Sachin Tendulkar made his debut for India in November 1989 and swiftly captivated the cricketing world with his precocious talent. Through the 1990s, he went on to become the biggest icon in India even though the team had more lows than highs on the field.

When India meant Sachin and Sachin meant India
“Switch off the TV set.”

The last thing you want to associate with a player is having to turn off the TV, but whether we admit it or not, most Indians who followed

cricket in ’90s have all been guilty of switching off the television set or, at least mentally switching off, as soon as Sachin Tendulkar has been dismissed. This wasn’t because Indian fans didn’t want their team to win.

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Tendulkar holds the Ranji Trophy as the victorious Bombay captain.

It was a simple and accurate reflection of how we all felt about cricket during the era when Tendulkar was at his peak. It was Sachin, or nothing.

Nineties superstars, and Indian cricket in a ‘fix’

The decade that saw the rise of some of the world’s top cricketers, Mohammad Azharuddin, Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly, shouldn’t have been the darkest in Indian cricket. It paled on two counts: The first was India’s miserable overseas form as against being almost invincible at home. The second was devastating and it forever changed the way cricket would be played and followed. The turn of the century saw cricket engulfed in a match-fixing scandal. Read more

Azharuddin whips the ball into the leg side in trademark fashion.

The emergence of Ganguly and Dravid

Ganguly sips tea during a break in a one-day game in the 1990s.

Cliched as it may seem, there is an irresistible charm about a Test debut at Lord’s. You could be from Mumbai or Melbourne, Delhi or Dunedin, but anyone who aspires to play at the highest level grows up dreaming of a debut at the “home of cricket”. The venue, located in the heart of London, is steeped in history and tradition – the walk to the centre through the Long Room, the mystique of the Lord’s slope, and the desire of getting on the Lord’s honours board spur cricketers across the spectrum.

These are aspects that must have inspired Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid during their formative years too, but they couldn’t have quite imagined the extent to which all of it would fall into place on debut. Read more

Kumble’s historic 10

The likes of Anil Kumble and Sachin Tendulkar produced some memorable individual performances even though the team didn’t click as a collective. We take a look at some of their memorable matches from this era. Read more

India captain Mohammad Azharuddin and Pakistan skipper Aamer Sohail before the 1996 World Cup quarter-final clash.

The numbers game

India’s performance in overseas Tests was extremely disappointing, failing to win a single Test outside Asia. We take a look at India’s record and the top batters and bowlers. Read more and view graphics

Wicket tales: A leggie with a pacer’s attitude

Indian cricket has had a rich collection of interesting and controversial stories to narrate over the years. We take a look at some of the famous anecdotes from the third phase… Read more

Anil Kumble served Indian cricket with distinction for 18 years.

Must watch Videos that capture the era

From the field A series of HT podcasts about some of the greatest players to shape Indian cricket.

Former India batter and selector Sandeep Patil shares a personal story about Sachin Tendulkar .