It is hard to imagine that Sachin Tendulkar made his first ODI century only in his 79th match. While this might surprise a lot of people, the reason is that for most of these innings Tendulkar batted in the lower middle order, where it was next to impossible to score a century due to lack of time.
March 27, 1994 changed the face of Sachin and India’s ODI cricket forever. On this day India was playing against NZ at Eden Park and regular opener Navjot Singh Sidhu woke up with a sore neck and couldn’t participate in the match. Tendulkar forced captain Azharuddin and coach Ajit Wadekar to give him one shot at opening and if he fails he won’t bother them again.
The move proved to be a master stroke as the Master came out all guns blazing and scored at an unheard of strike rate of almost 200. He scored 82 off just 49 balls and helped India win by 7 wickets. “I went up to Azhar and our manager Ajit Wadekar, a former Indian captain and a leading batsman of his time, and pleaded with them to give me an opportunity at the top of the order,” Tendulkar wrote in his autobiography Playing It My Way.
Watch and relive the innings here;