Sachin Tendulkar will respond fittingly to critics: Sourav Ganguly

The case of the ball zipping through Sachin Tendulkar's bat and pad thrice in the recently-concluded two-Test series against New Zealand has sparked a big debate: Is age catching up with the master batsman?

There was also a suggestion from a former star batsman that he was "naturally slowing down" due to age. A long time opening partner to Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, however, dismissed all such notions. "He will combat this and respond in a fitting way," the southpaw said.

"I have not seen any slowness in him. It's not the first time he has been bowled. It has happened even when he was at his peak. Back then he found a way, he is going to do it again," said the former India captain soon after delivering his speech at the Dilip Sardesai Memorial Lecture to a large and august audience that included former India stars Madhav Mantri, Ajit Wadekar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Bapu Nadkarni and Sanjay Manjrekar at the Bombay Gymkhana on Friday.

Ganguly stressed: "I'm sure he will combat this and come back and play well. This (criticism) has hurt him and he will respond to it. Having played with him for so long, you got to believe he's not over. When he goes, he will go out on a high, like it should be for every player and more so for the great man."

dadaAbout how Tendulkar could be back to his best, Ganguly said, "He has in the past used one-day cricket to stay in focus for Tests. But it's up to him as he knows his game better than others. He's not getting any younger. He can't play all forms of cricket. I feel he should concentrate more on Tests."

Earlier in his speech, Ganguly also dismissed the notion that the T20s were threatening Tests. "Twenty20 has taken off but Tests are here to stay. I believe that all the three formats of the game are here to stay. We are in an era where Test cricket is questioned, there is talk about day/night Tests too. There are bigger challenges therefore, for a modern-day player. But I feel the best like Kevin Pietersen will adjust to all forms," said Ganguly.