Former Indian captain Sachin Tendulkar is widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time. The cricketer made his international debut against Pakistan in 1989 as a 16-year old. While the ‘Master Blaster’ ended up claiming several major Test and ODI batting records like most international centuries during his 24-year journey with Indian cricket, interestingly, his first century against arch-rivals Pakistan came seven years after his debut.
A throwback to Sachin Tendulkar’s first of seven international centuries against Pakistan
In April 1996, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka toured Singapore for a tri-nation ODI series. In the third match of the series, a Mohammad Azharuddin-led Indian team collided against Pakistan in a virtual semi-final. Attacking batsman Navjot Singh Sidhu and a then 22-year-old Sachin Tendulkar opened the Indian innings and they were up against the likes of Waqar Younis, Saqlain Mushtaq and others.
While the entire Indian batting crumbled against Pakistani spinners and pacers alike, Sachin Tendulkar alone held his fort from one end to score a counter-attacking century, his seventh in ODI cricket and first-ever against Pakistan in any international format. His innings came from just 111 balls and it included nine boundaries and a six. Throughout his two-and-a-half-hour stay at the crease, he tackled in-form Saqlain Mushtaq’s bowling spell, defied Waqar Younis’ pace and enabled India to score 226-8 in their innings. However, Sachin Tendulkar’s effort did not turn out to be a match-winning one as Pakistan overhauled their revised target of 187 with five overs to spare.
Sachin Tendulkar’s first century against Pakistan back in 1996, watch video
Sachin Tendulkar stats and centuries in international cricket
The Sachin Tendulkar stats tally in international cricket comprises of some staggering numbers. Throughout his 24-year journey with Indian cricket between 1989 and 2013, the ‘Master Blaster’ amassed 100 centuries (51 in Tests and 49 in ODIs). Against Pakistan alone, the right-handed batsman breached the 100-run mark on seven occasions (twice in Tests and five times in ODIs).
Even seven years post his retirement, he remains the leading century-maker and highest run-aggregator (with 34,357 runs) in international cricket. Apart from Sachin Tendulkar centuries, the cricketer has bagged 200 wickets across all his Team India appearances and has also added 256 catches in his illustrious register.