Despite standing at only 5ft 5ins, Sachin Tendulkar is a cricketing giant.
On 16 March 2012 he confirmed his place in sporting history by becoming the first player to score 100 international centuries, reaching the milestone in the Asia Cup match against Bangladesh.
So how did Tendulkar become the "Little Master" - a title previously bestowed on legendary opening batsman Sunil Gavaskar?
At 38, he has enjoyed more than 20 years at the top of the game, and his sparkling talent was evident at an early age.
TENDULKAR FACT FILE
- Born in Mumbai on 24 April
- Makes Test debut for India against Pakistan
- Scores first Test century, against England
- Scores first double century for Mumbai against Australia
- Passes Sunil Gavaskar's record of highest number of Test centuries
- Becomes the highest run-scorer in Test cricket, passing West Indies' Brian Lara's mark of 11,953
- Becomes the most capped player in Test history
- Hits his 99th international century in a ODI against South Africa in March
- Scores his 100th international century in ODI v Bangladesh
In February 1988, while still at school, he shared a stand of 664 with fellow child sensation Vinod Kambli in the semi-finals of the Harris Shield.
He finished on 326 not out and word soon spread of his monumental talent.
At the tender age of 16, Tendulkar began his international career, making his Test debut for India against Pakistan in Karachi, scoring 15.
It might have been an inauspicious start, but he showed his backbone by batting on in a blood-soaked shirt after a Waqar Younis delivery smashed into his face early in the innings.
That steeliness was to become a hallmark of his play as he battled the best bowlers in the world while balancing the hopes and dreams of 1.2bn of his countrymen on his broad shoulders.
"Millions of people in this country love him," said legendary Indian all-rounder Kapil Dev. "Every kid wants to become Sachin Tendulkar."
His first Test hundred came at the age of 17, helping save the Test against England at Old Trafford in 1990.
Tendulkar feat 'amazing' - Strauss
Soon after, Tendulkar was making history in the English domestic game when, in 1992, he became Yorkshire's first overseas signing. He did not disappoint, scoring more than 1,000 runs in the summer.
Considered as the most complete batsman of all time, Tendulkar racked up 16 Test hundreds before he turned 25 and in 2000 became the first man to score 50 international tons.
Tributes have never been too far away for a player who has transcended his sport.
"He has something special," said West Indian great Sir Viv Richards. "He's blessed - I would say he's 99.5% perfect."
Tendulkar is a modest man away from the middle, being the model professional on and off the pitch in a career which has spanned four decades.
“The true greats - the really, really, really great - transcend their sport, become almost god-like, and gods don't go to the supermarket for their shopping. Tendulkar, a legend in his own career, is on the top table with Tiger, Jordan and Pele”
Such was the clamour for Tendulkar to score his 100th ton in the 2,000th Test match ever played, an amazing £28m was staked by Indian cricket fans on whether he would reach three figures in the historic match between England and India at Lord's in the summer of 2011.
That particular fairytale was not to be, but now he has finally got there.
Archive: Tendulkar's maiden Test ton in 1990 (UK users only)
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.