Kevin Pietersen includes Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers among his top five batsmen
Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen has revealed his choices for top five batsmen and top five bowlers. In a video interview with cricket.com.au, the 37-year old included the likes of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers among his five best batsmen.
Pietersen quipped, "I will put them (Kohli and de Villiers) into a bracket of their own. They epitomise the modern day 360 degree player ability. They hit most balls wherever they want to hit the ball, as good as it gets."
Meanwhile, on the bowling front, he has included his erstwhile team mate James Anderson among his five best bowlers. Pakistan's magical seamer Mohammad Asif as well as Indian stalwart Zaheer Khan have also found a place in Pietersen's list.
Warne and Muralitharan lead the way
Pietersen attributed the left-armer's incredible control over reverse-swing as the reason behind naming Zaheer at number five. While Anderson occupies the fourth spot, Asif slots in above those two seamers.
On Asif's selection, Pietersen felt, "His ability to get the ball accelerate off the wicket was phenomenal." Not surprisingly, the legendary spin duo of Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan hold the top two positions. The Australian has pipped his fellow spin icon for the number one slot.
In Pietersen's list of five best batsmen, de Villiers and Kohli jointly occupy the fifth spot. Bringing the Caribbean opener ahead of the aforementioned duo, he evoked admiration for Chris Gayle's natural ability to hit the ball hard and far.
Reminiscing the maestro's match-winning century against England in the 2008 series, Pietersen picked Sachin Tendulkar at number three. He gushed, "The hundred that he scored against us in Chennai when all odds were against India and he scored that fourth innings hundred, I was the captain. The way that he was able to manipulate, punch the ball (with a) heavy bat was just phenomenal."
Pietersen cited the South African colossus' immaculate technique for placing Jacques Kallis at the number one spot. He also lauded the right-hander's penchant for playing long knocks whilst also delivering with the ball and standing in the slip cordon. Terming his former Ashes rival as a 'superstar', he placed Ricky Ponting in the number two position.
Kevin Pietersen's Top five batsmen
- Jacques Kallis
- Ricky Ponting
- Sachin Tendulkar
- Chris Gayle
- AB de Villiers/Virat Kohli
Kevin Pietersen's Top five bowlers
- Shane Warne
- Muttiah Muralitharan
- Mohammad Asif
- James Anderson
- Zaheer Khan