Sachin Tendulkar, The Little Master, Turns 40 (Pictures)

Sachin Tendulkar will celebrate another significant milestone today, as the Little Master turns 40.

Since he burst on to the scene as a 16-year-old at Karachi in 1989, Tendulkar has become the leading Test and one-day runscorer of all-time, amassing a phenomenal 34,273 runs in his 24-year career.

His record of 100 international centuries is a dedication to his longevity and class, while even his leg-spin deliveries have claimed the scalps of 200 international batsmen.

His place in the Indian team has increasingly come up for debate, however. In his past 12 Tests, Tendulkar has averaged just 22.52 and passed fifty on only two occasions.

His last Test century was over two years ago and it took him a year to bring up his 100th international century against minnows Bangladesh in a one-dayer in March last year.

Tendulkar celebrates his maiden Test century in February 1993

The great man himself has offered only a limited insight regarding retirement.

Speaking six months ago, he said: "I am 39-plus and it is not abnormal for me to think of retirement. I will go by what my heart says. At this moment, my heart says I am OK."

Tendulkar has since retired from the 50-over game in a bid to prolong his 198-Test career.

When asked last week if he was closer to calling time, Tendulkar offered a blunt rebuke.

"People have been talking about my retirement since 2005, but that does not worry me at all," he said.

"Your job is to write, my job is to play. I will stick to my job and you stick to yours."