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Sachin Tendulkar : Sachin's First Time

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Festivals and Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar has played some of his most scintillating innings during Indian festivals. Here we take a look at some of the occasions when the talented batsman played some fantastic knocks on the occasion of religious festivals, giving the Indians one more reason to celebrate.

Opening the innings for the first time in one dayers
Sachin Tendulkar opened the batting for the first time in the second match of the four match one day series against New Zealand at Auckland on March 27th 1994. He was forced to open the innings because Navjot Singh Sidhu was injured and no one else in the team was keen to open. It was his 70th one day international. Apart from it being a Sunday, it was also a day when the festival of colours "Holi" is celebrated in India. India needed 146 to win in 50 overs and Sachin Tendulkar played one of his best innings in One day internationals blasting 82 in 49 balls. When he was eventually dismissed caught and bowled by left arm spinner Matthew Hart he was given a standing ovation by the packed Sunday crowd at Auckland. Not surprisingly he won the man of the match award for that innings. "It was a dream like innings and such innings happen once in a life time." is what Sachin said at the post match presentation.

His first one day hundred
Sachin Tendulkar got his first one day international century after playing 78 matches and five years of international cricket. People were beginning to wonder whether he will ever get to the three figure mark but on September 9, 1994 he silenced all his critics with a masterly 110 against Australia at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo in the Singer Cup. His hundred helped India to win a match which was a do or die encounter for them as they had lost the previous match to Sri Lanka. Sachin's hundred helped India to a good total batting first and they ended up winning the match by a handsome margin. They also ended up winning the tournament beating Sri Lanka in the final. Sachin Tendulkar is a huge follower of Lord Ganesha (the Elephant God so widely worshipped in India) and that day happened to be Ganesh Chaturthi, may be that might have had something to do with his first one day hundred.

His first test hundred
Sachin got his first test hundred on 14th August 1990 against England at Old Trafford Manchester. He made a match saving 119 not out and he along with Manoj Prabhakar who made 67 not out saved the match for India after they were in dire straits losing six wickets for next to nothing before tea. That match saving effort also earned him the distinction of becoming the second youngest test player at the age of 17 years and 112 days to score a hundred. His hundred followed a magnificent 50 in the first innings. Although it was bright and sunny in England it was pouring almost all day in India as it was Gokulashtmi (the day when the birth of Lord Krishna is celebrated by all his devotees). Gokulashtmi is normally associated with heavy rains.

Hundred in his first match as Captain
In his very first match as Captain of India at the tender age of 23 Sachin scored a hundred (his ninth in ODI's) against Sri Lanka at the Premadasa Stadium in the Singer Trophy on 24th August 1996. Sachin scored an unbeaten 109 but India ended up losing the match tamely by nine wickets as Sanath Jayasuriya blasted a hundred in quick time. It was a festive occasion for the Indians and Sri Lankans as it was Coconut Day a national holiday in Sri Lanka and Raksha Bandhan or Narli Poornima in India where the sisters tie Rakhi on the hands of their brothers and the brothers in turn pledge to protect and stand by the side of their sisters at all times.

His first test victory as Captain
Sachin achieved his first test victory in his very first test match as Captain when India beat Australia at the Ferozshah Kotla in New Delhi in the first ever Gavaskar-Border trophy test match played from the 10-14th of October 1996. The match will always be remembered for Nayan Mongia's 152 which the wicket keeper batsman scored as an opener and for which he was awarded with the man of the match. His first test victory came during the 'Navratri' season a period of nine nights during which people celebrate by dancing and playing dandia or garba which is a form of group dance and worshipping Godess Durga. The festival is particularly popular in Calcutta, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka. The 10th day is celebrated as Dussera a day which symbolises the victory of good over evil as Lord Ram returned to his Kingdom Ayodhya after his 14 year exile and his victory in the battle with the king of Sri Lanka Ravana. After winning the test match Sachin said "this win is a gift by the team to the cricket fans all over India on the occasion of Navratri."

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