It is safe to say that Sachin Tendulkar is arguably the greatest cricketer of all time. Not only has he scored the most number of runs in red-ball cricket, but he is also the leading run-getter in ODI history. Out of the 999 one-day games played by India, Tendulkar has featured in 463 of them.
As the Men in Blue are all set to play their 1000th ODI game on Sunday, the “Master Blaster” went on to reflect on his 50-over career. He drew light on how he evolved as an ODI cricketer. It is to be noted that he started his one-day career in 1989, and his first game was against Pakistan.
While speaking to News 18/Cricketnext, he mentioned the fact that he use to bat in the lower middle-order during the initial stages of his career. He then went on to narrate the story of how he became an opener.
“In the initial stages of my ODI career, I batted a lot between 4 and 6. It was in New Zealand in 1994, when Navjot Sidhu became unwell (stiff neck), I said I will open the innings. I was the team’s vice-captain, and I suggested that I can open and do a reasonable job for the team. I was confident of giving the team a good start,” said Sachin Tendulkar
“Those days, opening batters would actually go out and make sure that the team didn’t lose wickets in the first power play. It was during the 1992 World Cup that New Zealand’s opening batter Mark Greatbatch started attacking,” he added.
The legend then spoke about how he started going after the bowlers in 1994. He said he was confident enough to attack the bowlers straight away. Further on, he also spoke about Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kulwithatana and how they completely changed the way openers batted in ODI cricket.
“And then, post the World Cup, one was back to playing regular/ standard cricket and with the intention of not losing wickets in the first ten overs. In 1994, I was confident that I can go after the bowlers straight away. That I can attack. That’s when it started from my side. And then, in 1996, Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharana started attacking at the top before the likes of Adam Gilchrist,” he added.