He looked the embodiment of India's famous opener, Gavaskar, and indeed was wearing a pair of his pads. While he displayed a full repertoire of strokes in compiling his maiden Test hundred, most remarkable were his off-side shots from the back foot. Though only 5ft 5in tall, he was still able to control without difficulty short deliveries from the English pacemen.
Tendulkar was born at Nirmal Nursing Home in Dadar, Bombay on 24 April 1973 to a Rajapur Saraswat Brahmin family. His father, Ramesh Tendulkar, was a well-known Marathi Novelist and his mother, Rajni, worked in the insurance industry. Ramesh named Tendulkar after his favourite music Director, Sachin Dev Burman. Tendulkar has three elder siblings: two half-brothers Nitin and Ajit, and a half-sister Savita. They were Ramesh's children from his first marriage.
On 14 November 1987, Tendulkar was selected to represent Bombay in the Ranji Trophy, India's premier domestic First-class cricket tournament, for the 1987–88 season. However, he was not selected for the final eleven in any of the matches, though he was often used as a substitute fielder. He narrowly missed out on playing alongside his idol Gavaskar, who had retired from all forms of cricket after the 1987 Cricket World Cup. A year later, on 11 December 1988, aged 15 years and 232 days, Tendulkar made his debut for Bombay against Gujarat at home and scored 100 not out in that match, making him the youngest Indian to score a century on debut in first-class cricket. He was handpicked to play for the team by the then Bombay captain Dilip Vengsarkar after watching him easily negotiating India's best fast Bowler at the time, Kapil Dev, in the Wankhede Stadium nets, where the Indian team had come to play against the touring New Zealand team. He followed this by scoring a century in his first Deodhar and Duleep Trophies, which are also Indian domestic tournaments.
Tendulkar finished the 1988–89 Raji Trophy season as Bombay's highest run-scorer. He scored 583 runs at an average of 67.77, and was the eighth highest run-scorer overall. He also made an unbeaten century in the Irani Trophy match against Delhi at the start of the 1989–90 season, playing for the Rest of India. Sachin was picked for a young Indian team to tour England twice, under the Star Cricket Club banner in 1988 and 1989. In the famous 1990–91 Ranji Trophy final, in which Haryana defeated Bombay by two runs after leading in the first innings, Tendulkar's 96 from 75 deliveries was a key to giving Bombay a chance of victory as it attempted to chase 355 from only 70 overs on the final day.
Raj Singh Dungarpur is credited for the selection of Tendulkar for the Indian tour of Pakistan in late 1989, after one first class season. The Indian selection committee had shown interest in selecting Tendulkar for the tour of the West Indies held earlier that year, but eventually did not select him, as they did not want him to be exposed to the dominant fast bowlers of the West Indies so early in his career. Tendulkar made his Test debut against Pakistan in Karachi in November 1989 aged 16 years and 205 days. He made 15 runs, being bowled by Waqar Younis, who also made his debut in that match, but was noted for how he handled numerous blows to his body at the hands of the Pakistani pace attack. In the fourth and final Test in Sialkot, he was hit on the nose by a bouncer bowled by Younis, but he declined medical assistance and continued to bat even as he gushed blood from it. In a 20-over exhibition game in Peshawar, held in parallel with the bilateral series, Tendulkar made 53 runs off 18 balls, including an over in which he scored 27 runs (6, 4, 0, 6, 6, 6) off leg-spinner Abdul Qadir. This was later called "one of the best innings I have seen" by the then Indian captain Krishnamachari Srikkanth. In all, he scored 215 runs at an average of 35.83 in the Test series, and was dismissed without scoring a run in the only One Day International (ODI) he played. Thus Sachin Tendulkar became the youngest player to debut for India in Tests at the age of 16 years and 205 days and also the youngest player to debut for India in ODIs at the age of 16 years and 238 days.
