Ricky Ponting - Australia captain may not have much love for Team India but he was all praise for little master Sachin Tendulkar whom he placed ahead of West Indian batting great Brian Lara.

Ponting wrote in his captain's Diary 2008 , as I write this, Tendulkar has scored 14 international hundreds against Australia during his career (seven in Tests, seven in ODIs), and I have been on the field for many of them, so I have plenty of opportunities to guage just how magnificent and complete a batsman he is," he said in a specially highlighted reference to the Mumbai maestro.

I have always maintained that he (Tendulkar) at his best was always ahead of Brian Lara, and they are the best two batsmen I have played against.

The Ponting said he tried to set up schemes and strategies to trap Tendulkar but the Indian almost always broke the code.We have tried a wide variety of schemes and strategies, but he's usually had the answer to all of them.

For me, right at the start of my Test career, it was a great experience just to see such a champion player going about his business in his conditions,he said in reference to a contest in Mumbai.

Ponting also singled out the just retired Indian captain Anil Kumble and promising pacer Ishant Sharma for special appreciation and said batsmen could not relax against the two.