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Kallis picks Lara over Tendulkar

Cape Town: Jacques Kallis would not rate Sachin Tendulkar as the best batsman he has played against, but said the Indian legend has “tremendously” helped in taking the game forward by playing with the right spirit throughout his illustrious career.

“He (Sachin) has done a lot for world cricket, for taking it forward… He played the game hard, but always in the right spirit,” Kallis said during the Newlands 10th annual New Year’s address, here, on Sunday.

“To achieve what he achieved is incredible. I enjoyed my battles against him. I always said I will play this game hard but in the right spirit, that I can leave aside the game when I am in a country and have a beer with them. That’s the way he played it too,” Kallis, who retired from Test cricket last December, was quoted as saying by a cricket-specific website.

Kallis, one of the greatest all-rounders to have graced the game, however, picked West Indian Brian Lara as the best batsman he has played against.

Asked who are his toughest opponents, Kallis said: “Seamer: Wasim Akram. He had the ability to swing the ball both ways. Spinner: Shane Warne. He controlled the game, he attacked & defended. Batsman: Brian Lara.”

The 39-year-old Kallis, who scored 13,289 runs and took 292 wickets from 166 Test matches, was also not unduly worried about BCCI exercising most of the administrative and financial control in world cricket, saying the Indian Board had been doing so for some time. (PTI)