From the moment he took guard as a 16-year-old against Imran Khan, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis on a green-tinged pitch in Karachi in 1989, Sachin Tendulkar's destiny looked assured.
The diminutive Indian, who announced on Thursday he will retire at the age of 40 after playing a record 200th test against West Indies at home next month, scored only 15.
But his technique and composure won the respect of the great Pakistan pace trio who had subjected him to several vicious blows to the body during a torrid debut.
In the following year Tendulkar scored a century of staggering technical assurance for one so young at Old Trafford to save a test against England and in 1992 he flayed the Australian fast bowlers on a lightning fast pitch at the WACA in Perth.
Before he turned 25, Tendulkar had scored 16 test centuries and he now has collected a record 100 centuries in tests and one-day internationals, a record unlikely to be broken.