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Slide #1

Young Sachin For a player of his precocious genius, Sachin Tendulkar took to cricket - in the sense of organised play and practise, that is - after he had completed 10 years of age. Which, given that he was a world-ranked batsman before he was through with his teens, is late. But as this pic of Sachin, then five years old, shows, the basic, instinctive ability that makes the born prodigy was there all along. Note the easy, relaxed stance, the even distribution of weight - and the fact that the bat, even then, faces straight...


Ever since Sachin Tendulkar was elevated to the captaincy of the Indian team to tour Sri Lanka, the debate has been raging - is he too young to shoulder such massive responsibility? Will it affect his batting? Will he crumble under the pressure? This picture provied part of the answer. At age 13, Sachin captained his school, Shardashram, to a win in the Giles Shield tournament in 1986-1987 - his first ever essay as skipper. His score inthe final? A match-winning 159 not out... Sachin with his school team


Gavaskar's letter to Sachin Sachin has never made any secret of the fact that he idolises India's master batsman Sunil Gavaskar. And that it is to Gavaskar he turns, whenever loss of form or other cricketing problems upset his equilibrium. Not a recent phenomenon, this - as early as August 1987, when Sachin failed to win the Best Junior Cricketer award from the Bombay Cricket Association, it was Gavaskar who realised how upset the lad would be. And sent him this letter - which is, even today, one of Sachin's favourite talismans.

Click here to view Gavaskar's letter to Sachin


On day one of a match between Shardashram and St Xavier's in the Bombay inter-schools competition, coach Ramakant Achrekar watched with pride while his prized pupils Vinod Kambli and Sachin Tendulkar slaughtered the bowling. At close of play, Kambli was 182 not out, Sachin 192 not out. Next day, an important appointment prevented Achrekar from making it to the ground. And thanks to a mixup, his instruction to skipper Sachin to declare the innings close was not relayed. The result? A world  record partnership of 664 for the third wicket, with Sachin undefeated on 326 and Kambli on 329 - and an entry in that bible of cricketers, Wisden.

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Wisden - The bible of cricketers