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Sachin is technically the best batter that I’ve ever seen and played with or against: Ricky Ponting

The Ashes: If England don’t win in Adelaide then there could be shades of 2006/07, says Ricky Ponting.

New Delhi : Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has called legendary India batter Sachin Tendulkar technically the best batter he has ever seen, played with or against, citing that the right-hander always had a plan to counter everything thrown at him by bowlers.
“I’ve said forever Sachin’s technically the best batter that I’ve 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.”
“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 played, he was technically the best player that I saw,” said Ponting in an episode of ‘The ICC Review’ show on the eve of Tendulkar’s 50th birthday.
Ponting also recalled Tendulkar’s brilliant 241 against Australia in the drawn Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 2004, calling it one of his standout knocks and added that the right-hander’s straight drive was his most potent shot while playing the game.
“Whether it be on the front foot or even back foot — because he was short in stature, he won’t mind me saying that — he was able to sort of stand up on top of the bounce of the ball and punch it back down the ground, off the front foot or back foot.”
“The trademark things you think about with Tendulkar was just seeing the full face of that bat coming straight back down the line of the ball and straight back past the bowler. So I think that’d be his trademark for sure,” he added.
Asked to compare between Tendulkar and Virat Kohli, Ponting felt it was extremely tough to compare batters of different eras. “Trying to compare the times and I know Virat played a little bit in the back end of that Sachin played, but it is a bit of a different game now.”
“There are different rules, for instance, around 50-over cricket, with less fielders outside the circle. Two new balls. I think it makes it a lot easier now for batting than probably ever before. There’s no doubt that the bats have got better.”
“Field restrictions and new balls are a big part of it as well. 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 (would) reverse swing. You don’t see that at all in the modern 50-over game.”
Ponting signed off by saying a comparison between Tendulkar and Kohli may be easier to make once the latter finishes his cricketing career.”I always like to judge the quality of players on their longevity in the game.
I think that’s the best way to judge players because maintaining such a higher level of excellence for so long is the hardest thing to do.””Some players can come in and do it for three or four years and look like the best players in the world, but the very, very best sustain it for long periods of time and Sachin sustained it for more than 20 years at the international level.”
“To play 200 Test matches (like Tendulkar) within itself is an unbelievable feat. Regardless of how many runs you make, how many hundreds you make, to be physically good enough and have a skillset set good enough to stand up and play 200 Test matches is amazing.”
“Virat’s got all that ahead of him just yet. He’s an unbelievably good player, there’s no doubt about that. He’s got over 70-odd international hundreds now. Sachin made a 100, didn’t he? Let’s wait until Virat’s career’s over and then I think it’ll a much fairer comparison.”



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