London: Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has backed Sachin Tendulkar to complete his elusive hundredth international hundred in the forthcoming five-match ODI series against England.
Tendulkar was dismissed lbw by Tim Bresnan for 91 on the final day of the fourth Test on Monday. "His dismissal (by Bresnan) proved that cricket is a one-ball game. It doesn't matter how much you have your eye in, one good ball can get you out," Ganguly told MiD DAY after England completed a 4-0 whitewash of India here at The Oval.
Indeed! Tendulkar had concentrated for 235 minutes in India's pursuit to draw the Test: "I know the entire nation is disappointed. A century from his blade would have at least given some respite to them since it has been a forgettable tour."
Ganguly expressed confidence that Tendulkar will score heavily in the ODIs. "I am pretty confident that his hundred will come in the one-dayers. Let's not foget Tendulkar is only human after all. He has reached 99 hundreds, so obviously he will get to the 100 mark. I cannot stop being proud of him," said Ganguly, a close friend of the Little Master.
Ganguly got nostalgic while recalling his first meeting with Tendulkar. "When I went to England for the first time with Kailash Gattani's Star Cricket Club as a teenager, Sachin was part of that team too. I observed him and had no doubts that he would blossom into a great player. It's been an incredible journey," said Ganguly, before defending Tendulkar's performance in the four Tests (273 runs from 8 innings). "In fact, he has not had a bad Test series in England. He started batting well at Lord's itself. It's just one those series when things don't click," said Dada admitting he was fortunate to have seen Tendulkar's greatest efforts first hand. "According to me, his best knocks have been Perth (1991-92), Cape Town (1996-97), Chennai (1998-99 & 2008-09) and Headingley (2002). I was fortunate to witness them from close quarters. He still has some great knocks left in him," concluded Ganguly.