Ponting feared Lara most

2012-12-04 09:06

Perth - Newly retired Ricky Ponting says while India's Sachin Tendulkar was the best batsman he played against, West Indian Brian Lara was the opponent he feared most.

Ponting pulled stumps on his Australian record-equalling 168-Test career at the conclusion of the third Test loss to South Africa in Perth on Monday.

In 17 years of Test cricket, which produced 13,378 runs at 51.85 and made him the second-highest runscorer in Test history behind Tendulkar, Ponting said the pair stood out as his highest quality opponents.

"I am on record before as saying I felt Sachin was the best player I played against," he said.

"He has so much success against us in our conditions and their conditions.

"But I probably lost more sleep on the eve of games against Lara, because I knew that he could single-handedly win games for his team.

"The way I judge players is their ability to win games by themselves, and Lara could certainly do that and probably did it more than what Sachin did for India."

Lara scored 11,953 runs at 52.88 in 131 Tests, while Tendulkar has 15,562 runs at 54.60 in 192 Tests.

Ponting also nominated fellow 37-year-old Jacques Kallis, who took the catch that ended his final innings on Monday, as another modern great.

Kallis has scored 12,980 runs at 56.92 and taken 282 wickets at 32.57 in his 158 Tests.

"You have to put Kallis in that bracket as well, you put his wickets on top of what he has done with the bat," Ponting said.

"He is averaging 57 in Test cricket, and that is remarkable considering the amount he has had to bowl."

Ponting also nominated India's Harbhajan Singh as one of the bowlers that gave him the most trouble in Test cricket, along with Pakistan's Wasim Akram and West Indian Curtly Ambrose.

"Harbhajan got me out a lot of times and caused me a lot of grief," he said.


  • dragula66 - 2012-12-04 09:52

    nothing beats lara in full flow

  • Jacques - 2012-12-04 09:58

    Kallis homing in on 13 000 as well! But that's beside the point here. Kallis said the same of lara, what a machine he was!

  • Hansie.Crook - 2012-12-04 10:12

    Lara the Great!!!! In both Tests and ODIs he could just steal it from you. Who can forget the world cup match played in Newlands.... He single handedly beat SA.

      richard.barnes.3914 - 2012-12-04 11:30

      Yeah, it's odd how Tendulkar, Ponting and JK have been able to sustain their rep as "the Big Three" by continuing to play, when it really should be "the Big Four". Lara is absolutely in the same class as them.

  • sakkiem - 2012-12-04 10:26

    You also gave SA bowlers sleepless nights;-) farewell punter

  • selina.tsele - 2012-12-04 12:23

    Is it just me or JK isn't quiet afforded the same respect as the other 3 outside the SA boundaries? Its almost as if he's name is thrown in there for the sake of maintaining harmony. However he's record is proving to b superior to the other 3. Now I need to knw what else does he need to achieve to be up there with the top3 batters of all times

      kndobe - 2012-12-04 21:14

      The ability to single handedly win games, his wicket is very hard for bowlers but he does not give them sleepless nights I think and that is why he does not have so many double centuries.

      richard.barnes.3914 - 2012-12-05 00:08

      Two things count against JK. The first, as kndobe notes, is that he doesn't produce eye-catching knocks. So while a Brian Lara will get a string of nine moderate scores and a 300, JK will (in the same ten innings) get some moderate scores, two centuries and two fifties. But people remember the triple and double tons, not the "ordinary" tons. The second is the automatic assumption that an all-rounder must sacrifice some of the quality of a specialist. You will never ever find an all-rounder who is Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn combined. It just doesn't exist. Even a really top all-rounder like Beefy Botham only had a batting average in the low 30s. So people naturally assume that an all-rounder will be something like 90% as good as a top specialist bowler and 80% as good as a top specialist batsman, or vice versa. Without checking his stats and without the eye-catching knocks I talked about above, most would assume naturally that JK must give up something as a batsman if he is also a bowler. But JK is the exception. He may only be 80% of a top specialist bowler. But he is 105% of a top specialist batsman. The thing is that you need to examine his stats to realise it. It's not that apparent if you just go on appearances.

      dragula66 - 2012-12-05 12:43

      I think its the way a guy like lara use to get his runs ,it doesnt matter if its 50/5 or 200/1 ,lara neva changed his style of play the only way he knew how to play was attack n some of the shots he played was amazing specially the backfoot drives off full length deliverys ,where as jk use to take his time building an innings but I love them both

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