On February 3, 1992, an 18-year-old Sachin Tendulkar scored a Test century against Australia on what was widely considered to be the fastest pitch in the world back then at the WACA in Perth.
India toured Australia for a five-Test series in 1991-92 with the hosts emerging victorious 4-0. But for Indian cricket fans, that tour remains memorable for the fine performances of a young Tendulkar, who showed remarkable skill and determination in hostile conditions.
In the third match of that series, Tendulkar became the youngest ever player to score a Test century in Australia with an unbeaten 148 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. He has scored only a total of 78 runs in his first four innings of that series, but he turned it all around with a masterclass at the SCG.
But the Master Blaster wasn’t done yet as he followed that up with another sublime century at Perth in the fifth and final Test of the series.
Against a bowling attack comprising Craig McDermott, Merv Hughes, Paul Reiffel, Mike Whitney and Tom Moody, the right-hander scored 114 runs off 161 deliveries, which included 16 fours, to help India finish with a respectable total in their first innings.
Tendulkar’s effort wasn’t enough to help his team get a consolation win, as the Aussies went on to complete a massive 300-run victory, but his exploits were enough to show the world that he was the real deal.
“One innings that changed my career or gave shape to my career was in Perth, 1992. Perth, at least at that time, was regarded to be the fastest wicket and the hostility of the Australian fast bowlers was something which was difficult to handle. I was able to score a 100 and I was only 18,” Tendulkar was quoted as saying in 2014.
“And just two matches before that, I had scored a hundred in Sydney but they were two different kinds of surfaces. I knew that Perth was the kind of wicket which I would not get to play anywhere in the world and If I can bat on Perth and score runs then I am possibly equipped to go on any other track which is fast and bouncy and score runs there.
“My career was just starting. I had done well for a couple of years by then but it really took off after that Perth innings because I felt I was ready to take on the world. By no means I was over confident but I became a confident cricketer where any challenge put up against me, I was equipped to face that,” he added.
Watch highlights of Sachin Tendulkar’s iconic 114 at Perth in 1992 here: