Sachin Tendulkar earned the reputation of being the best batsman in the world, but even the leading run-scorer in international cricket had to endure setbacks. Remembering his initial days as a player, the former India batsman recalled an incident when he missed out during a selection trial and how it pushed Tendulkar to work even harder.

“When I was a student, the only thing in my mind was to play for India. My journey started at the age of eleven,” Tendulkar said in Marathi while interacting with the students of Late Laxmanrao Dure School.

“I even remember when I went for my first selection trails, I was not selected by the selectors. They had said that he will need to work hard and improve his game. At that time I was disappointed because I thought I had batted well, but the result was not as per expectation and I was not selected. But after that my focus, commitment and capacity to work hard increased further. If you want to realise your dreams, then short-cuts won’t help.”

Not too long later, Tendulkar was on a path of glorified success. Two months short of his 15th birthday, Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli out on a marathon partnership of 664 runs for Sharadashram Vidyamandir against St Xavier’s High School in the semi-final of the Harris Shield tournament played in Mumbai’s Azad Maidan in the year 1988.

Tendulkar was selected on Bombay’s Ranji Trophy squad for the 1987-88 season but did not get to play a game. A year later, he made his Ranji Trophy debut and scored a century and finished the season’s highest run-getter. He credited his family and late coach Ramakant Achrekar for their unparalleled support.

“For my success in cricket, I owe it to my family — all the members. I will start with my parents, my brother Ajit and elder brother Nitin, who does not usually come forward, supported me,” he said.

“My elder sister, who now resides in Pune after marriage, she supported me. In fact, my sister had presented the first cricket bat to me in my life.

“After marriage (wife) Anjali and (kids) Sara and Arjun and Anjali’s parents supported me. My uncle and aunt, many people were there. And of course last but no the least (Ramakant) Achrekar Sir.”

Tendulkar retired from international cricket in 2013, having played for the country for 25 years and scored 15,921 Test runs and 18,426 runs in ODIs, with a staggering 100 centuries across the two formats.