File photo of Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar. (AFP Photo)
Rating Brian Lara ahead of Sachin Tendulkar as one of the all-time great batting legends, former Australia captain Ricky Ponting took a swipe at Tendulkar's record of 100 international centuries, saying "it has never been about making hundreds".
Ponting, who recently scored a hundred in his last first-class game, said it was possible to find a way to stop Tendulkar, but not Lara. "You always found a way to restrict Sachin if you needed to. Lara could turn it on in half an hour and take a game away from you. For me, it has never been about making hundreds, it is about winning games and series," Ponting was quoted as saying by the Evening Standard.
The Aussie admitted that Lara and Tendulkar were the two best batsmen of his era, but said he was more worried as a captain when facing Lara. "Sachin and Lara were the two stand-out batsmen for me," he said. "Lara won more games for his team than Sachin probably has. I'd lose more sleep as captain knowing Lara was coming in to bat next day than I would with Sachin."
When asked about Australia's recent Ashes campaign in England and the narrow defeat they suffered in the first Test, Ponting said he still sticks to his prediction of a 2-1 win for Australia in the five-Test series.
"I said 2-1 to Australia at the start and nothing has changed for me, no," he said. "We've got a lot of hard work to do but it seems like things are on the right track. It is a Test match lost but for the Aussies it will reinforce them to think just how close they are and may be there's not that big a gulf between the teams."