New Delhi: A day after Rahul Dravid picked Australian legend Glen McGrath as the greatest fast bowler he has ever faced, Sachin Tendulkar revealed the one opponent he was afraid of on Saturday.
Tendulkar, while speaking at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit today, named former South Africa captain Hansie Cronje as the toughest he has ever faced.
"Hansie Cronje was the toughest bowler I have faced. He was tricky to play. Even when I am set, when I see Hansie coming in to bowl I used to tell myself, anybody but him. And he has got me out a few times too," the 43-year-old batting great said.
Cronje, who operated slow medium pace, took Tendulkar's wicket five times in Tests. Only bowlers who have dismissed Tendulkar more than him were Sri Lankan legend Muttiah Muralitharan – seven times, and McGrath and another Aussie pacer Jason Gillespie – both six times.
Interestingly, all three of them have played featured in more matches against India then Cronje.
Cronje died in a plane crash after being banned for match-fixing.
But, Tendulkar admitted that Aussie pair of McGrath was the best fast bowler he has ever faced, while his old nemesis Shane Warne as the best spinner.
In an interview with The Guardian way back in 2010, the Master Blaster said that "I did OK against him (McGrath). But, among the spinners, Warne at his best was still something special."
During the same he talked about Cronje and said that, "Honestly. I got out to Hansie more than anyone. When we played South Africa he always got me out more than Allan Donald or Shaun Pollock. It wasn't that I couldn't pick him it's just that the ball seemed to go straight to a fielder."
Cronje took 43 wickets in 68 Tests and 114 ODI wickets in 188 matches before his career was cut short by match-fixing scandal in 200.
Regarded as one of the greatest captains, Cronje died in a plane crash in 2002, aged 32.