranji Trophy probables, alongside the great Sunil Gavaskar. He made it into the final squad, though it was only a year later that he got to make his debut in the premier domestic tournament.

 

The Ranji Trophy debut announced his arrival of a legend in the making, as the 15-year-old Tendulkar smashed a hundred. The transition to the higher level was seamless and the doors to the Indian team opened up when he scored a brilliant hundred on Irani Trophy debut – a fairytale knock.

 

Tendulkar’s progress through the ranks was quick and even at that tender age; even then he attracted copious attention. As a measure of caution, he wasn’t exposed to the West Indian bowlers during a tour earlier in 1989. But the kid wasn’t afraid and had even declared that he was up for the challenge. In Pakistan, he made his point with fighting performances that captured the imagination and presented hope to a nation.

 

 

In the first Test at Karachi, Tendulkar walked into bat at No 6, with India reeling at 41 for four. It was the second day of the Test match and India were in pursuit of bettering Pakistan’s total of 409. That occasion was picked by the TIME Magazine as one of the Top 10 Sporting Moments. Describing the moment, the magazine wrote, “While his 15 runs can hardly be considered memorable, the way in which he withstood the numerous blows to his body was an instant indication that the boy was quickly becoming a man.” Tendulkar’s tenure was ended by another debutant, also a legend in the making — Waqar Younis.

 

The series itself was a drawn affair with India battling it out against the strong Pakistan bowling attack. Tendulkar had notched a few gritty knocks, which included his maiden fifty in Test cricket. But the moment that assured one and all that this “boy” was a fighter, came in the fourth Test at Sialkot. India were battling for survival in the third innings of the match, on a green top. The stage was set for a moment that defined a player early in his career as Tendulkar entered the contest at 38 for four.

 

A vicious Waqar delivery struck Tendulkar bang on the nose and he was down with a deep wound. With blood gushing out and the Indian medical staff attending on him, he famously said, “Mein khelega” (I will play). Salil Ankola, India’s 12th man in that game told this writer, “Once the blood was wiped off and his wound was cleaned, I could see fire in his eyes. The famous song Eye of the Tiger is apt for that moment.”

 

The wounded tiger got up, got his concentration and was ready to battle it out for his country. Letting his bat do the talking, the next ball was dispatched to the boundary. In partnership with Navjot Singh Sidhu, he took India to safety and ended up with 57 – a remarkable effort that consumed 134 balls. At Karachi, the boy showed signs of maturity, and at Sialkot he showed that he had indeed become a man.

 

While his run tally may not have been as prolific as Sunil Gavaskar’s record in his debut series, Tendulkar did show a lot of guts and grits. At the age of 16, boys are usually in high school or indulging in simple pleasures of youth, but here was someone who was walking amongst legends and blowing their minds with his precocity. For the generation that grew up in India in the 1990s and the 2000s, Tendulkar is more than a cricketer.

 

In the aftermath of Sunil Gavaskar’s retirement, India was searching for a batting icon – one who had the aura of pulling off the impossible. As the years progressed, Tendulkar became a symbol of hope as typical Indian side of the 1990s depended heavily on him.  

 

 

Be it the16-year-old who entered the stage in 1989, or the 37-year old stalwart who tasted World Cup glory in 2011, Tendulkar proved that age is nothing but a number. Calls for his retirement have surfaced periodically, but he has bounced back to smash all those notions. For someone to play the game for 23 years with the same passion and intensity is beyond the understanding of the common man. Irrespective of the format, he has excelled and delivered his best for India. With the amount of cricket being played these days, it is truly amazing that he has maintained his fitness and passion for the game he loves the most.

 

In a recent interview, Tendulkar admitted that he doesn’t have much cricket in him. Those comments were numbing. Having been around for 23 years, it is difficult to imagine a day when he doesn’t walk on to the field of play and look up at the Heaven after reaching his hundred. With his superhuman feats, he has become a part of everyone’s lives. The void, when it will eventually be created, would be unmistakably felt by one and all.
 

For the moment, let’s enjoy the great man’s journey, now in the home stretch. Let’s enjoy it before it’s too late.

 

 

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and an analyst, anchor and voice-over artist for the site’s YouTube Channel. He shot to fame by spotting a wrong replay during IPL4 which resulted in Sachin Tendulkar’s dismissal. His insights on the game have come in for high praise from cerebral former cricketers. He has also participated on live TV talk-shows on cricket. Nishad can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nishad_44)

 

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 20, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Sharjah

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 21, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 22, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Sharjah

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 23, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 24, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Sharjah

More

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 19, 2014  at Dubai

Delhi Daredevils won by 4 wkts

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 19, 2014  at Dubai

Royal Challengers Bangalore won by 7 wkts

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 18, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Rajasthan Royals won by 4 wkts

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 18, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Kings XI Punjab won by 6 wkts

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 17, 2014  at Sharjah

Royal Challengers Bangalore won by 8 wkts

Videos

Rajasthan Royals' unusual strategy in IPL 2014

Videos

Moises Henriques looking forward to playing with SRH

IPL 2014: Glenn Maxwell, David Miller form the core of Kings XI Punjab’s batting line-up

Praveen Kumar believes making comeback for India is not difficult

Saqlain Mushtaq: Samuel Badree, Sunil Narine are skilful cricketers

Miran Bakhsh: The second-oldest Test debutant

Indian cricketers and copycat marketing

BCCI Chennai Super Kings Delhi Daredevils England India IPL IPL 7 IPL 2014 Kings XI Punjab Kolkata Knight Riders MS Dhoni Mumbai Indians Rohit Sharma Royal Challengers Bangalore Virat Kohli

Live Cricket Score IPL 2014: Rajasthan Royals (RR) vs Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) match 7 of IPL 7 at Sharjah

David Warner roots for Jonathan Trott to overcome stress-issues

BCCI names three-man panel on IPL spot-fixing probe to Supreme Court

Chennai Super Kings vs Delhi Daredevils IPL 2014 Match 8 Preview: CSK, DD look to build momentum

IPL 2014: AB de Villiers, Parthiv Patel hailed by RCB owner Vijay Mallya

Batsmen who have smashed last ball for six to win a game in the annals of One-Day Internationals

IPL 2014: Glenn Maxwell, David Miller form the core of Kings XI Punjab’s batting line-up

Praveen Kumar believes making comeback for India is not difficult

Saqlain Mushtaq: Samuel Badree, Sunil Narine are skilful cricketers

Miran Bakhsh: The second-oldest Test debutant

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

2 Posts | 0 Fans

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Delhi Daredevils IPL 2014 Match no 6 Video Highlights

After Amitabh Bachchan, Vivek Oberoi becomes a fan of Comedy Nights with Kapil

Peaches Geldof’s husband to sell house where she died

Entry-level Google Nexus smartphone reportedly in the works

Chennai Super Kings vs Delhi Daredevils IPL 2014 Match 8 Preview: CSK, DD look to build momentum

5 reasons you’re not seeing results in the gym

Know what it takes to save your skin during flights

Google’s Project Tango smartphone set to assist astronauts on ISS

BCCI names three-man panel on IPL spot-fixing probe to Supreme Court

Also on cricketcountry.com