August 14, 1990, a 17-year-old Sachin Tendulkar came in to bat when Indian batting lineup was wobbling at 127 runs for 5 wickets. The Test match was tilted in the home team’s favour. The Englishmen had set a target of 408 for India at Manchester, Old Trafford. Tendulkar had scored 68 runs in the first innings. The pitch conditions were not difficult for batsmen, but they were not easy either.
Under the circumstances, India needed a partnership but Kapil Dev got out and the scorecard read 183 for 6. One could have easily said that England are on the doorstep of victory but something remarkable was in store for the Old Trafford crowd.
Tendulkar began to take the English bowlers on. There were a few edges, half chances for England team but the ‘Master Blaster’ carried on with Manoj Prabhakar and shared a match-saving partnership of 160 runs for the seventh wicket.
He also became the then-youngest to score a Test century (17 years 112 days). 28 years later, he is still third-youngest to score a century in Test cricket.
The day marked the legendary batsman’s quest to 100 international centuries which he scored on March 16, 2012.
More importantly, on that day Tendulkar showed the intent to score against a lethal English bowling lineup in their own backyard. A trait which seems to be missing from the current Indian squad who have been struggling to score on the current tour. There are lessons to be learnt from this downfall and a chance to stage a comeback in England.