Legendary Australian player Shane Warne recently acknowledged that Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara were the two greatest batsmen to have ever played cricket, and that he couldn’t get the better of the duo during his playing days.
In an exclusive interview – powered by the Rajasthan Royals and Lifebuoy – with Indranil Basu on Sportskeeda’s Facebook page, Shane Warne recalled fond memories of bowling to legends like Kapil Dev and Ravi Shastri at the start of his international career.
But he admitted that Tendulkar and Lara were the best batsmen he ever bowled to.
“I think, though, in my era of cricket, there were two players that stood out and that was Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara. I think those two players were the best two batsmen of my time and two of the greatest batsmen that have ever played the game.
"So I love bowling to those guys. You know, some days they’d smash me all over the park or most days, but some days I get them out too,” said Warne.
Shane Warne: ‘The three of us helped make cricket interesting, exciting.’
The two battles – Warne vs Tendulkar and Warne vs Lara – used to ooze class and unite people across nations. Even the term ‘Big 3’ of international cricket was born of those battles.
Shane Warne felt that their contests gave joy to people and also made the sport more fun to watch.
“And I think the three of us, you know, myself, Brian and Sachin, you know, people called us the ‘Big 3’.
"But I think the three of us helped make cricket interesting, exciting and our battles over many years, you know, 20 years of playing against each other, I think people enjoyed.
"So hopefully that brought a lot of joy and entertainment to people,” added Warne, who is the second-highest wicket-taker in Test history with 708 scalps.
While Tendulkar is the highest run-getter – 34,357 runs in 664 matches – in the history of cricket, Lara holds the record of being the only cricketer to have scored 400 runs in a Test innings.
On the other side, Shane Warne occupies second position on the list of leading wicket-takers in international cricket having scalped 1001 wickets from 339 matches.