For cricket fans around the World, 24th April is a very special occasion as it is the birthday of the God of the game himself – Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. The Bharat Ratna awardee and probably the best batsman to grace the game of cricket born on April 24, 1973, rings in his 45th birthday on Tuesday and the occasion like every year is nothing short of a festival. On this day, let’s look at the records and innings played by the little genius, and yes, he is unbeatable on his birthday whenever he took the field. The birthday gala mood was evident on social media with several friends and fans coming up with wishes in advance. In a country where your status is nothing short of the almighty, it is difficult to have a quiet celebration away from the spotlight. The love and affection for a man who served his country selflessly for best part of 25 years of his life is something very difficult to express in words and the Sachin’s birthday does bring out raw emotions from a billion Indians.
On this special day we decided to look at a very interesting feature about Sachin’s playing career. In his long-playing career where he played 200 Test Matches and 463 ODIs and several T20s and domestic matches, he never lost a game when he played on his birthday. Call it fate or sheer presence of the great man, he always found his teams finish the match on a winning note. Let us look at the instances when Sachin played on his birthday.
- Sachin Tendulkar’s innings Mumbai vs Hyderabad, Ranji Trophy semi-final, Mumbai, 1991: Sachin’s first match on his birthday was in the semi-final of the Ranji Trophy against Hyderabad. In a star studded batting line up with the likes of Sanjay Manjrekar and Dilip Vengasarkar in fine form, Mumbai amassed a massive 855 runs in the first innings with Sachin contributing with a solid 70. He also scored a quick fire 88 in the second innings with the match ending in a draw.
- Tendulkar’s Knock in University of West Indies Vice Chancellor’s 11 vs India, Port-of-Spain, 1997: Skipper Sachin Tendulkar was at the helm of affairs during Indias tour of West Indies in 1997 and a tour game awaited Sachin on his birthday. India set the well assembled side of West Indies Vice Chancellor 11 a target of 274 with a solid 150 run opening stand between Saurav Ganguly and Navjot Singh Sidhu. Sachin chipped in with a brisk 36 as he helped his side cross the 270 run mark which was huge back in the day. In reply, the opposition only managed 242 with left arm spinner Sunil Joshi grabbing four wickets.
- Master Blaster’s innings in India vs Australia, Coca Cola Cup Final, Sharjah, 1998: One of the innings that marked Sachin’s status during the late 1990’s as India’s lone warrior. Tendulkar had been in excellent form in the league stages of the Coca Cola Cup in Sarjah and the final proved to be no different for the master blaster. Set a tough target of 273 in the summit clash, Tendulkar blasted the Australians to all sides of the ground. He hit a 131 ball 134 consisting of 12 fours and 3 mighty sixes. It is considered as one of Sachin’s finest knocks and it lead to him being named the Man of the Match and the Series deservedly.
- Sachin’s Innings in Mumbai Indians vs Deccan Chargers, Hyderabad, IPL 2011: Sachin Tendulkar also had a chance to represent his franchisee, the Mumbai Indians on his birthdays and saw his side register a comprehensive win. Playing against the erstwhile Deccan Charger in Hyderabad, Tendulkar scored a not so elegant 24 ball 28 runs but his side did manage to reach a decent score of 172. But when the Mumbai Indians came out to bowl, Lasith Malinga found the perfect birthday gift for the great man taking four scalps as he restricted the Deccan Chargers to 135-8 and helping his side come on top.
- Sachin Tendulkar’s innings in Kolkata Knight Riders vs Mumbai Indians, Kolkata, 2013: The Little Masters final season in IPL gave up another opportunity to grab a win on the 24th of April in front of a capacity crowd in Eden Gardens. Set a difficult total of 160 on a turning track with the mystery bowling of Sunil Narine getting rid of Tendulkar in the power play for two, it was some batting heroics from Harbhajan Singh and Ambati Rayudu that saved the day for Mumbai Indians.
Hence, this trip down the memory lane sheds light on the fact that the Cricketing Gods too wanted their favorite son to have a great birthday with Sachin Tendulkar having a 100 percent undefeated record. A rare and fitting record for a man who set a benchmark for generations of cricketers to follow.