Bangalore, Nov 30: If there was one bowler, who always had the better of Ricky Ponting, it was India offspinner Harbhajan Singh. He dismissed the former Australia captain 10 times in Tests, most by any bowler against him.
When Ponting announced his retirement on Thursday, Harbhajan paid rich tributes to the legend but also added that he did not like him much and "hated."
Recalling one of Ponting's greatest One Day International knocks, which came against India in the 2003 World Cup final, Harbhajan stated that he "hated him for that."
Ponting, the captain during that World Cup, smashed an unbeaten 140 as Australia thrashed India in Johannesburg to lift the trophy.
"He (Ponting) was a fantastic cricketer, outstanding batsman. Who can forget that knock he played against us in World Cup final in 2003; I hate him for that!," Harbhajan told "Bangalore Mirror" newspaper on Thursday.
The offspinner said Ponting was "one of the great legends." Coincidentally, Ponting was Harbhajan's 50th, 250th and 300th wickets.
"Now that Ricky Ponting has retired I can honestly say that he was the guy that we all looked up to. He is one of the great legends of cricket that I have seen and played against," he said.
"I enjoyed bowling to Brian Lara, Matthew Hayden, Jacques Kallis, Steve Waugh and Ponting. These are the top five foreign cricketers that I have enjoyed the battles with. Ponting dominated all around the world and will go down as a legend and a great fighter. I am so glad that I played against him. Have a happy retirement Ricky. Cricket world will miss you," he added.