Melbourne: Sachin Tendukar's aura as a batsman will not diminish even if he does not score his much-awaited 100th international century, feels Australian great Steve Waugh.
"I think it's a huge statistic and India is obsessed by stats. The whole country wants him to get his one hundredth 100, so maybe that's where the real pressure is coming from."
"It will be nice if he could get it down the road, but if he doesn't get it, I certainly won't think any less of him as a player," Waugh said.
Waugh said Tendulkar's failure to score his hundredth 100 so far this summer might have a parallel with Don Bradman, who retired with an average of 99.94.
He also said it may possible that Tendulkar does not have it in his destiny to score that elusive hundred, but felt it is highly unlikely.
"He's a great player. You know Bradman wasn't meant to average 100, maybe Tendulkar is not meant to get a hundredth century. But I think he'll get it pretty shortly," Waugh was quoted as saying by The Australian.
Tenduklar has been waiting to get to the magic figure since April last year. He moved in the vicinity of 80s on the current tour of Australia, but the hundred has eluded him thus far.
Meanwhile, Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey have scored plenty of runs against India to revive their careers but Waugh is not sure if the two batsmen can hold on to their places when the next Ashes is played.
Waugh, who handed over captaincy to Ponting at the age of 38, was full of praise for his successor with regard to his stunning comeback, but said the selectors will have to make tough decisions at some time.
"He came back and scored the double century, scored a century in Sydney and had a fantastic series. (But) At some stage players have to move on," Waugh said.
"I mean, he's 37, 38 - that sort of age. You've got to look towards where the future is, so it's always a tricky decision. John Inverarity, the new chairman of selectors, has probably got to make some tough calls pretty quickly," Waugh said.
"It's up to Ricky and the selectors (when he goes) but at some stage players have to move on."
Hussey and Ponting will be 38 when the Ashes come around and Waugh says if they have another form slump, that could spell the end of their careers.
"If those guys are still around scoring runs, great, but by that stage they will be 39-40, it's pushing it a bit and you don't want to push the envelope too far in an Ashes series. I think it's a long way off to say these guys are going to be around then," Waugh was quoted as saying by The Australian.