The evolution of Sachin Tendulkar: in pictures
Sachin Tendulkar has undoubtedly been the best batsman that India has ever produced -- perhaps the very best in the game. He rewrote the history books and his contribution to the game remains unparalleled.
Let us look back at the evolution of his career through pictures.
Cricket was in his blood from a very early stage. But a great influence was that of his brother Ajit Tendulkar, who played with him and inspired him in his early childhood. He went on to advise him till the end of his career.
The man who had the most important formative influence on Tendulkar's cricketing career was his coach Ramakant Achrekar.
Known as a hard task-master, Achrekar was a wonderful coach who shaped quite a few successful cricketing careers. Tendulkar remains indebted to him to this day.
Tendulkar's domestic career really took off in 1988 when he scored a stunning 326 not out against St. Xavier's School in a Harris Shield inter-school tournament.
In the process, he strung together an unbroken 664-run partnership with Vinod Kambli, a record which was broken in 2006.
After some brilliant performances in the Ranji Trophy, Tendulkar made his international debut against Pakistan at the Karachi Test in November 1989.
Aged just 16, he showed remarkable courage against the pace and guile of the Pakistani pace attack. He later scored a quickfire 53 off 18 balls on that tur, hitting Abdul Qadir for four sixes in an over.
In September 1994, Tendulkar scored his first ODI century against Australia at Colombo. Little did the world know that he would go on to score 48 more after it.
In February 1995, Tendulkar married Anjali Mehta, a doctor whom he had met in 1990.
Tendulkar dedicated his century to his deceased father during the 1999 World Cup. Tendulkar scored a masterful 140 right after returning to join the team after his father's death.
Tendulkar was the standout performer in the 2003 World Cup as he won the Man of the Tournament after compiling 673 runs which is the most runs scored in a single World Cup till date. His 98 against Pakistan is remembered sill today.
India played some brilliant cricket to reach the final before losing to Australia.
In 2004, overcoming a prolonged slump in form, Tendulkar scored an incredible 241 not out aginst Australia at the SCG. He later talked about the adjustments he had made in that innings as he did not play a single cover drive.
World Cup 2007 was a disaster for Team India as they failed to make it past the initial group stages. Tendulkar had a torrid time with the bat and his attitude was questioned by the then coach Greg Chappell.
Tendulkar later admitted that it was the lowest point of his career and he had contemplated retiring from the game.
Tendulkar played a key role in the 2008 Commonwealth Bank tri-series series as India went on to defeat Australia 2-0 in the best of the three finals. Tendulkar scored 117 not out and 91 in the two finals.
Tendulkar enjoyed a lengthy stint as a Mumbai Indians player ever since the IPL was introduced. Even at the fag end of his career, he managed to re-adjust his game and master the new format to perfection.
All dreams came true as Tendulkar held the trophy aloft in Mumbai after India won the 2011 World Cup. A team led by MS Dhoni had managed to repeat the magical feat achieved by India back in 1983 under Kapil Dev.
After keeping his fans waiting for some time, Tendulkar finally scored his hundredth international century against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup in March 2012. It had been a long time coming and Tendulkar expressed more relief than joy after achieving this incredible feat.
In November 2013, Tendulkar retired from the game after playing his last Test against the West Indies at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. An emotional Tendulkar game to the ground to touch the pitch and bid adieu to his home crowd for the last time in his career.
In November 2014, Tendulkar releashed his autobiography titled Playing it My Way. The book made its way into the 2016 Limca Book of Records for breaking the record for adult hardback pre-publication orders, with 1,50,289 copies confirmed.