Counting the candles on Tendulkar's cake
His journey from an aspirant pace bowler to a batsman with almost all international records under his belt has been one of the most spectacular tales witnessed by the sporting fraternity. With each candle added to his birthday cake every year, Sachin Tendulkar only grew better as a batsman. Here are the 22 birthdays which turned Sachin Tendulkar from a highly-talked about ball-boy to the most iconic figure in world cricket.
His journey from an aspirant pace bowler to a batsman with almost all international records under his belt has been one of the most spectacular tales witnessed by the sporting fraternity. <br><br> With each candle added to his birthday cake every year, Sachin Tendulkar only grew better as a batsman. Here are the 22 birthdays which turned Sachin Tendulkar from a highly-talked about ball-boy to the most iconic figure in world cricket.
<b>April 24, 1989-April 24, 1990:</b><br><br>7 Tests - 332 runs, Highest - 88<br> The master makes his international debut on November 15, 1989, at the tender age of 16, against a pace attack comprising a young duo of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis, Imran Khan and Abdul Qadir of Pakistan at Karachi. Tendulkar plays 7 Tests and scores 332 runs with 88 as the highest. Although he doesn't get his maiden ton, he does hit 3 fifties. <br><br> 3 ODIs - 36 runs, Highest - 36<br> Tendulkar has an unremarkable start to his ODI career. The 16 year-old is out for a duck off his 2nd delivery by Waqar Younis against Pakistan at Gujranwala. His next game at Dunedin sees an encore as New Zealand's Shane Thomson also sends him packing off the 2nd ball. He finally gets off the mark with a 36 against New Zealand in the following match at Wellington.
<b>April 24, 1989 - April 24 1991:</b><br><br> 11 Tests - 588 runs, Highest - 119, 1 century<br> Tendulkar finally opens his century account on August 14, 1990, hitting his first ton in only his 9th match. The then 17-year old's unbeaten 119 off 189 balls saves India from a defeat against England in the second Test at Manchester. <br><br> 13 ODIs - 292 runs, Highest-53, Wickets-2<br> 256 runs in 10 ODIs. He is still short of displaying his genius in the shorter format but gets his first half century, a 53-run inning against Sri Lanka at Pune. In the same game, he also picks up his maiden ODI wicket in the form of Sri Lankan opener Roshan Mahanama.
<b>April 24, 1989 - April 24 1992:</b><br><br> 16 Tests - 956 runs, Highest - 148, 3 centuries<br> Sachin adds 2 more centuries to his name including his most renowned knock of 114 against Australia at Perth. On a furiously fast pitch the 18 year-old leaves everyone impressed by standing tall against a ruthless pace attack even as more experienced Indian batsmen fall quickly. Tendulkar also, picks up his first Test wicket in the same series with Australian pacer Merv Hughes becoming his first victim. <br><br> 39 ODIs - 1177 runs, Highest - 84, Wickets - 11<br> In his 36th match, Tendulkar completes 1,000 ODI runs during his knock of 81 in the World Cup game against Zimbabwe on March 7, 1992 at Hamilton. The 18-year old though is yet to slam his maiden century.
<b>April 24, 1989 - April 24 1993:</b><br><br> 25 Tests - 1522 runs, Highest - 165, 5 centuries<br> On November 27, 1992, playing against South Africa in Johannesburg, Tendulkar hits his 4th century and en route crosses 1000 runs in Test cricket in his 19th match. His average climbs to nearly 45 in the year. <br><br> 56 ODIs - 1520 runs, Highest - 84, Wickets-13<br> Not a very successful year for him in one-day cricket. He makes only 343 runs in 17 ODIs which includes just 1 half-century and his highest score remains 84 from the year.
<b>April 24, 1989-April 24, 1994:</b><br><br> 32 Tests - 2023 runs, Highest - 165, 7 centuries<br> On March 19, 1994, he crosses 2000 Test runs in his 32nd Test, during his knock of 43 against New Zealand at Hamilton. His average for the first time in his career surpasses 50. <br><br> 76 ODIs - 2109 runs, Highest - 84, Wickets - 21<br> 76 ODIs and the man is yet to score his first ODI hundred. No one at this stage would have thought in their wildest dreams that the youngster was headed for such record-shattering run and would in future be hailed as the greatest ever ODI player. On April 13, 1994, just 9 days before his 21st birthday, Tendulkar raches 2,000 ODI runs, playing against UAE at Sharjah. It takes him 73 matches to get to the mark.
