Sachin isn’t over yet, he will respond in a befitting banner: Sourav Ganguly

The calls for retirement might have grown louder after Sachin Tendulkar was bowled three times on the trot in the recent Test series against New Zealand, but former India skipper Sourav Ganguly is convinced the senior batsman would respond in a befitting manner, says a report in The Times Of India.

"It's not the first time he has been bowled. It has happened when he was at his peak. He had then found a way and he is going to do it again. I am sure people's talk (about his retirement) must have hurt him and he will respond to it," Ganguly said on Friday, after delivering the fourth Dilip Sardesai memorial lecture at the Bombay Gymkhana.

Ganguly was sure that Tendulkar would call it a day when he's on a high like all great players do. "Having played with him for so long, you got to believe he's not over. When he goes he will go on a high like it should be for every player and more so for the great man," said the Bengal stalwart while answering a query before a packed gathering, which included former Test players Ajit Wadekar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Sanjay Manjrekar and Bapu Nadkarni.

Meanwhile according to a report in The Hindu, Ganguly recalled that his acquaintance with Tendulkar went back to 1987 when both turned out for the MRF Pace Foundation trials. “Sachin shared a room with me, I didn’t even know him. Both were trying to become fast bowlers and after watching us bowl a few deliveries to loosen up, Dennis Lillee advised me to try batting. Sachin too was told the same thing,” he said.

“Lillee told both to pad up — there was a shortage of batsmen at the trials to select pace bowlers — and, at that young age, we tried to please the coach by following his advise,” he recalled, agreeing with moderator Harsha Bhogle’s observation that Lillee had an eye for batsmen.  “Lillee certainly had an eye for Tendulkar, don’t know about me,” he quipped.

Meanwhile according to a DNA report, Sourav Ganguly was at his eloquent best on Friday. Delivering the fourth Dilip Sardesai Memorial Lecture, the former India skipper said that the future of Indian cricket is in safe hands. “Indian cricket is making rapid strides forward. Though it has been jolted last year with eight losses, the likes of Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara make me believe that Indian cricket is in safe hands. I am a firm believer that performances overseas should be the yardstick to judge a player. Although we did not have great success last year, you know these are the players who will take Indian cricket forward,” he said.

He also felt that the quality of spin in India is looking good. “I played in the era of Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh. I don’t feel the cupboard is empty. Once the spinners graduate to Test level, they look different bowlers. Ashwin and Ojha, with Harbhajan sitting out, though, have some distance to go.”