Sachin Tendulkar became the most capped Test player in history on Tuesday, a fitting record for the Little Master to achieve at the back end of a wonderful career.

The milestone was achieved as Tendulkar strode out for the third Test against Sri Lanka at the P. Sara Oval in Colombo - marking the 169th time he has taken the field for a Test match for India.

A talismanic figure for his country over the years, Tendulkar made his Test debut against fierce rivals Pakistan in Karachi at the tender age of just 16 and has gone on to become arguably the best batsman ever seen.

Now 37 years old, Tendulkar shows no signs of slowing down and he scored 203 in the second Test against Sri Lanka a couple of weeks ago.

With his latest Test appearance, the Little Master moves above former Australian captain Steve Waugh in the standings.


"It's been a privilege to play for India for so long, because it was my dream to represent the country," Tendulkar said. "Cricket is my passion. I think it is a gift from God that I have been able to live that passion for so many years. It's just fantastic."

Indian fans believe Tendulkar is a gift from God and he is worshipped in his cricket-mad homeland - no wonder given the length and quality of service he has given them over the years.

Tendulkar also holds the record for the most Test runs with 13,742 and the most Test centuries with an astonishing 48 to his name - all this coming with an average of 56.08 and throwing in just the 55 half centuries.

He is not just a Test specialist though, turning from Little Master to Master Blaster in the one-day format. Tendulkar showed as much in February when he became the first player ever to make a double hundred in an ODI against South Africa.

The maestro from Bombay also holds the records for one-day runs scored with 17,598, and one-day centuries with 46, cementing his place as the dominant batsman of his generation in both forms of the game.


Tendulkar has 442 ODIs under his belt, just two behind Sri Lanka stalwart Sanath Jayasuriya's record of 444, while to add another string to his bow he has collected 44 Test wickets and 154 one-day scalps with the ball.

When asked if his records would ever be beaten, Tendulkar said: "Records are meant to be broken. But one will have to play a long time for that. When it happens, I just hope an Indian does it."

It would take anyone a long time to topple Tendulkar's achievements, but he is not done yet, and whether anyone can match his dominance in both forms of cricket remains to be seen.

There may never be another Tendulkar - Indian fans would agree with that - and the Little Master rightly sits at the top of all the important batting records in the game. Remarkably, he still looks in as good a touch as ever.