Tendulkar made his international debut in 1989 and is an all-time crowd-favorite. He is the only Indian cricketer to receive the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, India's highest sporting honour for his performance in 1997-1998. Many of his fellow players, past and present, and cricket experts, regard him as one of the greatest batsmen the game has ever seen.
While at school, he was involved in unbroken 664-run partnership in a Harris Shield game in 1988 with friend and team mate Vinod Kambli, who also went on to represent India.
Tendulkar is ambidextrous, he bats, bowls and throws with his right hand, but prefers to write with his left hand. He also practices left-handed throws at the nets on a regular basis. Tendulkar played his first Test match against Pakistan in Karachi in 1989. He made just 15 runs, being bowled by Waqar Younis, who also made his debut in that match. Tendulkar followed it up with his maiden Test fifty a few days later at Faisalabad. His One-day International (ODI) debut on December 18 was disappointing. He was dismissed without scoring a run, again by Waqar Younis. The series was followed by a tour of New Zealand in which he fell for 88 in the Second Test. His maiden Test century came in next tour, to England in August 1990 at Old Trafford. Tendulkar further enhanced his development into a world-class batsman during the 1991–1992 tour of Australia that included an unbeaten 148 in Sydney (the first of many battles against Shane Warne who made his debut in the match) and a century on the fast and bouncy track at Perth. He has been Man of the Match 11 times in Test matches and Man of the Series twice, both times in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia.
Tendulkar's performance through the years 1994–1999, coincided with his physical peak, at age 20 through 25. Tendulkar was told to open the batting at Auckland against New Zealand in 1994. He went on to make 82 runs off 49 balls. His first ODI century came on September 9, 1994 against Australia in Sri Lanka at Colombo. It had taken him 79 ODIs to score a century.
Tendulkar's rise continued when he was the leading run scorer at the 1996 Cricket World Cup, topping the batting averages whilst scoring two centuries.
This was the beginning of a period at the top of the batting world, culminating in the Australian tour of India in early 1998, scoring three consecutive centuries. These were characterised by a pre-meditated plan to target Australian spinners Shane Warne and Gavin Robertson, to whom he regularly charged down the pitch to drive over the infield. This technique worked as India beat Australia.
Tendulkar made 673 runs in 11 matches in the 2003 World Cup, helping India reach the final. While Australia retained the trophy that they had won in 1999, Tendulkar was given the Man of the Series award. The drawn series as India toured Australia in 2003/04 saw Tendulkar making his mark in the last Test of the series, with a double century in Sydney, which was also the last test appearance of one of cricket history's most successful captain Steve Waugh. Tennis elbow then took its toll on Tendulkar, leaving him out of the side for the first two Tests when Australia toured India in 2004. He played a part in the face-saving Indian victory in Mumbai, though Australia had already taken the series 2-1, with the Second Test in Chennai drawn.
Sachin is an integral part of Think-Tank. He's often found discussing with the captain and involved in building strategies. Former Captain, Rahul Dravid publicly acknowledged that it was Sachin, who suggested to promote Irfan Pathan to #3. Pathan's swash buckling batting did impress every one, but he was later removed from that position, as his bowling started to be less effective and he would need to concentrate more on his bowling.
On 10 December, 2005, at Feroz Shah Kotla, he delighted fans with a record-breaking 35th Test century, against the Sri Lankans.
On 6 February 2006, Tendulkar scored his 39th ODI hundred, in a match against Pakistan. He followed with a run-a-ball 42 in the second ODI against Pakistan on February 11, 2006, and then a 95 in hostile, seaming conditions on 13 February, 2006 in Lahore, which set up an Indian victory.
On 19 March 2006, after scoring an unconvincing 1 off 21 balls against England in the first innings of the third Test in his home ground, Wankhede, Tendulkar was booed off the ground by a section of the crowd, the first time that he has ever faced such flak. While cheered on when he came for his second innings, Tendulkar, was the top scorer in the second innings and yet was to end the three-Test series without a single half-century to his credit, and news of a shoulder operation raised more questions about his longevity.
Tendulkar was operated upon for his injured shoulder forcing him to skip the tour of West Indies in 2006.
On 23 May 2006, after deciding not to undergo a scheduled fitness test, he announced he would miss the tour of the Caribbean for the Test series. However he agreed to play 5 games for Lashings World XI in order to regain fitness for a possible August comeback. He had scored 155, 147(retired), 98, 101(retired) & 105 in the 5 matches for Lashings XI with strike rate of well above 100 and was the top scorer in all the matches.
Also in his first Twenty20 match with international opposition, although unofficial, Tendulkar hit 50 not out off 21 deliveries to blast the International XI to 123 after 10 overs against the Pakistan XI.
However as of July 2006 The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced that the longest-serving international cricketer has overcome his injury problem following a rehabilitation programme and is available for selection.
He then came for the DLF cup in Malaysia and became the only Indian batsman to shine. In his most recent comeback match, against West Indies on 14th September 2006, Tendulkar responded to his critics who believed that his career was inexorably sliding with his 40th ODI century. Though he scored 141*, West Indies won the rain-affected match by the D/L method.
In January 2007 Tendulkar scored a 76-ball century against the West Indies which makes it his 41st ODI century. He reached a hundred on the last ball of the Indian innings. Tendulkar now has 17 more ODI tons than Sanath Jayasuriya who is second on the list of ODI century-makers.
At Cricket World Cup 2007 in the West Indies, Tendulkar and the Indian cricket team, led by Rahul Dravid had a dismal campaign. Tendulkar, who was pushed to bat lower down the order by the Coach Greg Chappel had scores of 7 (Bangladesh), 57* (Bermuda) and 0 (Sri Lanka). As a result, former Australian captain Ian Chappell, brother of former Indian coach Greg, called for Tendulkar to retire in his column for Mumbai's Mid Day newspaper
In the subsequent series against Bangladesh, Sachin and Indian Team came back and Sachin was the man of the Series. He proved his class by scoring two consecutive scores of 90+ in the Series against South Africa, which was the second best ODI team  at that moment. He was the leading run scorer and was adjudged the Man of the Series. He was the leading run scorer in the Future Cup  with an average of 66
On the second day of Nottingham test (July 28, 2007) Sachin became the third cricketer to complete 11000 test runs. . In the subsequent One day series against England, Sachin was the leading run scorer from India  with an average of 53.42
In the current Series against Australia, Tendulkar is the leading Indian run scorer with 257 Runs.
Wisden named Tendulkar one of the Cricketers of the Year in 1997, the first calendar year in which he scored 1,000 Test runs. He repeated the feat in 1999, 2001, and 2002. Tendulkar also holds the record for scoring 1,000 ODI runs in a calendar year. He has done it seven times - 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000 ,2003 and 2007. In 1998 he made 1,894 ODI runs, still the record for ODI runs by any batsman in any given calendar year.
While not a regular bowler, Tendulkar has taken 41 wickets in 137 Tests and 152 wickets in 388 ODIs. He can bowl medium-pace,leg spin and off-spin with equal ease. He often bowls when two batsmen have been batting together for a long period, and can often be a useful partnership breaker.
On more than one occasion, he has had a strong influence on an Indian victory with his bowling. Notable among his bowling exploits are:
* 5 wicket haul against Australia at Kochi in the 1997–98 Series. Set 269 runs to win, Australia were cruising comfortably at 203/3 in the 31st over. Sachin turned the match for India taking wickets of Michael Bevan, Steve Waugh, Darren Lehmann, Tom Moody and Damien Martyn for just 32 runs in 10 overs.
* Final over control against South Africa in 1993 Hero-cup semifinals. South Africa needed 6 runs to win the match in the final over. Sachin, bowling 3 dot balls in that over, conceded just 3 runs to help India win the match and reach the Finals of the tournament.
* Performance of 4/34 in 10 overs against West Indies in Sharjah where the Windies were bowled out for 145.
* He single handedly won the ICC 1998 quarterfinal at Dhaka to pave way for India's entry into the Semifinals, when he took 4 Australian wickets after scoring 141 runs in just 128 balls.
* Tendulkar took three wickets on the final day of the famous Kolkata Test against Australia in 2001, which India won after following on, 274 runs behind on the first innings. Tendulkar took the key wickets of Matthew Hayden — who made a hundred in the previous Test at Mumbai and a double century in the next — and Adam Gilchrist, another centurion at Mumbai.
* The googly that got Moin Khan's wicket during the first test match in Multan is still considered to be most memorable delivery bowled by Sachin in test matches