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27 years on, Sachin Tendulkar and Waqar Younis recall their international debuts

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The duo made their debut in the same game in Karachi in 1989.

Sachin Tendulkar and Waqar Younis during the India-Pakistan World Cup match in Centurion

The 15th of November 1989 will go down in the history of cricket when a future legend took his first steps into international cricket. There was so much hype surrounding this young 16-year-old right-hander named Sachin Tendulkar, who had set the domestic scene in India on fire, after making debut hundreds in each of the Duleep, Ranji and Irani Trophy games and then had found a berth in the Indian team for a tour to Pakistan.

It’s not the kind of examination that anyone would want, to face up to the likes of Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Abdul Qadir, let alone a 16-year-old. From the dry pitches of Mumbai, Tendulkar suddenly found himself playing on green tracks, made to suit the hosts, with an impressive pace battery.

He made 15 in his debut innings and there were murmurs, over whether India had made the mistake of drafting him too early, but he proved those critics wrong and how. 

In the same game, another future star also made his debut. Pakistan played with three quicks in that game and the third one, joining Wasim and Imran was 18-year-old Waqar Younis, who had an impressive outing in the game. 

He took 4 for 80 in 19 overs in the first innings, removing Sanjay Manjrekar, Manoj Prabhakar, Tendulkar and Kapil Dev to peg India back significantly. Waqar would go on to capture 373 Test wickets and 416 ODI wickets and was undeniably one of the greatest fast bowlers to have played the game.

Also read: Pragyan Ojha says Sachin Tendulkar kept things normal in his last Test match

However, when it came to them bidding the game goodbye, there could not have been more contrasting retirements. Waqar was sacked as Pakistan captain, post their dismal 2003 World Cup campaign, which also marked the end of his international career and Tendulkar received perhaps the best farewell that a player could ask for, in front of his home fans, in 2013.

On the 27th anniversary of their Test debut, both Tendulkar and Waqar shared a conversation on Twitter, wishing one another and appreciating them for their contribution to the game.



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