Though Indian cricket team’s 1990 England tour was dominated by the experienced stars like Muhammad Azharuddin, Kapil Dev, Dilip Vengsarkar, the 17-year-old Sachin Tendulkar was treated as the baby of the team. He had a disappointing start scoring just 10 and 27 in the first Lords Test. But in the second Test at Old Trafford he scored an unbeaten 119, becoming the second youngest cricketer to score a Test hundred. The young impulsive strokemaker had gone through a complete transformation to play a remarkable innings of extraordinary maturity. The English cricket experts had seen nothing like it, showering praise and inventing new adjectives in order to analyse the batting technique of the prodious son of India.
Wisden described his innings as “a disciplined display of immense maturity”. The Wisden further wrote that Tendulkar “looked the embodiment of India’s famous opener, Gavaskar and indeed was wearing a pair of his pads. While he displayed a full repertoire of strokes in compiling his maiden Test hundred, most remarkable were his off-side shots from the back foot. Though only 5ft 5in tall, he was still able to control without difficulty short deliveries from the English pacemen.”
I produced a documentary for Doordarshan, ‘Our Boys in England’ , on that tour. Team coach Bishan Singh Bedi was extremely protective about his players, so I had to approach the tour manager Madhav Mantri who provided access to Sachin Tendulkar for an interview for the BBC Hindi service.
In this interview Sachin talks about his childhood, how he would play cricket the whole day and how his father advised him to be good at both his study as well as his game. He talks about his mammoth inning of 329 and his partnership of 664 with Vinod Kambli. He talks about his sadness of missing a Test century in New Zealand and how he faced Pakistan’s formidable pace attack led by Waqar Younis, he hit him on the nose. Sachin refused to take medical assistance and continued batting with blood gushing out.
In this first big media interview Sachin shares a unique insight into his game and his batting style.Then the rising star of Indian cricket comes across as a thoughtful cricketer with absolute commitment and extraordinary talent.
Here is Sachin Tendulkar’s first big media interview: