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Page last updated at 13:10 GMT, Sunday, 15 November 2009

Tendulkar reaches career landmark

Sachin Tendulkar
Tendulkar has become a cricket icon since making his debut at the age of 16

First Test, Ahmedabad: India v Sri Lanka
Venue: Sardar Patel Stadium Starts: Monday, 16 November at 0400 GMT
Coverage: Regular score updates plus daily reports on BBC Sport website

Tributes have poured in for India batsman Sachin Tendulkar to mark the 20th anniversary of his Test debut.

The 36-year-old will start his 160th Test when India begin a three-match series against Sri Lanka on Monday.

"It's really amazing. I am honoured to share the dressing room with him," said India captain Mahendra Dhoni.

Opposite number Kumar Sangakkara described Tendulkar as the "greatest modern cricketer" and added: "You run out of superlatives for Sachin."

Tendulkar made his debut against Pakistan in Karachi on 15 November 1989 at the age of only 16 years and 205 days.

His captain on that occasion was Kris Srikkanth, now India's chief selector, who said: "He is perhaps the most popular cricketer in the game.


"In India, every youngster who is in school or college cricket wants to become a Sachin."

Rameez Raja, who opened the batting for Pakistan in that game, praised Tendulkar's "genius" and the way he has conducted himself on and off the field.

He added: "He has been a great role model. There has been no controversy linked with him. It's amazing.

"His records may be overhauled but his grace would be unmatchable."

Since his debut, Tendulkar has scored 12,773 runs at an average of 54.58, including a Test record 42 centuries, and insists he has no plans to retire in the near future.

"I am enjoying my game and there is a lot of cricket left in me," said Tendulkar, who recently hit 175 in a limited overs international against Australia.

"Whenever I am on a cricket field I enjoy it. There is still a 16-year-old hidden inside who wants to go out and express himself."

He will join a list of only 15 players whose Test careers have lasted for two decades.

Sachin Tendulkar
Tendulkar was a fresh-faced teenager when he made his debut in 1989

One who did not quite make it was former Australia captain Steve Waugh, who retired in 2004 after an 18-year Test career.

He hailed Tendulkar as the "Bradman of our times" and said he felt "privileged" to have played a lot of cricket against him.

Tendulkar's duel with spin bowler Muttiah Muralitharan, Test cricket's record wicket-taker, could be crucial to the outcome of his latest series.

But unlike his rival, Muralitharan, who only needs 17 more wickets to reach 800, has hinted that the end of his career could be in sight.

"We have not won (a series) in India and this could be my last tour, so the motivation is obviously there to do well," he said.

Longest Test careers

W Rhodes (Eng) 1899-1930
B Close (Eng) 1949-1976
F Woolley (Eng) 1909-1934
G Headley (WI) 1930-1954
J Traicos (SA/Zim) 1970-1993
J Hobbs (Eng) 1908-1930
G Gunn (Eng) 1907-1930
S Gregory (Aus) 1890-1912
F Brown (Eng) 1931-1953
A Nourse (SA) 1902-1924
Imran Khan (Pkn) 1971-1992
B Simpson (Aus) 1957-1978
C Cowdrey (Eng) 1954-1975
G Sobers (WI) 1954-1974
Mushtaq Mohammad (Pkn) 1959-1979

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see also
Sachin Tendulkar: An incredible journey
16 Nov 09 |  South Asia
Sri Lanka in India 2009
28 Nov 09 |  Cricket
Tendulkar breaks Lara Test record
17 Oct 08 |  Cricket
Tendulkar's career in photos
18 Jul 07 |  India

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