Back in August of 1990, Sachin Tendulkar had played a match-saving innings against England, marking his first-ever international hundred, and keeping the series alive.
The then 17-year-old hit a magnificent 119* at Old Trafford which saw him come of age on a tough batting track. However, Tendulkar believes that the actual foundation of this match-saving hundred was laid in his debut series against Pakistan at Sialkot.
Tendulkar had been hit on the chin by a vicious delivery from Waqar Younis. However, the Little Master did not lose heart and courageously played his innings, scoring a crucial half-century (57) which helped India save the Test match and the Test series.
"The art of saving a Test match was a new experience for me. In Sialkot where I got hit and scored 57, we saved that Test match, too, from 38 for 4. Waqar's bouncer and playing through pain defined me. After those kinds of hits you are either stronger or you are nowhere to be seen," Sachin Tendulkar told PTI.
Sachin Tendulkar revealed that he used to get such vicious deliveries due to the pitches at Shivaji Park where he used to practice as a kid under coach Ramakant Achrekar. So he was used to getting hit, and his determination is what kept him going.
Sachin Tendulkar recalls maiden international hundred
Tendulkar was hit on the back of his head during his innings at Old Trafford by former England pacer Devon Malcolm. But his grit and determination to fight it out helped him overcome his pain as he played some exquisite shots.
Tendulkar had a crucial partnership of 160 runs with Manoj Prabhakar which saved the Test for India and kept the series alive going into the next Test at the Oval. India were 183-6 when Prabhakar came to the crease but both the batsmen kept a positive approach and took India safely towards a draw.
"It was a case of showing patience and credit to Manoj that we had a 160-run stand. No way till the last over. We came together when we were six down (183/6) but me and Manoj together said 'yeh hum kar sakte hain, match bacha lenge' (we can save the match). Also England had an attacking field as they could only win from that position," Sachin Tendulkar said.
Tendulkar went on to score 99 more international hundreds, but the hundred at Old Trafford and his gritty innings in Sialkot will always remain special to him.