Sachin Tendulkar the greatest player I've played against, admits Ricky Ponting

Ricky Ponting was dismissed for eight against South Africa in his last Test innings at Perth on Monday Getty Images

Perth: Dec 3, 2012

Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting, who played his last Test innings on Monday, nominated Sachin Tendulkar as the greatest player he has played against. However, he said that he lost more sleep thinking about ways to dismiss West Indian legend Brian Lara.

He also rated Wasim Akram and Curtly Ambrose as the toughest bowlers he has faced. However, he was quick to add that Harbhajan Singh caused him plenty of headaches.

Just before the feeling of retirement would have sunk in, Ricky Ponting addressed the media in the post-match Press conference following Australia s 309-run defeat against South Africa on the fourth day of the third Test at Perth on Monday.

Holding back his emotions, Ponting stopped a number of times to control his choked voice as he spoke to the media.

“Normally for me when those big moments come and I’ve been under pressure I’ve been able to find something and find something within and go out and score runs and make it all go away,” said Ponting, holding his four-year old daughter Emmy while her one-year-old sister Matisse watched on.

“But I haven’t been able to do that for a while now and that’s when the alarm bells started to ring,” Ponting added.

In the 16-minute long press conference Ponting took time to thank his family and wife for the sacrifices they made in order to make him a successful career.

“Within my own mind I knew it was the right time to be walking away,” the former Australian skipper said.

“I had a bit more of a fairytale ending in my own eyes than what’s happened this week,” Ponting added.

“And still things are going badly for me even now (as a loud tap noise interrupts his press conference), so it’s been one of those weeks I guess,” he was quoted as saying by Brisbane Times

“Now that it’s over, it has sunk in,” Ponting continued.

Ponting also thanked Proteas skipper Graeme Smith for the guard of honour that he received from the south African team as he made way to the crease for the last time.
“It was a bit unexpected I must admit,” Ponting said of the gesture, which was organised by Proteas skipper Graeme Smith.

“I was a bit embarrassed. But it was an amazing gesture. I thanked him when I made my way there.”