Sourav Ganguly Pays Tribute to Sachin Tendulkar on the Eve of his 40th Birthday

Sachin Tendulkar, regarded as one of the greatest batsmen in modern-day cricket, will turn 40 on April 24 and some of his contemporary cricketers doffed their hats for his unprecedented achievements on the cricket field.

While former India skipper Sourav Ganguly rated Tendulkar as the greatest player he had ever seen, Australia captain Michael Clarke said his passion for the game is unprecedented.

"Suffice to say, he is the greatest cricketer I have ever seen. I haven't seen Bradman, but he is as close to perfection as you can get. His insatiable hunger, combined with incredible talent, makes him a real genius. When people criticise him, all I point to them is the 100 international hundreds," Ganguly said in an article published in 'Outlook' magazine.

"The difference between Sachin and a really good player is the latter, if he scores a hundred in the first innings and has once again scored a fifty in the second, will, in all likelihood, play one loose shot thereafter. It happens to us all. Sachin, however, will leave nothing to chance and will get the second innings hundreds as well," Ganguly wrote.

dada"That's why I always say that (Brian) Lara was a great and Ponting too was a brilliant, but Sachin, without any hesitation, is the greatest. He is the best I have ever seen and will perhaps ever see. No batsman in the next 50 years can score 100 international hundreds," added the former skipper. Ganguly said his favourite Tendulkar knock came against Pakistan in the 2003 World Cup in South Africa.

"This is about the 2003 World Cup in South Africa. It was a tournament where we played some of our best cricket ever and Sachin was in imperious form right through. Before the tournament there was a debate over his batting position. I felt he should bat at number four and guide the middle order.

"Needless to say, I was wrong. We had a meeting in South Africa between John Wright, Anil Kumble, Sachin and myself, and Anil suggested that he should open the batting for us. I asked Sachin what he wanted to do and he preferred to bat at the top of the order," recollected Ganguly.