<b>April 24, 1989-April 24, 1995:</b><br><br> 35 Tests - 2425 runs, Highest - 179, 8 centuries<br> Plays just 3 Tests but scores prolifically to make 402 runs in the limited matches. Makes a single century the whole year which is his then highest Test score of 179 that he gets versus the West Indies at Nagpur on December 2, 1994. <br><br> 97 ODIs - 3070 runs, Highest - 115, 4 centuries, Wickets-31<br> The year that Tendulkar comes into his own and ends the long wait on September 9, 1994, when in his 79th match, he strikes his first ton - a 110 against Australia at Colombo. With the deed done at last, it isn't long before he fires more. He smashes 3 more hundreds before his 22nd birthday, helping him to compile nearly 1,000 runs in 21 matches in the year. Tendulkar also passes 3,000 runs while playing against Sri Lanka at Sharjah on April 9, 1995 - his 96th ODI.
<b>April 24, 1989-April 24, 1996:</b><br><br> 38 Tests - 2483 runs, Highest - 179, 8 centuries<br> Tendulkar again plays just 3 Tests but unlike the previous year it turns out to be his least successful outing as he scores only 58 runs in the 3 matches. The 58 runs include a knock of 42 not out. <br><br> 116 ODIs - 4058 runs, Highest - 137, 8 centuries, Wickets-39<br> Tendulkar carries on his good form from the previous year and falls just short of 1,000 runs in 19 games. His average crosses 40 as he adds 4 centuries to his name. On April 17, 1996, playing against South Africa at Sharjah, the little master completes 4,000 runs in his 115th ODI. He also scores a total of 523 runs in the World Cup hosted by India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka which include two centuries, playing a major role in India's progress to the semi-finals.
<b>April 24, 1989-April 24, 1997:</b><br><br> 53 Tests - 3617 runs, Highest - 179, 11 centuries<br> Takes over the captaincy from Mohammad Azharuddin. After playing a total of just 6 Tests in the previous 2 years the master appears in 15 Tests in this year and scores over 1000 runs. Tendulkar crosses 3000 Test runs during his knock of 61 against South Africa at Johannesburg in his 45th Test on December 8, 1996. <br><br> 143 ODIs - 5079 runs, Highest - 137, 11 centuries, Wickets-44<br> Along with the several Tests, Tendulkar also playes a massive number of ODIs - 27 to be precise. He has a decent year, given the number of ODIs, amassing over 1,000 runs and hitting 3 hundreds. He however, crosses 5,000 runs while appearing in his 141st ODI on February 12, 1997 against South Africa at Durban.
<b>April 24, 1989-April 24, 1998:</b><br><br> 61 Tests - 4552 runs, Highest - 179, 16 centuries<br> Extremely successful year for the legend as he notches up 935 runs, including 5 centuries in just 8 Tests and pushes his average close to 55. 3 of his tons come against Sri Lanka and 2 against Australia. On December 4 1997, Tendulkar hits his 14th Test century, a knock of 148 against Sri Lanka at Mumbai, and completes 4,000 runs in 58 Tests. <br><br> 188 ODIs - 6656 runs, Highest - 143, 15 centuries, Wickets - 62<br> 4 centuries and 1577 runs in 45 ODIs seem less for a man of the caliber of the little genius. He however, finishes the year on a high with back to back tons against Australia, including 1 on his 25th birthday. He also completes 50 wickets in his 175th ODI on January 11, 1998, claiming the wicket of Inzamam-ul-Haq of Pakistan at Dhaka. 3 days later at the same venue and playing unchanged opponents, Tendulkar celebrates 6,000 runs.
