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No one can drop Sachin Tendulkar, says Sourav Ganguly

PTI

Posted: Dec 23, 2012 at 1929 hrs IST
      

Mumbai: Sourav Ganguly, once part of the formidable opening partnership with Sachin Tendulkar in the limited overs format, today supported the latter's decision to retire from the ODI cricket but thought the senior India batsman would have played the series against Pakistan.

"I felt that he might have played the series against Pakistan. But it is his decision and I think it is the right. There was a doubt on whether he would play ODI cricket or not.

But I am not surprised by his decision. He has done what he thought was right," said Ganguly.

The pair of Tendulkar and Ganguly scored 26 hundred-plus partnerships in ODIs. Of these, 21 century stands were for the opening wicket. Both of these happen to be world records.

He, along with Ganguly, had been involved in 38 hundred-plus partnerships in international cricket (all three forms combined) which is a world record. The 12,400 runs scored by this pair is also a world record.

Ganguly said no one from the national selectors could have asked Tendulkar to retire from the ODI cricket.

"I don't think there was any pressure of selectors on him. It is his own decision. No one can drop him," Ganguly added.

Tendulkar today announced his retirement from ODIs, bringing to an end a glorious 23-year-old career in the format during which he rewrote numerous batting records.

Tendulkar goes out after amassing 18,426 runs in 463 one-dayers at an average of 44.83. The diminutive right-hander has an astonishing 49 hundreds in the format, including a double hundred -- the first in this form of the game.

Compliments and surprise as Tendulkar quits ODIs

The cricket fraternity today paid glowing tributes to Sachin Tendulkar on his retirement from one-day internationals, saying that the record-breaking batsman's feats cannot be surpassed.

Tributes started pouring in soon after the 39-year-old cricketer announced his decision to quit ODIs today.

"I felt that he might have played the series against Pakistan. But it is his decision and I think it is the right," said Tendulkar's long-time opening partner in ODIs, Sourav

Ganguly.

"There was a doubt on whether he would play ODI cricket or not. But I am not surprised by his decision. He has done what he thought was right.

"I don't think there was any pressure of selectors on him. It is his own decision. No one can drop him," Ganguly added.

Former captain Kris Srikkanth said he was surprised by Tendulkar's decision.

"I am surprised by his move but he is leaving ODI cricket on a high. I am sure he will want to leave on a high in Test cricket also. He will be looking forward to a good Test series against Australia.

"He has always done well against Pakistan. But he always raises his bar on a good wicket against a strong attack. Be it in the 1992 World Cup against Pakistan or 2003, he did well against Pakistan in the 2011 World Cup also," Srikkanth said.

"It is easy for us to say that he could have retired after the 2011 World Cup. He has got 100 centuries so he went to the Asia Cup. It is one thing that only few have achieved. His records cannot be surpassed," he added.

Another former India skipper Dilip Vengsarkar said Tendulkar should have continued with ODI cricket.

"Actually I am surprised. If he is continuing with international cricket (Test) then he should have continued with ODI also. We play almost 25 ODIs in a season. It is very

important to keep playing international cricket."

"In ODIs, he opens the innings and plays the full innings almost so he gets used to international bowling. I am surprised he opted out of ODIs. He should have continued playing ODI.

"As long as he is playing Test match cricket or international cricket, he should have continued playing in ODIs," Vengsarkar said.

Tendulkar, considered the most complete batsman in modern cricket and one who was considered next only to the legendary Sir Donald Bradman, retires from the ODI format at the top of the run-getters' list with 18,426 runs in 463 matches.

"Masters.463 matches, 23 yrs, 18426 runs !!!! These numbers no body else will be able to come close to.salute salute salute to Sachin," tweeted teammate Harbhajan Singh.

"Sachin tendulkar a grt batsman.grt human being.a grt frnd.grt man 2 look up 2.proud indian.Real son of india.I salute u nd luv u," Harbhajan wrote on his twitter handle.

According to Kirti Azad, Tendulkar has "obliged" Indian cricket by calling it quits.

"I think he has obliged Indian cricket by retiring. The god has ultimately decided. Everybody is talking that he should retire. I suppose if I am playing cricket whether I am playing good or bad, the call has to be taken by the selectors," Azad said.

"The selectors didn't take a call. I think he was also tired of the selectors not taking a call on him. I am very happy that he has ultimately taken a decision at the right

time," he added.

Another former player Bapu Nadkarni said Tendulkar's decision should be respected.

"His retirement was expected for some time now and he must be thinking that he is good enough for the five day scene, that is why he hasn't retired from Tests.

"He is the best man to decide when to retire from other formats because he knows his body well. All this time people were asking when is he retiring? Now that he has announced his retirement from ODIs, people are asking why has he retired? I

don't understand the Indian people," he said.

Tendulkar goes out after amassing 18,426 runs in 463 one-dayers at an average of 44.83. The diminutive right-hander has an astonishing 49 hundreds in the format, including a double hundred -- the first in this form of the game.

Former Pakistan captain and noted commentator Ramiz Raja said he can understand Tendulkar's decision to call it quits.

"When you have played 23 years of international cricket, a time comes when ODIs don't excite you anymore as you have achieved everything that you possibly could have. Sachin has also won the World Cup, therefore his decision is understandable."

"However, here in lies the biggest challenge as he has now retired from ODIs. This will mean that he will be at the most playing 30 days of international cricket.

"Earlier he used to play both ODIs and Tests which meant that he played close 70-75 days minimum every year. It will be a very big challenge to come for those 25-30 days and be in good rhythm to perform at his best. But I am delighted to find

the manner in which he is trying to work hard to get back into form in Test cricket which shows his hunger and passion to do well in Tests," Raja added.

South African batsman Hashim Amla also paid tribute to Tendulkar.

"Conclusion of a sterling ODI career from a wonderful batsman. Congrats Sachin Tendulkar," South Africa's prolific run-getter Hashim Amla tweeted.

Tendulkar made his ODI debut against Pakistan way back in 1989 and interestingly he is quitting the scene just ahead of another series against the arch-rivals.

The brightest moment of his ODI career came last year when he finally became part of a World Cup winning Indian team after five previous appearances.

For more on Sachin Tendulkar follow Anant Goenka on Twitter: @anantgoenka

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