Don Bradman’s last, Sachin Tendulkar’s first and August 14

August 14, 1948, Don Bradman’s Invincibles readied themselves for the final Test of The Ashes at The Oval. The score line read 3-0 but Don’s team would have loved to win another match and it special for their skipper, the greatest batsman ever, who was playing his last Test. England elected to bat and 52 was what they managed.

Day One, just before six o’ clock, Bradman walked out in the middle amidst applause from the crowd and the English team took their caps off to honour the little man of gigantic stature. Touched by the gesture, Bradman defended the first ball from leg-spinner Eric Hollies. The next ball, he was cleaned up by a possible googly. When Bradman walked out for his final innings, his batting average read a phenomenal 101.39. All he needed was a four to ensure he finished with a three-figure average. ALSO READ: 10 jaw-dropping anecdotes about cricket’s greatest-ever batsman

England team pay tribute to Don Bradman, playing in his last Test Match, at The Oval, London. He went on to be the first cricketer to be knighted in 1949 for his services to cricket. (Courtesy: Getty Images)
England team pay tribute to Don Bradman, playing in his last Test Match, at The Oval, London. He went on to be the first cricketer to be knighted in 1949 for his services to cricket. (Courtesy: Getty Images)

 

Fate had a different script. Though Australia won the Test comprehensively, Bradman finished with four short of 7,000 runs and an average of 99.94.

Half a century later, on Bradman’s 90th birthday, the Australian legend invited India’s Sachin Tendulkar and Australian legend Shane Warne. The greatest-ever batsman had then famously said that he saw glimpses of himself in Tendulkar. Nothing can be more fulfilling for any cricketer than earning a comparison with Bradman. Tendulkar was arguably the greatest batsmen from his era but August 14 holds a special place in Little Master’s illustrious journey too. ALSO WATCH: The day Sachin Tendulkar scored his first Test hundred as a 17-year-old

Forty-two-years after Bradman’s last innings, in the same country, Tendulkar announced his himself at the highest stage. It was his first hundred in international cricket, which helped India save a Test.

In the next 23 years, he went on to score 99 more. While Bradman was struck at 99.94, at one point it seemed Tendulkar was jinxed with 99 international hundreds but in 2012, the big moment arrived finally. August 14 holds a special place in both these legend’s career.