Cricket

Kevin Pietersen.

Kevin Pietersen names his five best batsmen of all-time

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As Kevin Pietersen prepares to hang up his bat after the upcoming Pakistani Super League, he has been reflecting on the greatest batsmen to play the game during his superlative, if somewhat, controversial career.

Top of his list comes South African great Jacques Kallis, who amassed over a staggering 13,000 runs, not to mention almost 300 wickets during his spectacular Test career.

Pietersen was full of praise for his compatriot.

"Technique wise, unbelievable. Batted for hours, a magician with a bat in his hands."

Next, he nominates ex-Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting, who tormented bowlers for much of his career with his attacking strokeplay in the middle order.

'Punter' worked with KP on BT Sport as an analyst during the recent Ashes series, and the two icons were sure to have reminisced over the many great Ashes battles they fought over the years.

Indian maestro Sachin Tendulkar comes a surprisingly lowly third on Pietersen's rankings despite being the highest run scorer in the history of Test cricket.

KP, however, expresses the utmost respect for the 'Little Master' and he vividly recalls experiencing at first hand the greatness of the Indian batsman during a Test match in Chennai.

"That hundred he scored against us in Chennai when all odds were against India. He scored that 4th innings hundred when I was captain. The way he was able to manipulate the ball, punch the ball, that heavy bat. Just phenomenal."

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Perhaps the most eye-opening inclusion is the destructive West Indian opener Chris Gayle.

The Jamaican 'Six Machine' did not have a Test career to compare with others on the list, but his huge hitting redefined what was possible in the one day and especially T20 arena.

Pietersen is in awe when he speaks about the power of the Jamaican's hitting.

"How hard he hits the ball and how far he hits the ball. Just out of this world."

Finally, he includes in joint-fifth place, South Africa's AB De Villiers and current Indian batting phenomenon Virat Kohli.

He puts them together as he sees many similarities in their games and believes they represent the best of modern batting as they excel in all formats of the game.

"They epitomise the modern day 360 degree player...they hit most balls wherever they want to hit the ball. Its as good as it gets."

KP is no stranger to stirring up debate, and his list of the best batsman will be sure to provoke an interesting response from cricket aficionados the world over.

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Topics:
Jacques Kallis
Australia cricket
Chris Gayle
England cricket
Kevin Pietersen
India cricket
West Indies cricket
Cricket
South Africa cricket
AB de Villiers
Sachin Tendulkar
Virat Kohli

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