Sachin Tendulkar’s first innings in Test cricket is ended on 15 when he is bowled by another debutant, Waqar Younis. But he has already impressed, taking several blows to the body.
At 16 years 205 days, he is the third youngest Test player (after two Pakistanis). He was directed towards cricket partly to curb his bullying tendencies, which seems astonishing given the patient chap he became.
As a schoolboy he took part in an unbroken 664-run partnership with Vinod Kambli, another future Test batsman, and made 100 not out on his first-class debut for Mumbai against Gujarat when he was 15 in 1988.
Day 44: 14 August 1990
India are up against it on the last day of the Second Test against England. At 109 for 4 when Tendulkar comes in they are heading for defeat at Old Trafford, chasing a nominal 408 to win.
But Tendulkar scores the first of his 100 international hundreds, at 17 years 112 days old. Only Mushtaq Mohammad of Pakistan was a younger Test centurion.
The effect of this first visit to England was dramatic: two years later Tendulkar becomes the first overseas player in Yorkshire’s history.
Day 74: 3 February 1992
On a rapid, bouncy pitch at Perth against a high-class pace attack, Tendulkar scores his second hundred of a series in which India are trounced. Fast bowler Merv Hughes says to his captain Allan Border: “This little prick’s going to get more runs than you, AB.” He was right.
Day 195: 10 October 1996
As was inevitable, Tendulkar becomes captain of India aged 23. By now he is already an icon of the game. His tenure starts with a handsome seven-wicket victory against Australia which is followed by a series win over South Africa.
But there are no other wins in 17 Tests and he withdraws 18 months later. He assumes the role again in 1999 but never looks comfortable and after another eight matches he steps down again. He is invited to take over again in 2007 but declines.
The record shows that although he averaged 51 in his Tests as captain, the side won only four of 25 Tests.
Day 313: 19 February 1999
Eden Gardens, Kolkata has been full for the first four days of the inaugural match in the Asian Test Championship. It has tilted this way and that and India are set 272 to beat Pakistan with two days left.
Then comes a riot, caused solely by an incident involving Tendulkar. Attempting a third run he collides with the bowler Shoaib Akhtar and the third umpire eventually decides he has failed to make his ground.
The crowd hurl objects at Shoaib, the players are led off and eventually Tendulkar makes a public appeal for calm. On the following day there are again disturbances. Play is held up for three hours while police evacuate the ground of 65,000 spectators. It is finally finished as Pakistan win by 46 runs, in front of around 200 spectators.
Day 406: 19 November 2001
World cricket is in crisis after Tendulkar is one of six Indians punished by match referee Mike Denness for misdemeanours in the Second Test against South Africa in Port Elizabeth. He is accused of ball-tampering and banned for one match. But India dispute the penalties and questions are asked in parliament. The Third Test is deprived of official status when India refuse to recognise Denness as match referee. The ban is lifted.
Day 463: 3 January 2004
The Little Master scores a serene 241 not out at Sydney, the ninth and highest of his 11 Test hundreds against Australia and his 32nd in Tests. He broke Don Bradman’s long-standing record of 29 hundreds in 2002 in England and has struggled since with a severe bout of tennis elbow.
Day 610: 19 March 2006
Decline appears to have set in and the unthinkable happens. Dismissed by Jimmy Anderson for one, Tendulkar is booed off the field at his Mumbai home ground and India lose. He needs shoulder surgery.
A few months later he is criticised by the India coach, Greg Chappell, for his attitude and uncharacteristically makes a public response.
Yet in 2008, he goes past Brian Lara’s aggregate of 11,953 runs to become Test cricket’s highest scorer.
Day 725: 15 December 2008
Perhaps his finest hour. The country was in a state of crisis after terrorists launched a murderous attack on Mumbai. England suspended their tour but, with emotions on all sides still running high, agreed to return. In the First Test, moved to Chennai, England set India an improbable 387 to win. Tendulkar took them home on the last day with 103 not out in more than five hours on awearing pitch. He dedicated the century to the 173 victims of the attack.
Day 842: 22 August 2011
All summer long the world waited for Tendulkar’s 100th international hundred. At The Oval he reached 91. The long wait seems to be over but Tim Bresnan spears the ball into his pads and he is lbw.
In his next Test, in Delhi in November, he becomes the first player to reach 15,000 Test runs.
But it takes another six months before finally he attains the 100th 100, scoring 114 in Dhaka against Bangladesh in Dhaka.