London, Aug 24: Sourav Ganguly has backed his former India team-mate and opening partner Sachin Tendulkar, to score his elusive 100th international hundred in the upcoming five-match ODI series against England.
Referring to Sachin's dismissal for 91, in the fourth Test against England, the former India captain, was quoted by Mid-Day as saying, "His dismissal 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."
He added, "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."
Expressing confidence that the batting maestro will score heavily in the England ODIs, Ganguly said, "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."
Recalling his first meeting with the champion batsman, Dada as Ganguly is fondly referrred to, said, "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."
Ganguly, who led India to the finals of the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup in South Africa, defended Tendulkar's poor showing in the Test series against England. He said, "In fact, he has not had a bad Test series in England. He started batting well at Lord's itself. It's just one of those series when things don't click."
The former Indian captain, who alongwith Sachin formed the most successful ODI opening combination ever, recalled some of the finest innings of the little master and insisted that the maestro from Mumbai still has a few such knocks left in him.
He said, "According to me, his best knocks have been Perth (1991-92), Cape Town (1996-97), Chennai (1998-99 and 2008-09) and Headingley (2002). I was fortunate to witness them from close quarters. He still has some great knocks left in him."