<b>April 24, 1989-April 24, 1999:</b><br><br> 68 Tests - 5177 runs, Highest - 179, 19 centuries<br> India and Pakistan play their first Test in nine years amidst massive security at Chennai. Tendulkar hits his 18th century, making an impressive 136 and playing on despite a bad back. He gets India agonizingly close to a victory but his departure with 17 runs still to get sees Pakistan clinch a thrilling 12 run win. On February 19 1999, completes 5000 runs in his 67th Test while playing against Pakistan at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. <br><br> 211 ODIs - 7801 runs, Highest - 143, 21 centuries, Wickets-78<br> Excellent year for Tendulkar as he musters up 1145 runs in 23 ODIs with 6 centuries. In his 196th ODI, on July 7, 1998, he accomplishes the 7,000-run mark while facing Sri Lanka at Colombo.
<b>April 24, 1989-April 24, 2000:</b><br><br> 76 Tests - 6036 runs, Highest - 217, 22 centuries<br> Has another splendid year with the highlight being his maiden double hundred. The long wait for a double ton finally ends on October 30, 1999 as he strikes 217 against New Zealand at Ahmedabad. The landmark inning comes in his 71st Test, almost 10 years after his debut. The maestro also crosses 6,000 runs in his 76th Test on March 2, 2000, against South Africa at Bangalore. <br><br> 246 ODIs - 9108 runs, Highest - 186*, 25 centuries, Wickets - 85<br> Another smashing year for the birthday boy as he slams 1307 runs in 33 ODIs. He completes 8,000 runs in ODIs in his 217th match at the age of 26 years and 45 days on June 8, 1999 vs Pakistan at Manchester in the World Cup. On November 8, 1999 he smashes his highest ODI score of 186 not out against New Zealand at Hyderabad. 4 months later on March 17, 2000 against South Africa at Vadodara, he brings up his 25th ODI ton. 2 days later, playing the same team at Nagpur, he crosses 9,000 runs in ODIs in his 242nd match at the age of 26 years and 330 days.
<b>April 24, 1989-April 24, 2001: </b><br><br> 82 Tests - 6720 runs, Highest - 217, 25 centuries<br> A good year for Tendulkar as the master blaster slams 3 centuries in 6 Tests in the year, taking his tally of hundreds to 25. While the first one took nearly a decade, Tendulkar notches up his second double ton in less than a year, smashing an unbeaten 201 against Zimbabwe at Nagpur on November 26, 2000.<br><br> 268 ODIs - 10179 runs, Highest - 186*, 28 centuries, Wickets - 101<br> A record year as Tendulkar completes 10,000 runs in his 266th match to become the first batsman in ODI history to get to the mark. He gets it during his inning of 139 against Australia at Indore on March 31, 2001. 6 days later at Margao, Tendulkar takes his 100th ODI wicket in the form of Aussie captain Steve Waugh. He completes a unique double of 10,000 runs and 100 wickets.
<b>April 24, 1989-April 24, 2002: </b><br><br> 93 Tests - 7869 runs, Highest - 217, 29 centuries <br> Has a good year, slamming 1149 runs in 11 Tests, taking his average to nearly 59. On November 3, 2001, Tendulkar scores his 26th Test hundred, and becomes the youngest player to score 7,000 Test runs, at 28 years 193 days in his 85th Test, beating England's David Gower (who was 31). He achieves the feat against South Africa at Bloemfontein. On April 19, 2002, the Mumbai batsman scores his 29th Test century at Port of Spain against the West Indies, equalling Sir Donald Bradman's record of Test hundreds. <br><br> 286 ODIs - 11069 runs, Highest - 186*, 31 centuries, Wickets-105<br> He brings up his 30th ODI hundred on October 5, 2001 against South Africa at Johannesburg. On January 28, 2002, playing against England at Kanpur, Sachin accomplishes 11,000 runs in his 284th ODI.
