Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has said that he sincerely hopes Sachin Tendulkar will fire against hosts South Africa in the three-Test series starting from December 26, later this year.
Tendulkar is expected to complete 200 Test matches in the series - he has played 198 so far - and Ganguly said that the legendary batsman should highlight his gradual exit with knocks which are at par with his own mammoth standards.
"He's got such a massive reputation as a player, the best I've seen during my career, and I have played against the likes of Brian Charles Lara. I've said so to him personally as well. Whenever he finishes, whatever time he wants to, he should finish being the player he is; not someone who has struggled," said Ganguly at a book launch in Kolkata on Sunday.
"More than Tendulkar getting past 200 Test matches, I really want him to get a hundred in South Africa," Ganguly said.
While the Indian cricket team - minus Tendulkar who has retired from the shorter formats -- has been in fine ODI form, Ganguly said that playing Tests in South Africa would be different. (Also read: Indian team returns home after twin triumphs)
"I have seen lot of good things in England, and in the West Indies, but Test cricket obviously is different. I don't want to sound negative but it's going to be hard on green, pacy wickets. So, let's hope Dhoni again pulls something out of the hat." (Related read: VVS Laxman says India lucky to have MSD as skipper)
Ganguly praised Dhoni for being an able leader but added that being compared to the current India skipper never bothered him. (Exclusive interview: 'Don't compare me with Dhoni.' Ganguly explains why)
"It's great to see such a fantastic leader; he just gets better and better. Comparisons don't irritate me. It's bound to happen but, then, I don't take too much interest in them because my time as a player is done. It's his time now, and he will be done in four years or so and someone else will come."