Sourav Ganguly skippered Sachin Tendulkar in 42 Tests. On Sunday evening, Ganguly didn’t hold back while admitting that the legendary batsman was leaving a touch too late.
“For me, it is the right decision (to retire at home against West Indies). Had it been South Africa, he would have got half the adulation. It’s the right send-off for the champion. He deserves that respect. If I had been in his place I would have retired a year earlier,” said Ganguly during a function in Kolkata. Ganguly admitted that an under-firing Tendulkar, with a batting average of 36 in his last three years (from 27 Tests), was persisted with because of his reputation.
“Sachin is such a great player but his frequency of run scoring hasn’t been that great in the last couple of years. Only because he is Sachin Tendulkar, he could get a run for three years. Nobody else would have got that much of time. I am happy that he is going. He has been a champion,” said Ganguly.
Asked if Tendulkar could join Greg Chappell (182 vs Pakistan at SCG), Vijay Manjrekar (102 no vs New Zealand at Chepauk) and Vijay Merchant (154 vs England at Delhi) in the list of batsmen who bowed out with a ton, Ganguly said, “It doesn’t matter whether he gets a century in his final Test or not. He will always be a champion. I’m sure Sachin will be nervous (during his 200th Test). Having seen him from close I know he is not very relaxed. It’s such a big milestone.”