Cape Town - Indian cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar has faced some of the best bowlers to ever play the game during his illustrious career - from Wasim Akram, Shane Warne to Courtney Walsh - but he says the toughest bowler he encountered was the late Hansie Cronje.
Tendulkar spoke at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit over the weekend and without any hesitation said the former Proteas skipper was the toughest.
"People don’t believe me, but yes, there have been times when I was well set and Hansie came on (to bowl)... I would be extra vigilant," said Tendulkar.
"I told my partner, I will play off (Allan) Donald or (Shaun) Pollock, you please deal with him (Hansie) for me. He has got me out so many times and on multiple occasions."
According to Hindustan Times website, Cronje dismissed Tendulkar three times in the 32 ODIs South Africa and India played, but five times in the 11 Tests.
Tendulkar also lightheartedly spoke about former Proteas all-rounder Jacques Kallis, saying: "When he came into bat, he would always stand and stare at the grass and we would joke about it. But without doubt, it was his focus and concentration."
'The Little Master' played his last Test in 2013. In total he scored 15 921 runs in 200 Test matches at an average of 53.78.
Former Proteas captain, Cronje was banned from cricket for life in 2000 after admitting to match fixing and tragically died in a plane crash in 2002, aged 32.
Cronje took 43 Test wickets in his 68 Tests and 114 ODI scalps in his 188 matches.
WATCH the full interview with Tendulkar below: