Allan Donald picks legendary Sachin Tendulkar among 3 best batters he bowled to
Former South Africa speedster Allan Donald was undoubtedly one of the finest pacers the fascinating game has ever seen. His lethal pace, exceptional control on line and length, and ability to produce match-winning performances made Donald an all-time great bowler.
In fact, his bowling action with scary eyes and skillset to move the ball both ways made him one of the most dangerous fast bowlers in the history of the game. No wonder Donald earned the nickname ‘White Lightning’.
Notably, Donald played in the 90s and faced some of the most highly skilled batters of all time, and in the recent chat, he has revealed three batters who, according to the pacer, were the best in the business.
Donald picked the Indian batting phenom, Sachin Tendulkar, as his first choice, terming the Mumbaikar as the best player he has played against in his career. Donald said that he was quite impressed by Tendulkar’s adaptability to the conditions. Not to mention, both legends squared off on several occasions, with the most memorable being during India’s 1992 and 1996 tours of South Africa.
“Technically, the best player I ever played against was Sachin Tendulkar. Home or away, he could adapt. When he came to South Africa, you could clearly see that he adapted his technique to bouncier wickets. And he left the ball so well. He triggered in South Africa. In India, he didn’t go because of the lower bounce. And his hands took over in India because the wickets just slid on so beautifully. And not to mention the turn, but in South Africa and Australia, he triggered a little bit. He got closer to the off-stump, and knew where he was. He got hundreds against every country in the world and in their own conditions,” said Donald while talking to Paddy Upton on his podcast ‘Lessons From The World’s Best’.
The other two players Donald spoke about were West Indies great Brian Lara and former England captain Michael Atherton. He termed Lara as an absolute genius stroke maker, recalling how every time the ‘Prince of Trinidad’ would come out to bat, the then Proteas skipper Hansie Cronje would hand over the ball to him.
“The next to me, who was an absolute genius and a shot-maker to boot, was Brian Lara. Hitting good balls for four off back of a length or that pick-up pull shot that he played. I know when they came to South Africa, Hansie Cronje said to me… whenever that guy comes to the wicket, you are on. You’ve got free liberty just to take him on.’ He got a 100 in Durban, and he got a 100 at SuperSport Park. He was an absolute genius. Brian Lara, for me, just… he smoked it to all parts,” added Donald.
Speaking about Atherton, Donald remembered the epic Nottingham battle where after welcoming the English batter with a barrage of bouncers, the Bloemfontein-based speedster would finally get his wicket. But Atherton was a victim of poor umpiring, and Donald was booed by the crowd as well.
“The best bit of cricket that I ever played against was Michael Atherton in Nottingham sort of in the late afternoon. I realised that maybe it’s the right time now to ask for the ball, and Hansie was happy for me to come and have a crack. So the first ball I bowled over the wicket came out sweetly, it had a nice shape on it. The ball was fairly oldish then. I came round the wicket, and the very first ball I bowled to him, he gloved it, and Mark Boucher took a great catch. But then I looked at the slip cordon’s reaction and realised that it was not out. I walked back, and there were boos and all sorts of things going on,” Donald added further.
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