Sachin Tendulkar has been playing international cricket for longer than many cricket fans have been alive, but his 25-year international career is, slowly but surely, nearing its end.
Test cricket was being played, however, more than 100 years before that—the first Test took place between England and Australia in March of 1877 at the MCG.
The game has changed dramatically since then, as television, commercialisation, professionalism and more have all left their mark, but remarkably, the chain of players linking Tendulkar to that first Test match is not as long as you might think.
If you go back to the Little Master’s first Test—against Pakistan in Karachi in 1989—you will see that on the field that day were legends of yesteryear, the likes of Ravi Shastri, Kapil Dev and Abdul Qadir, and some of those were playing for their countries the best part of half a century ago.
We can get back, via team-mates of these greats, to the very first Test match in 1877 in just seven steps.