<b>April 24, 1989-April 24, 2003:</b><br><br> 105 Tests - 8811 runs, Highest - 217, 31 centuries<br> Proves to be just an okay year by his standards as Tendulkar falls short of 1000 runs for the year despite playing 12 Tests, but the maestro nevertheless achieves many feats. On May 21, 2002, Tendulkar becomes only the tenth player to reach 8,000 Test runs during his knock of 86 against the West Indies at Kingston. He follows this landmark with another milestone, hitting 193 against England at Leeds on August 23, 2002. This is his 30th century, which helps him overtake Bradman's 29 hundreds. On September 5, 2002, Tendulkar makes his 100th Test appearance for India, playing against England at The Oval. <br><br> 314 ODIs - 12219 runs, Highest - 186*, 34 centuries, Wickets - 112<br> Makes 673 runs in 11 matches in the ICC World Cup - most by any batsman in a single World Cup that wins him the player of the tournament award and guides India to the final. During the tournament, he also scores his 12,000th ODI run, while playing against Pakistan in the group match at Centurion on March 1, 2003.
<b>April 24, 1989-April 24, 2004: </b><br><br> 114 Tests - 9470 runs, Highest - 241*, 33 centuries<br> Not a great year for the little master as he manages only 659 runs in 9 Tests, although they include two superb knocks of 241 not out and an unbeaten 194. Tendulkar gets his 3rd double ton during the 4th Test of the Border-Gavaskar series against Australia at Sydney on January 2, 2004, his 111th Test, and en route becomes only the fourth man to reach 9,000 Test runs, two days ahead of contemporary Brian Lara in Cape Town. His 194-run knock against Pakistan however, stirs controversy as stand-in-captain Rahul Dravid declares the Indian inning with Tendulkar just 6 runs short of a well deserved 4th double hundred. <br><br> 333 ODIs - 13134 runs, Highest - 186*, 37 centuries, Wickets - 116<br> March 16, 2004, sees Tendulkar going past 13,000 runs during his knock of 141 against Pakistan at Rawalpindi. It also makes him the first player to win 50 Man of the Match award in ODIs .
<b>April 24, 1989-April 24, 2005: </b><br><br> 123 Tests - 10134 runs, Highest - 248*, 34 centuries<br> 9 Tests and only 664 runs. Tendulkar however breaks his string of poor scores with a masterful 248 not out against Bangladesh at Dhaka. Not only is this his 4th double hundred but on December 11, 2004 when he gets past 100, he completes his 34th century, to equal Sunil Gavaskar for maximum Test tons. Tendulkar achieves this in his 119th Test. 3 matches later on March 16, 2005 against Pakistan, Tendulkar becomes only the 5th batsman to score over 10,000 Test runs after Gavaskar, Allan Border, Steve Waugh and Lara. <br><br> 348 ODIs - 13642 runs, Highest - 186*, 38 centuries, Wickets-139<br> Not a very significant year for him in one-day cricket. He scores 1 century while accumulating 508 runs in 15 matches.
<b>April 24, 1989-April 24, 2006: </b><br><br> 132 Tests - 10469 runs, Highest - 248*, 35 centuries<br> Yet again, 9 Tests and only 335 runs. There is still hardly ever been a year that Tendulkar hasn't achieved something and given his fans a reason to smile. The silver lining this year is his 109 against Sri Lanka on December 10, 2005 at Delhi. The knock, his 35th hundred sees him surpass Gavaskar to become the record-holder for the most Test centuries. <br><br> 362 ODIs - 14146 runs, Highest - 186*, 39 centuries, Wickets - 142<br> Sets a new world record by completing 14,000 one-day runs en route to his 39th century in against Pakistan in Peshawar on February 6, 2006.
<b>April 24, 1989-April 24, 2007: </b><br><br> 135 Tests - 10668 runs, Highest - 248*, 35 centuries<br> Tendulkar's average drops below 55, although only slightly, for the first time in a long time as he manages just 199 runs in the 3 Tests in the year. His century count remains at 35 and it is the period where people start questioning whether it is time for the master to finally bow out of the game with age catching up with him. <br><br> 384 ODIs - 14847 runs, Highest - 186*, 41 centuries, Wickets - 149<br> Not a great year for the master blaster as he manages 701 runs in 22 ODIs. He does add 2 to his tally of tons, taking the number to 41. His 40th century comes against the West indies at Kuala Lumpur on September 14, 2006. But he takes 14 more games before blasting his next one.
