Tendulkar among toughest batsmen: Pollock

Sachin Tendulkar was among the toughest batsmen he had faced in his career, South African all-rounder Shaun Pollock said

updated: December 18, 2008 18:26 IST
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Sachin Tendulkar was among the toughest batsmen he had faced in his career, but former colleague Lance Klusener was his most feared opponent, South African all-rounder Shaun Pollock said on Saturday ahead of his final game at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Sunday.

Pollock told the Afrikaans daily Beeld that Tendulkar, Brian Lara of West Indies, Sanath Jayasuriya of Sri Lanka and Australians Ricky Ponting and Mathew Hayden were the batsmen he had found the greatest difficulty bowling to.

Pollock named Pakistani Shoaib Akhtar and Australian Brett Lee as the two bowlers he feared the most.

"There were great bowlers like Shane Warne, Muttiah Muralitharan and Glenn McGrath against whom I batted, but Akhtar and Lee were the two who scared me the most because they bowled faster than anyone else," Pollock confessed.

Pollock was in tears Friday evening at Sahara Kingsmead Stadium in Durban as a rousing roar from his home crowd bade him farewell, at the same venue where a few years ago he was dismissed as captain after refusing to resign.

He had been appointed to the position in 2000 after Hansie Cronje admitted to involvement in match fixing.

Pollock hit an elegant four to clinch the game against visitors West Indies in the one-day series. The hosts are already 3-0 ahead in the five game series. The South Africans hope to make it a clean sweep at the final game here Sunday.

Pollock, a staunch Christian, also added how his faith, prayer, and support form his wife Trish had helped him in the difficult times following his dismissal by the then United Cricket Board of South Africa as captain after a dismal performance in the World Cup.

"I decided to do what I did as a six or seven year old playing cricket - you don't concern yourself with the politics surrounding the game and just concentrate on playing cricket and enjoying the game," Pollock said.

Amidst the carnival atmosphere in this coastal city Friday, Pollock rejected plans of the provincial cricket union to bring him onto the field in a helicopter and to go round the stadium in a sponsored luxury vehicle as a final salute.