Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Former Australia captain and legendary cricketer Ricky Ponting has rated Sachin Tendulkar as technically the best batter he has ever played against.

As per Ponting, the legendary Indian batsman always found a way to combat anything the bowlers threw at him. However, the Australian legend said that he would wait for another Indian great batter Virat Kohli to end his international career before drawing a fair comparison between the two cricketing giants.

“Sachin is technically the best batter that I have ever seen, and played with or against. Whatever plan that we came up with as a bowling group, he found a way to combat it, whether it was in India or Australia,” said Ponting on ICC Review on the eve of Sachin’s 50th birthday.

However, the great Australian batsman refused to draw a comparison between Tendulkar and Kohli.

“It’s hard to rank and judge players as everyone is different and everyone plays the game differently. But certainly, through the generation that I have played, Sachin was technically the best player that I saw,” said Ponting.

“We cannot compare times. The game has evolved and changed a lot now. It was a lot different in Sachin’s time than Kohli's era. There are different rules, for instance, around 50-over cricket, with fewer fielders outside the circle, and two new balls, it makes it a lot easier now for batting than probably ever before. There is no doubt that the bats have got better. Field restrictions and new balls are a big part of it as well,” he added.

As per Ponting, during Sachin’s era, facing the old ball, which was reverse swinging, was indeed a tough task for the batters.

“When Sachin was playing ODIs, the ball at the end of a 50-over game was very hard to see. It was very soft. It was very hard to hit, it reverse swing. You don’t see that at all in the modern 50-over game. Virat’s got all that (time) ahead of him just yet. He’s an unbelievably good player. There is no doubt about that. He has got over 70-odd international hundreds now. Sachin made 100 centuries. Let’s wait until Virat’s career is over and then I think it will be a much fairer comparison,” said the World Cup-winning Australian captain who played 168 Tests for his country.

Ponting thinks that longevity in the game is a big parameter to judge a player and Sachin. The great Indian batter, having played for more than two decades, is high up in the pecking order.

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