LONDON: Former Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting, who himself has been one of the best batsmen of this era, rates West Indian batsman Brian Lara ahead of Indian maestro Sachin Tendulkar.
“Sachin and Lara were the two stand-out batsmen for me. Lara won more games for his team than Sachin probably has. I’d lose more sleep as captain knowing Lara was coming in to bat next day than I would with Sachin. You always found a way to restrict Sachin if you needed to. Lara could turn it on in half an hour and take a game away from you. For me, it has never been about making hundreds, it is about winning games and series,’’ Ponting told London Evening Standard on Tuesday.
With Australian one down in the on-going Test series against England, Ponting said the Aussies under Michael Clarke will bounce back and win the series.
“I said 2-1 to Australia at the start and nothing has changed for me, no. We’ve got a lot of hard work to do but it seems like things are on the right track. It is a Test match lost but for the Aussies it will reinforce them to think just how close they are and maybe there’s not that big a gulf between the teams,’’ Ponting said.
He also rated Aussie captain Michael Clarke better than English batsman Kevin Pietersen.
“He’s not head and shoulders over Clarke, no way. His record wouldn’t suggest he is better than Clarke. And Alastair Cook’s record is a lot better than Pietersen’s. He has more hundreds in fewer Tests than Pietersen and as an opener. Look, Kevin is a destructive and match-winning player but you have to judge batsmen by their records,’’ Ponting said.