Warne rates Sachin and Lara toughest opponents

Published: Thursday, December 21, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Melbourne:Outgoing Australian spinner Shane Warne said India's Sachin Tendulkar and the West Indies' Brian Lara were the toughest batsmen he played against.

Reflecting on a stellar Test career, which will end when the current Ashes series finishes in January, Warne said Tendulkar and Lara were the batsmen he feared most.

"Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara are the two best batsmen of my era," he said on Thursday.

"I think those two guys have been the toughest at international level. Brian Lara because of his placement. I can't believe it, it's just amazing his placement in cricket.

"He can dominate a game, as we've seen over the years, no matter who's bowling."

Warne, no stranger to the spotlight, praised the way Tendulkar handled scrutiny in India.

"I really admire Sachin for what he has to go through every day in India, with a billion people wanting him to do well," he said.

"There's 50,000 people outside the stadium and when he walks up to bat they all charge in. One of the hardest things when you've been a successful player is everybody else's expectations. They can wear you down after a while."

Warne rated Australia's loss to Sri Lanka in the 1996 Cricket World Cup as the lowlight of his career.

He said this month's Test victory over England in Adelaide was a highlight, along with a Test against Sri Lanka in 1992 in which he took three quick wickets to help Australia to a come-from-behind win. He said it made him feel part of the Test team for the first time.


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