November 15, 1989.
A day that will be fondly remembered by cricket fans across the India-Pakistan border. A 16-year-old boy from Mumbai, who had burst on to the domestic stage with centuries on his Ranji, Duleep and Deodhar Trophy debuts, became the youngest Indian ever to play Test cricket and the third youngest overall at that time. On the other side, steaming in from beyond the 30-yard circle, almost from the boundary line, with an action and run-up that would go on to become legendary, was 17-year-old Waqar Younis.
Two teenagers making their debut together. Two teenagers who would go on to rule the cricketing world by being masters of their respective crafts.
The debut itself belonged to the Pakistani fast bowler, though. After treating him to a barrage of short-pitched balls that hit him on the body, Younis breached the baby-faced Tendulkar’s defence with a trademark full, swinging, fast delivery that rattled the stumps when he was on 15.
Jubilation for the Pakistani, dejection for the Indian.
Younis’s figures of 19-1-80-4 in the first innings were signs of things to come in his career. He finished with 373 Test wickets and 416 in ODIs.
But for Tendulkar, perhaps less so. He would later recall on multiple occasions, how dejected he felt walking back to the pavilion – wondering if he’d ever play for India again. And that would change again later in the series when got hit on the face by Younis, bleeding and all that, but ci
But wearing the India cap for the first time was something he cherished.
“I’d definitely say the first day, walking with the playing XI, playing a Test in Pakistan was probably the greatest feeling. The journey began there, and whatever I did after that was a mere reflection of my contribution towards the nation’s cause,” he said.
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