(Published in December, 1986)
Shardashram, be it the English or the Marathi medium school, has always been in the news because of the cricketing abilities it produces. It has always managed to win a major inter-school title every year. This year Shardashram (English) has been in the news. The players annexed both, the Giles as well as the Harris Shield.
In the Harris Shield, they retained the title when they beat their sister schoolmates, from Shardashram (Marathi) and in the Giles, they defeated Don Bosco, Matunga to record a grand double. And the boy who made it possible was Sachin Tendulkar.
Sachin, who is 13 years old and studies in Std VII, took up playing cricket at his brother’s insistence. Ajit Tendulkar is the only other member of the family who plays cricket. He plays in the ‘A’ division in the local league matches. Although his father, who is a professor in Kirti College, did not know much about cricket, Sachin was always encouraged by him.
Nowadays, Sachin plays so much that he is hardly at home and does not even get time to study. But he does intend to obtain his graduation degree.
Sachin was coached by Ramakant Achrekar, the school coach, Vasu Paranjape, Das Shivalkar and also by Milind Rege.
He also used to attend camps conducted by Balwinder Singh Sandhu at the Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers venue where the latter and Sandeep Patil advised him to bowl leg-spin, but eventually changed tactic as Sachin wanted to be an attacking bowler.
Sachin does not like to plod on while batting. He always prefers to attack. His only ambition is to score centuries. This season in the Harris Shield (under-17) he scored 276 against BPM High School, Khar in one day. He came in to bat when his side was tottering at 26 for 2 and went on to score a double century.
In the second round against St Xavier’s, he scored 123 and also captured eight wickets for a paltry 29 runs. Although Sachin did not have a good score in the semi-final against St Mary’s, he rattled up 42 and 150 runs, and captured two wickets for 48 in the first innings and two for 57 in the second against Shardashram (Marathi) in the final.
In the Giles (under-15) tourney, in the first round against Balmohan Vidyamandir, Sachin had an unbeaten knock of 159 against his name. In the next round against Barfiwala he scored another century -- 156. He also captured 4 wickets for 29 runs in the second innings. Against St Mary’s in the semi-final, Sachin missed a double ton by a whisker, falling three short. He again captured five wickets conceding 75 runs in the second innings. In the final against Don Bosco, he scored two half centuries and also captured a wicket.
After all his good showing it was no wonder that he was selected for the Bombay and West Zone team for the Vijay Merchant Trophy. And in that trophy, Sachin scored another ton -- 123 against Maharashtra. Playing for West Zone he scored 74 runs and also captured a wicket against the South Zone team. He also captained the under-15 Giles Shield team and was the vice-captain for the Harris Shield team.
The square-cut and the off-drive are his favourite strokes, while Vivian Richards and Sunil Gavaskar are his favourite batsmen. Sachin does not miss an opportunity to see them in action, either on video or in the cricketing arena. He loves to play one-day cricket more than a four-day match. His natural instincts are to attack from the word go.
Sachin devotes so much time to cricket that he does not have time to take interest in any other game. But he loves to watch tennis. After the memorable Borg-McEnroe clash in 1980, Sachin let his hair grow -- Borg style.
Since then it has always been cricket and more cricket.
In the few free hours that he gets, he listens to western music. Why western music, when his father is a poet? Most of his friends are from Bombay Scottish, as he lives in Shivaji Park, and they all love western songs. He thrives on Michael Jackson’s songs. Sachin is also a good singer.
Seems to be another Sandeep Patil in the making!