Bengaluru, April 24: Indian batting great Sachin Tendulkar turned 46 on Wednesday (April 24). The man, who has scored over 34,000 international runs and 100 international tons and referred to as the 'God', is now just a boundary short of yet another glorious 'fifty' and the fans wish him for a long, long life ahead.
Tendulkar played international cricket for 24 years and one significant aspect about his life is that the non-cricketing journey is yet to match the cricketing journey, even after almost six years of him quitting the game.
With the advent of another run machine Virat Kohli, Tendulkar's record of 100 international centuries does not look infallible now, but the man's importance cannot be just fathomed by the number of runs he has scored for India.
Happy birthday, @sachin_rt! 🎂— ICC (@ICC) April 24, 2019
The legendary India batsman played 200 Tests and 463 ODIs, amassing 34,357 international runs, including an incredible 💯 centuries!
What is your favourite "Sachin! Sachin!" moment? pic.twitter.com/UK4tOvE6kQ
The man's rise had taken place when not just Indian cricket but the country itself was going through a transition. The previous icon named Sunil Gavaskar had just called it quits and the older glorious generation of India's cricketers was ageing.
In 1989, India needed a hero and there was Tendulkar.
India had lost their world champions' tag a couple of years ago at home and the great Kapil Dev was no more the captain. On the economic front, India was yet to adopt liberalisation. Politically, it was the fag end of the promising Rajiv Gandhi regime.
In those days of hopelessness, India needed a new hero and who could have done it better than Tendulkar who appeared on the horizon through a brave performance against Pakistan on their soil.
A bloody blow from fellow debutant Waqar Younis had broken Tendulkar's nose, but the kid didn't leave the crease and survived one of the toughest test of the game - facing Pakistan's fierce pacer battery. It was not that Tendulkar was as successful as say Gavaskar in his debut series, but he left behind indelible marks that world cricket would witness in the days and decades to come.
The next phase in young Tendulkar's career involved two overseas tours and they were of England and Australia. His first century (119 not out), which came when he batted at No.6, saw India drawing a match in England in August 1990.
It was then followed by two significant knocks Down Under during the 1991-92 tour (148 not out in Sydney and 114 in Perth) which proved that Tendulkar was no one-match wonder and had come to rule the world.
His gutsy show against the best of bowlers certainly gave enough hint about the talent he possessed. The technique and the footwork that Tendulkar had displayed early in his career convinced the world that he would only get stonger with time, which he subsequently did.