Hailed as one of the greatest batsmen ever to take the cricket field – Sachin Tendulkar had played numerous match-winning or match-saving knocks for the Indian cricket team but there was one special inning which he remembers vividly till now. After spending a little over nine months in international cricket and representing India in eight Test matches and seven ODIs – Tendulkar was yet to register his first century for the country.Also Read - T20 World Cup 2021: Ireland Batter Simi Singh Survives 3 Run-Outs on Last Ball as Namibia Fielders Fail to Collect Ball | WATCH VIDEO
Touted as India’s next big thing in international cricket, Tendulkar had done just about enough to keep the experts and fans interested in his batting. From playing some breathtaking strokes, showing immense courage and maintaining his class despite facing some of the world’s most fearsome bowlers – the Master Blaster was a complete package. Also Read - Sourav Ganguly on Virat Kohli's Decision to Give up Team India Captaincy in T20 Format After World Cup, Says I Was Surprised
Tendulkar’s love story with the magical three-figure mark started on August 14 in 1990. The Mumbai-born cricketer choose the grandest of stages to showcase the world his talent and skill which had often been discussed in length. With India in trouble, Tendulkar scored an unbeaten 119 against England on a day 5 track at the Old Trafford, Manchester to save the Test and series. Also Read - T20 World Cup: I Feel Sorry for Sachin, Shoaib Akhtar Predicts Tendulkar's Future Had He Been Born in this ERA
The seeds of that knock were sown during one afternoon in Sialkot, eight months prior to that gloomy Manchester day. Tendulkar’s knock in the second innings emerged as the biggest talking point from the Test and the series.
“I scored that 100 on August 14 and the next day was our Independence Day, so it was special. The headline was different and that hundred at least kept the series alive till next Test at the Oval,” Tendulkar was quoted by PTI on the eve of the 30th anniversary of his first ton.
Chasing 408 for victory, India were down in the dumps at 183/6 when Tendulkar showed superb composure as a teenager and exhibited his repertoire of exquisite drives on the off-side against English pacers.
Sharing a 160-run partnership with Manoj Prabhakar, Tendulkar remained unbeaten on 119 and helped India draw the match. The Master Blaster was just 17 when he hit that magnificent knock – the third-youngest batsman ever to register a Test century.
So what exactly was the feeling, apart from the pure joy of achieving the milestone?
“The art of saving a Test match was a new experience for me,” Tendulkar said but added he knew he could save a game when he batted with a “bloodied nose” and a blood-soaked jersey after being hit by Waqar Younis.
“In Sialkot where I got hit and scored 57, we saved that Test match, too, from 38 for 4. Waqar’s bouncer and playing through pain defined me. After those kind of hits you are either stronger or you are nowhere to be seen.”
As scary as it may seem now, Tendulkar, in the first innings of that Manchester match, was hit on the back of the head by one of the fastest pacers in the world back then, Devon Malcolm.
“Devon and Waqar, during that phase, were easily the two quickest bowlers in the world bowling at 90 mph.
“Yes, I didn’t call the phsyio as I didn’t want to show them that I am in pain. My pain threshold was fairly high. Its okay to get hit. So what. You don’t show your pain to the bowler,” the legend said.
Tendulkar, who retired from international cricket in 2013, went to score 99 more centuries in international cricket. He scored 15,921 and 18,426 runs respectively in 200 Tests and 463 matches he played for India.