Former Indian cricket captain Sachin Tendulkar debuted in 1989 as a 16-year old and remained a mainstay of India’s batting order for the next 24 years. He played alongside veteran Indian cricketers like Kapil Dev, Ravi Shastri and Kris Srikkanth in the match and went toe-to-toe against the deadly Pakistani trio of Wasim Akram, Imran Khan and Waqar Younis. To commemorate Sachin Tendulkar’s 47th birthday, we take a look back at the time when legendary Indian cricketers like Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar recalled their first-ever interaction with the ‘Master Blaster’.
On a talk show Breakfast with Champions, 1983 World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev recalled the time in 1988 when he first stumbled upon to Sachin Tendulkar. Kapil Dev said that he was in Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium for a training session where ex-BCCI President Raj Singh Dungarpur requested him to bowl to a young 15-year old kid named Sachin Tendulkar from Mumbai. While Kapil Dev refused to do so at first, he eventually bowled to the youngster upon being insisted on doing so.
The former captain then recalled that he was left amazed by the child prodigy after seeing the way he tackled his deliveries. In the interview, he further described Tendulkar as a “far better” talent than what his batting records already suggest.
While batting ace Sunil Gavaskar retired in 1987, Tendulkar made his debut in 1989. Many cricket purists believe that the latter is a spiritual successor of none other than Sunil Gavaskar himself. When Gavaskar appeared in an interview on Breakfast with Champions, he also recalled the time when he specially went to see a young Sachin Tendulkar batting in the nets for the first time. The 125-Test veteran further recalled that he was highly impressed by the way young Tendulkar was handling fast bowlers in the nets, where the quicks bowl only from a distance of 18 yards in comparison to 22 yards. He later praised Tendulkar’s commitment and longevity with Indian cricket and described him a special talent.
Sachin Tendulkar is widely regarded as one of the greatest cricketers of all time. The right-handed batsman holds several major batting records including the records for most runs and most centuries in international cricket. Tendulkar has scored 34,357 runs across all formats and is the leading run-aggregator in both Tests and ODIs. With 100 international centuries, he is 29 centuries ahead of second-placed Ricky Ponting (71).
In wake of the coronavirus-induced India lockdown, Sachin Tendulkar stated that he will not be celebrating his 47th birthday on April 24, 2020. On April 23, a source close to the cricketer stated he wants to stay indoors and honour the lockdown. The source further stated that instead of celebrating his birthday, Tendulkar wants to pay his tributes to medical staff and police personnel in their fight against the coronavirus.