Mumbai: Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen named the legendary Sachin Tendulkar and West Indian Chris Gayle in his list of the top five batsmen, where Indian skipper Virat Kohli and Proteas star AB de Villiers jointly hold the fifth position.
The top position in his list went to former South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis. In a video interview with cricket.com.au, Pietersen heaped praise on Kallis, who has 13,289 runs in Test cricket and 11,579 runs in ODIs. Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting too features in the list.
Praising Kallis’ all-round abilities, Pietersen said, “Kallis… technique wise unbelievable, batted for hours, magician with the bat in his hands considering he bowled as many overs as he did and stood at second slip.”
Labelling Ponting as being, “phenomenal”, Pietersen put the former Australian World Cup winning skipper in the second position.
Tendulkar features at the third position in the list and Pietersen, while recalling one of the Indian’s knocks in Chennai, he said, “… the hundred that he (Sachin) 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 just phenomenal.”
West Indies’ T20 great Chris Gayle was the next name in the list and Pietersen, who recently ended his professional career during the ongoing Big Bash League said, “How hard he hits the ball and how far he hits the ball… I mean just out of this world.”
He also felt that Kohli and de Villiers epitomised modern-day batting and said, “I will put them into a bracket of their own. They epitomise the modern day 360 degree player ability. They hit wherever they want to hit the ball.”