WATCH: How Azharuddin's decision unblocked Sachin's path to greatness

Top Stories

Sachin Tendulkar ended his international career in 2013 as the only player in history to have scored 100 international centuries (Reuters)
Sachin Tendulkar ended his international career in 2013 as the only player in history to have scored 100 international centuries (Reuters)

Dubai - Azharuddin asked Sachin to open the innings for the first time in 1994 and the rest, as they say, is history

By KT Report
 


  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Sun 29 Mar 2020, 1:47 PM

Last updated: Sun 29 Mar 2020, 4:30 PM

Indian cricket has come a long way down the years, from just another emerging team in the good old days, to one of the frontrunners on all fronts - Test, ODIs and T20 internationals. The Indian team is up there, standing shoulder to shoulder among the top teams.
India owes it to a few of their astute skippers who have led from the front.
To name a few, Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Mohammad Azharuddin, MS Dhoni, Sourav Ganguly and current captain Virat Kohli, are the ones among the front-runners.
But just like in any other sport, it would be unfair to pinpoint the best among the best. To each his own, after all one man's food could be others poison, the age old adage goes.
Drifting from ascertaining the best among the best, the next question coming to mind would be - who among the big names had the guile of making the greatest decision.

This question definitely will again give fodder to a pandora of debates. Nevertheless, if it sparks one too many views, then Azharuddin's decision to promote the then 21-year-old Sachin Tendulkar from No. 5 to the opening slot during the 1994 ODI series in New Zealand was indeed a masterstroke.
Because that move of Azharuddin in consultation with the then manager Ajit Wadekar, sowed the seeds of one of the greatest batsmen that the world stage has witnessed.
Sachin, who did not have a single century against his name while batting at the No 5, and at times at No. 6, grabbed the opportunity with both hands as he
smashed 82 off 49 balls against the Kiwis to justify Azharuddin's decision to promote him up the order.
It was a decision that changed Tendulkar's career as the Mumbai maestro went on to score the first of his 49 ODI hundreds few months later against Australia in the Singer World Series in Sri Lanka.
And Azharuddin, in an interview with the Sportstar, disclosed what made him take the decision.
"I had been noticing that nothing was happening big with Sachin even though he was batting well at No. 5 and 6. We (myself and Wadekar Sir) did have a talk on this issue and went ahead with the decision to have Sachin as opener after regular opener Sidhu (Navjot Singh) was unwell," Azhar was quoted as saying by the Sportstar.
"And, importantly, Sachin also wanted to open and now we are glad that he went on to become one of the greatest batsmen of all time," Azharuddin said.
Azharuddin wasn't surprised by Sachin's response.
"I knew Sachin had the talent. He just needed that opportunity to showcase his talent. I can't take pride for his achievements later on. In fact, nobody can." Azharuddin added.
Azharudin's decision sparked the start of a phenomenal journey for Tendulkar who ended his international career in 2013 as the only player in history to have scored 100 international centuries (51 in Tests and 49 in ODIs).
sports@khaleejtimes.com



More news from