That one decision gave flight to Sachin Tendulkar’s career and changed Indian cricket forever. Sachin started the innings for the first time and then showed the world one side of his talent.
27th of March, 1994. Sunday. Indian cricket team captain Mohammad Azharuddin faced a big challenge. The one-day international was to be played between India and New Zealand on the grounds of Auckland. Navjot Singh Sidhu, the regular opener of the Indian team, unfit before the match started. Sidhu had a neck pain. Now the question was who will start the innings. In such a situation, eyes on 20-year-old Sachin Tendulkar. Sachin was young, aggressive and had proved his talent in the last four and a half years of his career. The last captain sent him to begin the innings.
India bowled New Zealand for just 149 runs. The goal was not big and Azhar reposed confidence in Young Sachin. And then this decision changed the direction of Indian cricket. And also gave a jump to Sachin Tendulkar’s career which he deserved.
Sachin got off to the start of the innings and played a blazing innings. The ball began to cross the boundary line on all sides of the field. The Kiwi bowlers were surprised as to what was happening. Small targets can be tricky at times, but Sachin takes full care not to. He hit 82 off just 49 balls. In this innings, he hit 15 fours and two sixes. India won the match by scoring 143 runs for three wickets in 23.2 overs. He missed a century but it was the beginning of a journey that had to write many records ahead.
Overall, Sachin started the innings 344 times in ODIs. 15310 runs scored. Average was 48.29. And out of his 49 ODI centuries, he scored 45 on this position. This proves that he was made to start the innings. Now if they see matches where they did not open, then their average decreases. Sachin batting down in 119 matches and here he scored 316 runs at an average of just 33.