Sachin Tendulkar opened the batting for the Indian cricket team five years after he made his debut in 1989. (Image credit: ICC Twitter)
When Sachin Tendulkar started out his international cricket career for India in 1989, he was primarily a middle order batsman. His strokeplay and aggression made him one of the bright talents in that era but he could not convert fifties into centuries. Batting at numbers four, five or six, Tendulkar was a solid batsman but not a phenomenal player at that time. However, all that changed on March 27, 1994. During the ODI between India and New Zealand in Auckland, Tendulkar was promoted to open the batting and he blasted 82 off 49 balls. The rest became history as the right-hander rewrote the history books and became the leading run-getter in ODIs and Tests in his illustrious 24-year-career.
Tendulkar has revealed that he had to 'beg and plead' in order to open the innings at that time. "In 1994, when I started opening the batting for India, the strategy used by all teams was to save wickets. What I tried to do was slightly out of the box. I thought I could go up front and take the opposition bowlers on. But I had to beg and plead to please give me a chance. If I fail, I won't come after you again. In that first match (against New Zealand at Auckland), I scored 82 off 49 balls, so I didn't have to ask again if I would get another chance. They were keen for me to open. But what I'm trying to say here is, don't be afraid of failure," Tendulkar said.
After the series against New Zealand, Tendulkar finally broke his rut of not scoring a century when during the Australasia Cup in Sri Lanka, he slammed 110 against Australia at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. From that point on, Tendulkar became the mainstay of the Indian cricket team but his message was clear that one should not be afraid of failure.
Recently, Tendulkar was part of the Fit India campaign launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Taking to Twitter, Sachin shared his experience of mixing "work with play" and said, "Had a lot of fun playing cricket with the crew during a shoot & was pleasantly surprised with Varun Dhawan dropping by along with Abhishek Bachchan who joined us for some time. #SportPlayingNation #FitIndiaMovement."