Sachin Tendulkar has been sponsored by several brands throughout his career including Boost (1990–present), Pepsi (1992–2009), Action Shoes (1995–2000), MRF (1999–2009), Adidas (2000–10), Britannia (2001–07), Fiat Palio (2001–03), TVS (2002–05), ESPN Star Sports (2002–present), Sunfeast (2007–13), Canon (2006–09), Airtel (2004–06), Rorito (2016-), G-Hanz (2005–07), Sanyo BPL (2007–present), Toshiba (2010–present), Colgate-Palmolive, Philips, VISA, Castrol India (2011–12), Ujala Techno Bright, Coca-Cola (2011–13) and Musafir.com (2013–present).
Tendulkar further enhanced his reputation as a Future great during the 1991–92 tour of Australia held before the 1992 Cricket World Cup, that included an unbeaten 148 in the third Test at Sydney, making him the youngest batsman to score a century in Australia. He then scored 114 on a fast, bouncing pitch in the final Test at Perth against a pace attack comprising Merv Hughes, Bruce Reid and Craig McDermott. Hughes commented to Allan Border at the time that "This little prick's going to get more runs than you, AB."
In 1992, at the age of 19, Tendulkar became the first overseas-born player to represent Yorkshire, which prior to Tendulkar joining the team, never selected players even from other English counties. Selected for Yorkshire as a replacement for the injured Australian fast Bowler Craig McDermott, Tendulkar played 16 first-class matches for the county and scored 1070 runs at an average of 46.52.
Tendulkar's performance through the years 1994–1999 coincided with his physical peak, in his early twenties. He opened the batting at Auckland against New Zealand in 1994, making 82 runs off 49 balls. He scored his first ODI century on 9 September 1994 against Australia in Sri Lanka at Colombo. It took him 78 ODIs to score his first century.
Tendulkar's popularity has led him to be a pioneer in India on cricket Business dealings when he signed a record Sports management deal with WorldTel in 1995, the value of the deal being ₹30 crore (US$4.6 million) over five years. His next contract with WorldTel in 2001 was valued at ₹80 crore (US$12 million) over five years. In 2006, he signed a contract with Saatchi and Saatchi's ICONIX valued at ₹180 crore (US$28 million) over three years.
Tendulkar has consistently done well in Cricket World Cups. He was the highest run scorer of the 1996 Cricket World Cup with a total of 523 runs and also of the 2003 Cricket World Cup with 673 runs. After his century against England during group stages of 2011 Cricket World Cup, he became the player to hit most number of centuries in Cricket World Cups with six centuries and the first player to score 2000 runs in World Cup cricket.
Tendulkar is a practising Hindu. He is a devotee of the deity Ganesha and was a disciple of the guru Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi, whom he visited on several occasions. In 1997, Tendulkar captained the Indian National side, playing against a World Eleven team, in the Unity Cup which was held at the Sri Sathya Sai Hill View Stadium in Puttaparthi, in Baba's presence. The death of Sai Baba on Tendulkar's 38th birthday caused him to cancel his celebrations. The cricketer is also known to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi at home and frequently visits temples during night when it is calm and quiet.
Tendulkar's consistent performances earned him a fan following across the globe, including amongst Australian crowds, where Tendulkar has consistently scored centuries. One of the most popular sayings by his fans is "Cricket is my religion and Sachin is my God". Cricinfo mentions in his profile that "... Tendulkar remains, by a distance, the most worshipped cricketer in the world." During the Australian tour of India in 1998 Matthew Hayden said "I have seen God. He bats at no. 4 in India in Tests." However, on God, Tendulkar himself is reported to have said "I am not God of cricket. I make mistakes, God doesn't." Tendulkar made a special appearance in the Bollywood film Stumped in 2003, appearing as himself.
In the Test against Pakistan at Chepauk in 1999, the first of a two-Test series, Sachin scored 136 in the fourth innings with India chasing 271 for victory. However, he was out when India needed 17 more runs to win, triggering a batting collapse, and India lost the match by 12 runs. The worst was yet to come as Professor Ramesh Tendulkar, Sachin's father, died in the middle of the 1999 Cricket World Cup. Tendulkar flew back to India to attend the final rituals of his father, missing the match against Zimbabwe. However, he returned to the World Cup scoring a century (140 not out off 101 balls) in his very next match against Kenya in Bristol. He dedicated this century to his father.
