Age : 40 years 6 months
Team : India, Mumbai Indians
Batting Style : RHB
Bowling Style : RAB
Test Debut : vs Pakistan -November 15, 1989
ODI Debut : vs Pakistan -December 18, 1989
Twenty20 Debut : vs South Africa - December 1, 2006
Sachin Tendulkar can unquestionably be called the 'face of modern cricket'. He follows Sir Donald Bradman and Sir Vivian Richards as his generation's most successful batsman. The only close competitors Tendulkar has faced are Brian Lara and, in more recent times, Ricky Ponting. Statistically, while Bradman scaled unreachable heights, Tendulkar, by his sheer consistency
and longevity, marked his area with expansive width that shall, like the Australian great, probably never be conquered.
By the turn of the century, watching Tendulkar as India's lone warrior staging single-handed fights while carrying the hopes of a billion hearts was cricket's grandest spectacle. Too often his achievements would be let down by lack of support from teammates. Yet, his ability to continue to live to fight another day, shoulder blame unfairly and always delve into positives transcends Tendulkar beyond a cricketing icon to a role model and a prized treasure for the often-tarnished image of the sport. Tendulkar went on to be the game's leading run-getter, half-centurion and centurion in the two most prominent forms of the game.
It is paradoxical that at the start of all these achievements was performance of nothingness - a debut ODI duck and an unflattering 15 on Test debut against Pakistan as a 16-year-old. It underlines the old adage of attitude over talent reminding everyone that even legends have to struggle to find their feet. He did make it big, one small step at a time. First replacing Sanjay Manjrekar as India's most formidable batsman of the time and then becoming the only contender to Sunil Gavaskar's stature in Indian batting history. Finally, even the great Sir Don Bradman drew parallels between himself and Tendulkar. In between, captaincy called on a few occasions, but it was one thing he wasn't cut out for.
With the passage of time came India's ascendency after disappointing pasts during Tendulkar's foray in the peak of his career. He was now provided with the long-awaited support crew. But he still remained the mainstay while guiding his nation towards the summit of Test rankings. If Bradman started high and ended low, Tendulkar started low to rise unfathomably even miles before his end.
Tendulkar's long-awaited dream was finally fulfilled when he, as part of Team India, emerged victorious in the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup. Throughout the tournament, he was a consistent performer with the bat. In an enormous acknowledgment to his batting genius, his teammates paid the Master Blaster rich tributes for his service to Indian cricket. Post-victory, Virat Kohli perfectly summed up the sentiment of many when he famously said that it was time that they carried Sachin Tendulkar on their shoulders after he had carried the burden of the nation's expectations for 21 years. The master added another feather to his cap when he scored his 100th international hundred in the 2012 Asia Cup after a year long wait. Tendulkar admitted he was under severe pressure but was relieved to have the monkey off his back. However, the rest of the year wasn't productive as Tendulkar struggled to score runs. He announced his ODI retirement in December 23, 2012. He played his last ODI against Pakistan in Asia Cup and scored a blistering 50 off 45 balls (5 x 4, 1 x 6) in March 2012.
On October 10, 2013, the master blaster announced his retirement from Test cricket through a letter to the BCCI. He will hang his boots on his home soil in the second Test against the West Indies which is to be played from November 14 to 18, 2013.