Home > Features > Moments in history >

Sachin Tendulkar’s savage attack that became the defining moment in India’s ODI history

Sachin Tendulkar's savage attack that became the defining moment in India’s ODI history

Sachin Tendulkar (right), pictured here at Perth in 1992, had his watershed moments in ODIs two years later in New Zealand © AFP

A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds – Francis Bacon

It was a sunny day at Auckland on 27 March 27, 1994. Hosts New Zealand seemed to enjoy the warmth better — prior to the commencement of the second One-Day International (ODI) — primarily because they’d comprehensively beaten India in the first fixture just a couple of days ago. The visitors’ dressing room would have been understandably gloomy, since firstly, they were confronted with an uphill task of levelling the series, and secondly they were dealt a major blow as one of their regular openers, Navjot Singh Sidhu, was ruled out of the match due to a neck strain.
 
This prompted skipper Mohammad Azharuddin to promote Sachin Tendulkar to the top of the batting order. For starters, Tendulkar had never before opened the innings in almost five years of ODI cricket. Nevertheless, it was a challenge that he’d gracefully accept. Having opted to bat first, the Kiwis soon lost half their side for just 34 runs on the board, before Adam Parore and Chris Harris staged a comeback to steer the total to a modest 142. Considering a few previous results on the surface and the fact that a recent Test between Pakistan and New Zealand ended well within three days, many expected that the Indians too would hit a minor roadblock.
 
Out walked Tendulkar to bat, as a makeshift opener, alongside Ajay Jadeja. The first three overs were safely negotiated, and once the fact that there weren’t any demons in the pitch was deduced, a lovely drive followed from the wizardly willow of the Little Master off Chris Pringle’s second over. That sent a stern message across to the Kiwis that the Indians, and especially Sachin, weren’t going to hang around and score at three runs an over. Two more boundaries in the same over — a lofted hit over mid-on and a sweetly timed shot on the leg-side — confirmed that fact.
 
In the next over, he exquisitely clipped the ball backward of square and it rocketed to the fence despite the fact that Pringle was just a few yards away from it. First-change bowler Gavin Larsen too was taken to the cleaners, as Tendulkar danced down the track and cleared the in-field on multiple occasions. He raced to 47 off just 32 balls, with nine fours and a six. With Tendulkar on the rampage, the duo put on 61 for the first wicket in just nine overs. Even after the fall of Jadeja’s wicket, the maestro seldom showed signs of slowing down.
 
Vinod Kambli, the new batsman in, had the best seat in the house at the non-striker’s end as Tendulkar blasted one over the ropes to bring up a quick-fire half-century. The large Indian contingent at the Eden Park went berserk and a few of them ran into the middle to congratulate Tendulkar. Little did they know back then that it’d become a regular feature of Indian cricket for the next 18 years to come. A piece of puzzle had just fallen into place.
 
India had by then knocked off half the target in just under 11 overs, but Tendulkar refused to take his foot off the pedal. He kept hitting the ball over the in-field, taking full advantage of the fielding restrictions. To say that the Kiwis at this juncture were flabbergasted would be an understatement. New Zealand skipper Ken Rutherford used five bowlers, but runs kept flowing off Tendulkar’s blade. He was eventually caught and bowled by Matthew Hart for 82, but by then the 49-ball blitzkrieg had well and truly caused irreversible damage. 


 
Tendulkar’s innings was a watershed moment, as it gave India a destructive opener. Prior to this game, he featured in 70 ODIs, having scored 1809 runs at an average of just over 31, with absolutely no centuries to his name. After that memorable knock, Tendulkar opened for India on 344 occasions, scoring 15310 runs at an outstanding average of 48.29 in a career that spanned a further 18 years. As many as 45 of his 49 ODI centuries came at the top of the order, including the monumental 200 against South Africa.
 
Recognising an opportunity and converting it into something big is the hallmark of a true champion, and the way Sachin served India for the next many years is evidence of that. That one innings at Auckland played a major role in changing the face of Indian cricket.
 
(Karthik Parimal, a Correspondent with CricketCountry, is a cricket aficionado and a worshipper of the game. He idolises Steve Waugh and can give up anything, absolutely anything, just to watch a Kumar Sangakkara cover drive. He can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/karthik_parimal)

Read all related stories to Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test

Videos

Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Live Cricket Score Duleep Trophy Central Zone vs South Zone, final at Delhi Day 4: KL Rahul brings up sixth FC century with six; South Zone 148/1

Live Cricket Score Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day 3 at Abu Dhabi: Australia bowled out for 261

Don Bradman dismissed twice on the same day

Rohit Sharma looks to strengthen career after an inconsistent year

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Zone South Zone vs Central Zone Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Virat Kohli looks forward to captaincy stint

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Chance for both teams to get the No.1 ODI spot

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: KL Rahul century guides South Zone to 184/1 at stumps

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Run feast expected in first ODI in Cuttack

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: KL Rahul completes century

Don Bradman dismissed twice on the same day

Virat Kohli’s captaincy opportunities important in context of India’s succession plans

Rohit Sharma looks to strengthen career after an inconsistent year

Younis Khan equals Javed Miandad’s record of most 150+ scores by Pakistan batsman

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Manish Pandey showing signs of fulfilling potential

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

India A vs Sri Lanka: Fringe players look to impress

NGOs pursue education for all

Dance Basanti from Ungli: Put on your dancing shoes and practice the Basanti move!

Weight Loss Tip #59: Eat oranges to lose weight

Sensex surges 150 points in early trade to regain 27,000-mark

PricewaterhouseCoopers partners Google to offer business solutions to clients

Google X Lab working on nanoparticles to help detect diseases early

Priyanka Chopra has the best no make-up selfie on Instagram, think fans!

Lisa Haydon: I slept off midway while watching the original Shaukeen!

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here