Sachin Tendulkar and Mohammad Azharuddin may have drifted apart over the years. But, it cannot be denied that Azhar had a major role in Sachin turning opener, and thus changing his ODI career altogether. In the Auckland ODI against New Zealand on March 27, 1994, Azhar asked Sachin to step up and open, in place of the injured Navjot Singh Sidhu, had a stiff neck. The rest, as they say, is history.
Tendulkar blasted 82 from merely 49 balls with 15 fours and two sixes, as India walloped the Kiwis by eight wickets, chasing a paltry 143. New Zealand had a pretty reasonable attack in Danny Morrison, Chris Pringle, Gavin Larsen, Matthew Hart and Chris Harris. But, Sachin was just too good for them on the day. Sachin went on to become the most successful batsman in ODI history, carrying on opening for the majority of his career after that.
Relive the historic innings below
Looking back at the match, New Zealand won the toss and batted first. They crumbled to 142 with Harris’ unbeaten 50 being the only score of note. Adam Parore chipped in with 23. For India, Rajesh Chauhan was the most successful bowler with 3 for 43. The pace trio of Kapil Dev, Javagal Srinath and Salil Ankola claimed two wickets each.
In response, Sachin was all over the Kiwis at Auckland. He was eventually caught and bowled by Hart. Azhar and Sanjay Manjrekar eased India past the winning line.