Bowl six balls at one place, he would hit them in six different directions: Brett Lee picks three batsmen he played against
Along with Pakistan’s Shoaib Akhtar, former Australia fast bowler Brett Lee was one of the fastest bowlers going around in world cricket in the 2000s. Lee, who made his debut against India in 1999, was known for his smooth action and sheer pace that could trouble the best of the lot. Over the years, Lee had duels with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag, Brian Lara, Jacques Kallis, Kumar Sangakkara, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Kevin Pietersen and many of the world’s best batsmen. But when the speedster was asked about the best he played against, he named three.
Lee, a two-time World Cup winner – in 2003 and 2007 – with Australia, picked India’s Sachin Tendulkar, West Indies’ Brian Lara and South Africa’s Jacques Kallis as the three best batsmen he came up against.
Sachin, who is still the leading run-scorer in Tests and ODIs by some distance and the only man to score 100 international centuries and play 200 Test matches, was picked by Lee as the best batsman he has played against.
“I would think of Sachin Tendulkar. Why Sachin? He had that extra time. You know you play against great players and feel that Sachin had the extra time,” Lee told former Zimbabwe cricketer Pommie Mbangwa in a video interaction for Cricbuzz.
“But, you know he was actually batting on the popping crease. But it felt time like he had that extra time. In my opinion, Sachin was the best batsman in the world,” he said.
Lee reserved high praise for Brian Lara, saying the West Indian legend could hit balls in every direction.
“Then there was Brian Lara. He was just so flamboyant. You bowl six balls at one place and he would hit in six different places,” Lee said.
Lara retired with 11953 runs in 131 Tests and 10405 runs in 299 ODIs for West Indies.
Terming former South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis as the best cricketer he has seen, Lee said Kallis could open the bowing or find his way in any side just as a batsman.
“I have always said that Sachin was the best batsman ever, but in my opinion the best cricketer that game has seen, and I would add that I haven’t seen Gary Sobers play, I have watched highlights and all, but from the players I have watched and played against, it has to be Jacques Kallis. He was the greatest complete cricketer. He could open the bowling or play just as a batsman. He also caught those many catches at slips,” Lee said.