The story of Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli has come to mean several things to Indians. It is a tale of conservation and flamboyance. Of focus and distraction. Of what can be and, sadly, of what might have been. But there was a time when faith in their abilities was absolute. They played for no-one but themselves, and that was enough for a city that needed a new generation of heroes. This is a story about the days when the two broke a record, and shattered the wills of many along the way.
It was not unusual to hear Tendulkar's name in random conversations on the local Bombay trains in 1988. His run-making for Shardashram Vidyamandir School was extraordinary, and though he had not played first-class cricket yet, there was an aura about him. We often say that the country expects him to score a century in every game. Back then, his team knew he would score a hundred every time he batted. Kambli, on the other hand, was as likely to score a flashy fifty as a brilliant 150. He was a star, but hadn't qui
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