Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli - Partnership of the century
Sachin Tendulkar was known in Mumbai's cricketing circles as a terrific little talent. But his unbeaten innings of 326 for Shardashram Vidyamandir against St Xavier's in 1988 propelled him to a different level and everyone who loved cricket was taken aback by this wonder kid.
He put on 664 with Vinod Kambli in a world record partnership for any wicket in any class of cricket, a marquee stand that would be discussed and written about even after 25 years. They just went with the flow, just like people would go about doing their jobs at their offices.
We came into the game with a massive win in the quarter-finals where Sachin and Vinod had got hundreds. In fact, Sachin had scored a double hundred and Vinod had got timed-out as he couldn’t arrive at the wicket in time to resume his innings. So the feeling in our camp going into the semis was electric.
Batting first, we lost two wickets and then the most talked about duo in school cricket took centrestage by hitting the ball to all parts of the massive Azad Maidan. I was padded up to go in next. During those two days that I was padded up, a range of emotions passed through me.
Anxiety when I was the next man in, Curiosity when they were going strong, Patience when it was getting on my nerves and finally Enjoyment when I knew that I was watching something special.
It was batting at its very best - head and shoulders above the rest. Two days later, we came to know it was a genuine world record. Being part of it was a great feeling.
Even when the scorecard said I did not bat! I am proud to be part of history when the incredible took place on February 23, 24 and 25 1988. Sachin made massive strides after that innings, well into the big league and the rest, as they say, is history.
* The writer is a former Mumbai Ranji captain