Sachin Tendulkar continued performing well in Test cricket in 2001 and 2002, with some pivotal performances with both bat and ball. Tendulkar took three wickets on the final day of the famous Kolkata Test against Australia in 2001. Tendulkar took the key wickets of Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist, who were centurions in the previous Test.He also take a wicket of Shane Warne.This three wicket change the result of test match from draw to win of India. In the five-match ODI series that followed, he took his 100th wicket in ODIs, claiming the wicket of then Australian captain Steve Waugh in the final match at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa.
Then, in a hitherto unprecedented sequence, he scored 0, 0, 8 and 0 in the next four innings. He returned to form in the last Test scoring 41 and 86, one half century. However, India lost the series. In this period, in the third Test match against England in August 2002, Sachin scored his 30th Test century to surpass Bradman's haul, in his 99th Test match.
He has also been a spokesperson for National Egg Coordination Committee (2003–05), AIDS Awareness Campaign (2005) and Luminous India (2010–present).
Former Australian cricket team coach John Buchanan voiced his opinion that Tendulkar had become susceptible to the short ball early in his innings because of a lack of footwork. Buchanan also believes Tendulkar has a weakness while playing left-arm pace. He was affected by a series of injuries since 2004. Since then Tendulkar's batting has tended to be less attacking. Explaining this change in his batting style, he has acknowledged that he is batting differently because, firstly, no batsman can bat the same way for the entire length of a long career and, secondly, he is a senior member of the team now and thus has more responsibility. During the early part of his career, he was a more attacking batsman and frequently scored centuries at close to a run a ball. Ian Chappell, former Australian player, remarked in 2007 that "Tendulkar now, is nothing like the player he was when he was a young bloke".
On 10 December 2005 at Feroz Shah Kotla, Tendulkar scored his record-breaking 35th Test century, against the Sri Lankans. After this, Tendulkar endured the longest spell of his career without a Test century: 17 innings elapsed before he scored 101 against Bangladesh in May 2007. Tendulkar scored his 39th ODI hundred on 6 February 2006 in a match against Pakistan. He followed with a 42 in the second One-Day International against Pakistan on 11 February 2006, and then a 95 in hostile, seaming conditions on 13 February 2006 in Lahore, which set up an Indian victory. On 19 March 2006, after being dismissed for only one run against England in the first innings of the third Test in his home ground, Wankhede, Tendulkar was booed off the ground by a section of the crowd, the first time that he had ever faced such flak. Tendulkar ended the three-Test series without a half-century to his credit, and the need for a shoulder operation raised more questions about his longevity.
After playing a Twenty20 International in 2006 against South Africa, he said that he would not play the format again. He announced his retirement from the IPL after his team, Mumbai Indians, beat Chennai Super Kings by 23 runs at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on 26 May to win the Indian Premier League 2013. He retired from Twenty20 cricket and limited-overs cricket, after playing the 2013 Champions League Twenty20 in September–October 2013 in India for Mumbai Indians.
In the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, 2007–08, Tendulkar showed exceptional form, becoming the leading run scorer with 493 runs in four Tests, despite consistently failing in the second innings. Sachin scored 62 runs in the first innings of the first Test at the MCG in Melbourne, but could not prevent a heavy 337-run win for Australia. In the controversial New Years' Test at Sydney, Tendulkar scored an unbeaten 154, even though India lost the Test. This was his third century at the SCG and his 38th Test century overall, earning him an average of 326 at the ground at the time of completing the innings. In the third Test at the WACA cricket ground in Perth, Sachin was instrumental in India's first innings score of 330, scoring a well-compiled 71. India went on to record a historic triumph at the WACA, ending Australia's run of 16 consecutive wins. In the fourth Test at the Adelaide Oval, which ended in a draw, he scored 153 in the first innings, being involved in a crucial 126 run stand with V.V.S. Laxman for the fifth wicket to lead India to a score of 282 for 5 from 156 for 4. He secured the Man of the Match award.
