Bangalore: Twenty-four years in international cricket, more than 50,000 career runs in all forms of recognised cricket, hundred international tons… The numbers are mind-boggling and unbelievable.
If someone would have told about this career stats to a young 16-year-old Sachin on November 15, 1989, when he made his Test debut, the Little Master would have laughed it off and said he would just hope to get the chance to play the next Test.
Tendulkar started with a modest 15 on Test debut and a duck in his first ODI match. But the Master Blaster peaked to such god-like heights and stats that he has instilled a self-belief in all budding cricketers that dream, no matter how impossible, is definitely achievable, if one stays true to his craft.
Sachin's career is nothing but a lesson to all youngsters who wants to achieve their dreams and goals in life. Although Sachin began with small numbers in international cricket, he didn't let it affect his self-belief and continued to work hard and better his game.
The results showed soon as in his ninth Test, he recorded his first Test hundred (119 not out against England in Manchester in August 14, 1990).
(Lesson No 1: Always believe in yourself, never let early failures set back you. Keep working harder, success is just a block away.)
In 1994, after regular opener Navjot Singh Sidhu had to be rested, Sachin pleaded for a chance to open and he made the full use of the opportunity, bludgeoning his way to 82 off 49 balls and hence making the opener's slot his own in ODIs for almost two decades.
(Lesson No 2: Don't wait for opportunities to knock at your door. Grab it at its slightest hint and give it your all.)
Sachin had two stints as captain. But both were unsuccessful, although his personal form and average was at its peak. Captain Sachin got the man of the series award during the 0-3 drubbing by Australia in 2000 Down Under. Another 0-2 loss to South Africa at home made Sachin quit captaincy and focus on batting.
Despite the superb understanding of the game and ability to score with the added responsibility of captaincy, Sachin met with a poor fate as skipper. But the Little Master made no bones about it and calmly passed over the responsibility to another. And he never again took that responsibility again.
(Lesson No 3: You may be superb at your specialised field, but it doesn't guarantee success in another ancillary units or sub-fields. Accept it and move on, concentrate on what you are good at.)
In the 2008 Monkeygate scandal Down Under, Sachin was party to the controversy as he was batting with main accused Harbhajan Singh when the incident happened.
Sachin, on his part, came out in defence of his teammate Bhajji during the hearing. Years later, Sachin is still being questioned of his role in the scandal by the then Australian captain Ricky Ponting. Sachin has never brought up the topic again.
(Lesson No 4: Stick to your friends and family during hard times, especially when you know the opponents are not known for fair games.)
In 2004, Sachin faced a career threatening tennis elbow injury which ruled him out of international cricket for almost an year. However, the Little Master came out triumph from the injury. With years of toil and rigours of international cricket, Sachin's body wasn't the same as before.
He changed his approach towards his batting. He became more of a grafter and an accumulator giving the slam-bang version of Sachin's batting a slow death. However, Sachin never let his new approach affect the scoring rate.
This new approach made him a more reliable and consistent batsman. He had a fantastic 2010 hitting as many as 10 international tons. In the same year, he became the first cricketer to score a double ton in ODIs.
(Lesson 5: Change with the time, adjust to situations, mould it to your advantage to reap maximum benefits.)