Sydney: South Africa leg-spinner Imran Tahir described captain AB de Villiers as "the best player of the century" after the skipper smashed a whirlwind, undefeated 162 against the West Indies at the World Cup.
De Villiers made his runs off just 66 balls as South Africa raced to the second-highest World Cup total of 408 for five on Friday.
South Africa won by 257 runs with De Villiers making the second fastest World Cup century off just 52 balls.
"I`m sure the whole world knows about him. He`s just an unbelievable player; for me the best player in the century," said Tahir of a man who also holds the record for the fastest one-day century off 31 balls, against the West Indies in Johannesburg in January.
"I`m just really happy that I`m playing with AB de Villiers and not against him," added Tahir, who admitted he`d struggle to know the best way to bowl to de Villiers if he was on the opposing team.
"I`d probably bowl him a beamer or two, two beamers, and I`m out.
"It`s just a great honour to watch him every day in the nets."
Tahir was overshadowed by de Villiers` one-man demolition job at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday.
But he played a major role with the ball, bamboozling the West Indians with his leg-spin which gave him a career best 5-45.
It took his one-day haul to 64 wickets at a miserly average of just 19.40.
The performance also illustrated 35-year-old Tahir`s love of the big occasion.
The Lahore-born slow bowler only made his South Africa ODI debut in 2011 at the last World Cup where he finished as the team`s second highest wicket taker.
He also made his Test debut in the same year after satisfying residency requirements while his skills have been in demand worldwide, playing for a host of clubs in Pakistan and South Africa, the Indian Premier League as well as three English counties -- Middlesex, Hampshire and Yorkshire.
"I just like challenges. I have had a lot of in my life, and then when it comes to that, I think I can be ready for anything," said Tahir.
"I`m just really honoured to play for South Africa. Just to be part of this team is just a special feeling, and when you walk into the middle with green and gold, I don`t know what to say, I just want to take probably 10 wickets every game."