Michael Clarke was part of the Big Sports Breakfast radio show where he named the seven greatest batsmen he ever played with or against. Accordingly, several batting heavyweights of international cricket were there. His list included Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis, Ricky Ponting, and Kumar Sangakkara.
Former World Cup-winning captain Michael Clarke spoke highly of batsman Tendulkar and called him the batsman with the best technique in international cricket.
“Probably technically the best batsman I ever saw… The hardest batsman to get out. I think Sachin, technically, didn’t have a weakness. Part of you hoped that he made a mistake.”
Also, he brought West Indies cricketer Brian Lara to second place. Clarke revealed that Lara’s aggressiveness against the Aussies made him an automatic choice, and that was his favorite batsman.
“Probably my favorite batsman through my career… You look at statistics and his average is probably not as high as other names on this list but it was the way he played, whether it was against fast bowlers or spinners.”
“That’s the other thing about these batsmen I’ve picked is that they all dominated Australia. You think of an attack with McGrath, Gillespie, Brett Lee, Shane Warne — these guys bowling to these batsmen — and they all found a way to have success.”
Clarke then referred to Kohli, the current Indian run machine, who according to him is the best batsman in all three formats. The former Australia captain also said that Kohli’s attitude is the same as Tendulkar’s desire to score centuries.
“I think right now the best batsman across all three formats… His one-day and T20 records are phenomenal and he’s also found a way to dominate Test cricket. What Kohli and Tendulkar have in common is they love making big hundreds.”
After Kohli, Clarke went to two South African players, de Villiers and Kallis. Clarke noted that de Villiers could bat anywhere in the order and had hit all around the field.
“I’m hoping he comes back and plays for South Africa again. Superstar. Can bat anywhere in the order. Dominates T20 cricket. He can score runs anywhere around the ground.”
On the other hand, he named Kallis asthe greatest all-rounder of all time. Clark further mentioned that the way he played against the Australians was extraordinary.
“The greatest all-rounder that I played against… The impact he had against Australia, the way he was able to score runs against our attack was extraordinary.”
Clarke’s list included one Australian, two-time World Cup-winning captain Ponting. However, Clarke stated that it was a difficult decision as he had previously played with great Australian batsmen like Matthew Hayden, Steve Smith, David Warner, Adam Gilchrist, and Damien Martin.
“He’s probably the best Australian batsman I played with… I was lucky enough to play with some great batsman — Matthew Hayden, Steve Smith, David Warner, Adam Gilchrist, and Damien Martyn who was a genius. What separates Ricky is the era that he played. Just about every attack had two or three top-line, world-class bowlers and he was able to dominate them.”
Clarke’s list was completed by Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara. He appreciated his four consecutive centuries in the 2015 World Cup and added that he is a true gentleman of the game.
“He seems to be forgotten regularly… Phenomenal. Batted at number three which I think is the toughest position. I think he scored three hundred in a row in the World Cup. Sangakkara was a force and an absolute gentleman of the game.”