<b>April 24, 1989-April 24, 2008: </b><br><br> 147 Tests - 11782 runs, Highest - 248*, 39 centuries<br> Tendulkar answers back critics in his style as he musters up 1114 runs in 12 Tests and smashes 4 hundreds, pushing back his average to above 55. On July 28, 2007, playing against England at Nottingham, Tendulkar completes 11,000 runs in his 139th Test during his knock of 91. He is only behind Lara in the all-time highest scorers in Test cricket. <br><br> 417 ODIs - 16361 runs, Highest - 186*, 42 centuries, Wickets-154<br> 1514 runs in 33 ODIs. He hammers only 1 century but only because he is out in the nineties 7 times. June 23, 2007 sees Tendulkar picking up his 150th scalp at Belfast, Ireland's Roger Whelan becoming the victim. A week later he completes 15,000 runs during his knock of 93 against South Africa at Belfast. And, only 7 months later, on February 5, 2008, playing against Sri Lanka at Brisbane, Tendulkar becomes the first batsman to go past 16,000 runs in ODIs.
<b>April 24, 1989-April 24, 2009: </b><br><br> 159 Tests - 12773 runs, Highest - 248*, 42 centuries<br> Close to 1000 runs in 12 Tests with 3 centuries. On October 17, 2008, against Australia at Mohali, Tendulkar not only passes Lara who had 11,953 runs, as the highest run-getter in Tests but also becomes the first batsman to complete 12,000 runs in the format. He gets to the milestone in his 152nd Test. <br><br> 425 ODIs - 16684 runs, Highest-186*, 43 centuries, Wickets - 154<br> Plays only 8 ODIs in the year but hammers his 43rd century, an unbeaten 163 against New Zealand Christchurch on March 8, 2009.
<b>April 24, 1989-April 24, 2010: </b><br><br> 166 Tests - 13447 runs, Highest - 248*, 47 centuries<br> 5 tons in 7 Tests, Tendulkar only gets better with age and is no longer questioned about his capability to carry on playing. His tally of centuries now stands at 47. On January 17, 2010, Tendulkar in his 163rd Test reaches 13,000 Test runs, a figure one would have probably not even dreamt of earlier. He does this during his knock of 105 not out against Bangladesh at Chittagong. <br><br> 442 ODIs - 17598 runs, Highest - 200*, 46 centuries, Wickets - 154<br> The one record left to be broken is shatterd by the man as he blasts an unbeaten 200, the first double ton in ODI history to have to his name the highest score in an individual inning. He plays the landmark knock against South Africa at Gwalior on February, 2010. But before that he becomes the first batsman to aggregate 17,000 ODI runs during his innings of 175 against Australia at Hyderabad on Novermber 5, 2009.
<b>April 24, 1989-April 24, 2011:</b><br><br> 177 Tests - 14692 runs, Highest - 248*, 51 centuries<br> Just when people thought Tendulkar had come to the fag end of his career and could only go down from here, he gets even better, if that is even possible. The master blaster slams 1245 runs in 11 Tests, including 2 double tons and 2 more centuries. During his last double hundred, a knock of 214 against Australia at Bangalore, the Mumbai batsman reaches another pinnacle, completing 14,000 runs on October 10, 2010. His next ton, an unbeaten 111 against South Africa at Centurion on December 19, 2010 takes Tendulkar's number of Test centuries to 50, a figure that people don't achieve with all formats added up. <br><br> 453 ODIs - 18111 runs, Highest-200*, 48 centuries, Wickets-154<br> He becomes the most capped player in ODIs with the World Cup opening game on February 19, 2011 vs Bangladesh at Dhaka, surpassing Sanath Jayasuriya's tally of 444 matches. He also finishes as the 2nd highest run-getter in the competition, including 2 hundreds and is first to score 2000 runs in World Cups as India win the 2011 edition beating Sri Lanka in the final at Mumbai. The win helps him achieve the only unfulfilled dream of his career. And, during the course of the mega event, while playing in the querter-finals against Australia at Ahmedabad on March 24, 2011, he also goes past 18,000 runs.