England batsman Kevin Pietersen has played with and against some of history's finest cricketers over the course of his illustrious career, but there is one professional the 32-year-old ranks above all others.
Pietersen has faced the two most potent bowlers the game has ever produced in Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan, while he has been in the field to witness sparkling innings from batting greats Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting.
But Pietersen does not consider any of this esteemed quartet to possess the all-round talents of South African star Jacques Kallis, who the former judges to be both the best player opposition player he has faced, and the most accomplished teammate he has featured alongside.
Pietersen and Kalis were colleagues during time spent together with Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League, but have also enjoyed several contests in all formats between England and South Africa during the former's nine-year international career.
"In my eyes Jacques Kallis is the absolute best," Pietersen told GiveMeSport in an exclusive interview for his official Facebook page.
"The guy’s just a phenomenon. I count myself incredibly lucky to have played with him."
He added: "Obviously I played against Jacques as well plenty of times, so [he is the best player I've faced]. A true giant of the game."
Kallis made his Test debut for South Africa in 1995 and, 161 matches and 13,128 runs later, the 37-year-old is considered one of cricket's all-time legends.
The Cape Town-born all-rounder ranks behind only Tendulkar in terms of Test match centuries, having scored 44 to the Indian batsman's 51, while Kallis has taken 288 wickets at an average of 32.43 for the Proteas.
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