Rohit Sharma will score a double ton says former India captain Sourav Ganguly

It was a union of the most prolific opening pair in the history of limited-overs cricket. Between 1992 and 2007, Sachin Tendukar and Sourav Ganguly batted together in 176 ODI innings and amassed a record 8227 runs at an impressive average of 47.55.

And now 11 years later, the pair took to the stage together and displayed the same bonhomie that they enjoyed while opening the innings for their country. The occasion that brought them together was the book launch ceremony of Sourav Ganguly’s autobiography ‘A Century is not Enough’ at Taj Lands End on Wednesday evening. Also accompanying them on the stage was the current Indian opener in limited-overs cricket and Mumbai Indians skipper, Rohit Sharma. Moderating the session featuring ‘opening trio’ was noted cricket historian and broadcaster Boria Majumdar.

During an engrossing discussion that lasted more than an hour, Sachin and Sourav gave first hand insights into a number of memorable moments of Indian cricket starting from Ganguly’s century in his debut Test at Lord’s in 1996 to India’s dream run in 2003 World Cup.

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The duo also talked about India’s famous come-from-behind win against Steve Waugh’s Australia in the Kolkata Test of 2001 besides revealing reactions of Indian team members when Ganguly took his shirt off and waved it from the gallery of Lord’s following India’s victory in the NatWest Trophy final against England in 2002.

Ganguly spoke on his spat with former Indian coach Greg Chappell as well. Though terming the spat between the two unfortunate, he accepted that his sacking from the Indian team post that incident only helped him become a better player and stronger individual.

“A big part of success in cricket, in any sport is how you handle your failures and tough situations. What happened during those days in Indian cricket was unfortunate but after losing my place in the team, I worked really hard to make a comeback. And when I finally made a comeback, I was much stronger mentally. I batted well in the last four years of my career and in fact Sachin always says that those four years were the best period of my life as a batsman,” the 46-year-old said.

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Both Sachin and Sourav were also all praise for Rohit Sharma and Ganguly, in fact, went on to predict that Sharma would go on to become the first player to score a double ton in T20s. “Sachin scored first hundred in ODI and taking inspiration from him, Rohit has gone on to score three double centuries in ODIs. The day is not far when we will see him scoring the first double century in T20s too,” the former Indian skipper said.

As is the norm these days, no discussion on cricket these days can be complete without making a reference to the ball-tampering scandal involving Australian players Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft. And when a member from the audience asked Ganguly to gives views on it, the Bengal player backed Smith to make a comeback.

“Smith is a good human being. Of course, what happened is unfortunate but I’m sure he will make a comeback to Australian side and we will see him play again. I feel sympathy for him.”