This day, that year: Sachin Tendulkar opened for the first time, and Indian cricket was never the same
But the decision to let him open the innings for India changed cricket forever. Sachin scored 82 runs off just 49 balls against New Zealand in Auckland and this was the start of a golden run.Updated: Mar 27, 2020 14:34 IST
On this specific day in 1994, one of the greatest batsmen in the history of the sport started a legendary run. Sachin Tendulkar used to bat in the middle-order for India before he was asked to open the innings by Mohammed Azharuddin. Sachin batted at No. 5 or No. 6 in the batting order and did not have a single hundred to his name. Just to put things in perspective, the man who scored a century of international hundreds did not score a single ton in his first 5 years of One Day cricket.
But the decision to let him open the innings for India changed cricket forever. Sachin scored 82 runs off just 49 balls against New Zealand in Auckland and this was the start of a golden run.
“#OnThisDay in 1994 The start of something special @sachin_rt opened the batting (82 off 49) for the first time in ODIs in Auckland and it triggered a golden run,” said BCCI in a tweet.
India’s regular opener Navjot Singh Sidhu was out with a stiff neck and Azharuddin decided to send the Little Master up the order. “I was thinking of asking him to open for some time. He was scoring 30s or 40s or 50s or 60s, scores that were good enough for someone batting down the order. But I thought we were wasting such a good attacking batsman batting so low. For me, he was the No. 1 batsman in the team. So, I made him open,” Azhar said while explaining his decision.
This move was the catalyst for one of the greatest runs in international cricket. Sachin eventually ended up with 49 ODI centuries in 463 matches and is now regarded as arguably the greatest batsman to play the game.