He has been Man of the Match 13 times in Test matches and Man of the Series four times, out of them twice in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia. The performances earned him respect from Australian cricket fans and players. Similarly he has been Man of the Match 62 times in One day International matches and Man of the Series 15 times. He became the first batsman to score 12,000, 13,000, 14,000 and 15,000 runs in Test cricket, having also been the third batsman and the first Indian to pass 11,000 runs in that form of the game. He was also the first player to score 10,000 runs in one-day internationals, and also the first player to cross every subsequent 1000-run mark that has been crossed in ODI cricket history. In the fourth Test of the 2008–09 Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia at Nagpur on 6 November 2008, Tendulkar surpassed Australia's Allan Border to become the player to cross the 50-run mark the most number of times in Test cricket history, and also the second ever player to score 11 Test centuries against Australia, tying with Sir Jack Hobbs of England more than 70 years previously. On 8 November 2011, Tendulkar became the first batsman to score 15,000 runs in Test Cricket.
In the five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka in 2009–10, Tendulkar scored 69, 43, 96 not out and 8 in the first four matches, with the fifth match being abandoned as the pitch was deemed unfit and potentially dangerous. India won the series 3–1. In the Test series that followed, he scored a 100 not out in the first Test, which was drawn, and 40 and 53 in the second and third Tests respectively as India clinched innings victories in both the Tests, to win the series 2–0.
At home in Mumbai, Tendulkar's fan following has caused him to lead a different lifestyle. Ian Chappell has said that he would be unable to cope with the lifestyle Tendulkar was forced to lead, having to "wear a wig and go out and watch a movie only at night". In an interview with Tim Sheridan, Tendulkar admitted that he sometimes went for quiet drives in the streets of Mumbai late at night when he would be able to enjoy some peace and silence. Tendulkar has a presence in the popular social networking site Twitter with the user name sachin_rt, since May 2010.
Tendulkar sponsors 200 underprivileged children every year through Apnalaya, a Mumbai-based NGO associated with his mother-in-law, Annabel Mehta. A request by him on Twitter raised ₹1.02 crore (US$160,000) through Sachin's crusade against cancer for the Crusade against Cancer foundation. Sachin Tendulkar spent nine hours on the 12-hour Coca-Cola-NDTV Support My School telethon on 18 September 2011 that helped raise ₹ 7 crore – ₹ 2 crore more than the target – for the creation of basic facilities, particularly toilets for girl students, in 140 government schools across the country.
In April 2012, Tendulkar accepted the Rajya Sabha nomination proposed by the President of India and became the first active sportsperson and cricketer to have been nominated. Former cricketers Sanjay Manjrekar, Ajit Wadekar, Madan Lal expressed their surprise over this move. He took the oath of office on 4 June. He refused to take the bungalow allotted to him in New Delhi calling it "waste of taxpayers' money" as he resides in Mumbai. He met with some controversy over his attendance at Rajya Sabha proceedings. Tendulkar has also been accused of not using the development fund Rajya Sabha members receive.
In 2013, Tendulkar was listed at 51st position in Forbes' list of world's highest-paid athletes, with his total earnings estimated to be USD 22 million. In October 2013, the net worth of Tendulkar was estimated at USD 160 million by Wealth-X, making him India's wealthiest cricket player.
Sachin Tendulkar’s autobiography, Playing It My Way, was released on 6 November 2014. It was listed in the 2016 Limca Book of Records for breaking the record for adult hardback pre-publication orders, with 1,50,289 copies confirmed.
Tendulkar played as a youngster with his brother, Ajit, for Sahitya Sahawas society’s cricket team at Bandra East. Ajit is credited by Sachin for playing a pivotal role in his life. Ramakant Achrekar was impressed with Tendulkar's talent and advised him to shift his schooling to Sharadashram Vidyamandir (English) High School, a school at Dadar which had a dominant cricket team and had produced many notable cricketers. Prior to this, Tendulkar had attended the Indian Education Society's New English School in Bandra (East). He was also coached under the guidance of Achrekar at Shivaji Park in the mornings and evenings. Tendulkar would practice for hours on end in the nets. If he became exhausted, Achrekar would put a one-rupee coin on the top of the stumps, and the Bowler who dismissed Tendulkar would get the coin. If Tendulkar passed the whole session without getting dismissed, the coach would give him the coin. Tendulkar now considers the 13 coins he won then as some of his most prized possessions. He moved in with his aunt and uncle, who lived near Shivaji Park, during this period, due to his hectic schedule.