ROAD LESS TRAV­ELLED

Sachin’s record on the cricket field will be near im­pos­si­ble to break

India Today - - COVER STORY -

1989 At 16 years and 205 days, Sachin be­came the youngest player to earn a Test cap for In­dia. His de­but match was against Pak­istan in Karachi. “Things were all blurry when I came out to bat. I faced Wasim Akram and he bowled four straight bounc­ers at me. I thought to my­self, ‘ wel­come to Test cricket’.”

1999

Scored a hun­dred in the 1999 World Cup in Eng­land days af­ter his fa­ther’s death “I’m back be­cause of my fam­ily and my coun­try­men. It was my mother who told me I should go back and play in the World Cup.”

2001 Be­came the first bats­man in the his­tory of ODIs to score 10,000 runs “It’s nice to get so many runs. I don’t ever play for records but it’s nice to get mile­stones.”

2005

Be­came the high­est cen­tury maker in Tests with 35th ton against Sri Lanka. “There was this pres­sure which was build­ing up to go past Su­nil Gavaskar in the Test cen­tury tally. The room ser­vice and house­keep­ing peo­ple in my ho­tel only spoke about me get­ting cen­tury No. 35. I was relieved when it fi­nally hap­pened.”

2010

Be­came the first bats­man to score a dou­ble cen­tury in an ODI and later the most capped player in Test cricket, sur­pass­ing Steve Waugh’s tally of 168 Tests. “I didn’t start play­ing cricket to break records; it hap­pened along the way. The dream was to play for In­dia and do my best.”

2011

Won the World Cup with Team In­dia. Vi­rat Kohli summed up the sen­ti­ment of an ec­static na­tion by hold­ing him aloft and say­ing: “He has car­ried the bur­den of the na­tion for 21 years. It is time we car­ried him on our shoul­ders.” “I could not have asked for any­thing bet­ter than this. Win­ning the World Cup... it is the proud­est mo­ment of my life. It’s never too late.”

INDIATODAYPHOTO AR­CHIVE

SACHIN WITH HIS SCHOOL­MATE AND FU­TURE INDIATEAM MATE VINOD KAM­BLI AT MUM­BAI IN 1988

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