Former Australian batsman Michael Clarke was one of the influential figures in world cricket and he also led a resurgent Aussie team to win the 2015 world cup victory. Apart from his brilliance on the field of cricket, he has grown to be a commentator and an abled opinion maker.
Former Australian captain recently selected seven of the world’s greatest batsmen including current India captain Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar. Clarke selected all the names who have played during his playing career. Interestingly, Clarke did not select current Australian mainstay Steve Smith, who is the number one test batsman in the world and has grown in stature in the limited overs format of the game as well. In the current era, there is a huge debate on picking the best batsman between Steve Smith and Virat Kohli.
Clarke first picked West Indies great Brian Lara and said “Probably my favourite batsman through my career.”Sachin Tendulkar was the first Indian in Clarke’s list. For choosing Tendulkar in his list, Clarke said “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.”
Virat Kohli was the second India in Clarke’s list. For choosing Virat in his list, Clarke said “I think right now the best batsman across all three formats. His one day and twenty-twenty 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.”AB de Villiers was the first South African in Clarke’s list. For choosing de Villiers, Clarke said “I’m hoping he comes back and plays for South Africa again.”
Jacques Kallis was the second South African in Clarke’s list. For choosing Kallis, Clarke said “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.”
Ricky Ponting was the only Australian batsman in Clarke’s list. For choosing his former captain, Clarke said “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, 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.”
Sri Lankan great Kumar Sangakkara was also picked by Clarke. For choosing him, he said “He seems to be forgotten regularly. Batted at number three, which I think is the toughest position. I think he scored three hundreds in a row in a World Cup. Sangakkara was a force and an absolute gentleman of the game.”
Here are seven batsmen:
Brian Lara, Ricky Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Kumar Sangakkara, Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers.