Former South African cricketer Makhaya Ntini was a lethal component of his national side’s pace arsenal during his playing years. While he retired in 2011, he ended up bagging 662 international wickets for South Africa across all formats. The 42-year-old was recently involved in an Instagram Live session with cricketer-turned-commentator Pommie Mbangwa where he gave his take on the toughest batsmen to bowl to and most difficult places to play cricket.
The debate for the batting supremacy between batting icons Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara has been on for some decades. Meanwhile, former pacer Makhaya Ntini has given his take by naming the West Indian as the toughest batsman to bowl to. In his recent live session, Ntini said that Brian Lara was one of those batsmen “whom you just couldn’t wake up and bowl to”. He added that one had to do their homework 110 percent before bowling at Lara.
The 101-Test veteran also recalled one instance when he was successful against Brian Lara. Makhaya Ntini talked about the 2001 Test series between hosts West Indies and visitors South Africa, which the latter ended up winning by a 2-1 margin. The former pacer described his performance at Trinidad and Tobago (Brian Lara’s home ground) as the best of his career because he managed to dismiss the legendary batsman cheaply in both innings.
Interestingly, Makhaya Ntini has also talked about former Indian captain Sachin Tendulkar in high regards on a number of occasions. Moreover, a few months before his retirement, the ‘Mdingi Express’ described Sachin Tendulkar as the “best batsman” during his time.
Makhaya Ntini then spoke about some of the most difficult countries to challenge in their backyard. He stated that facing Australia in Australia and India in India has always been tough for visiting teams. A majority of Makhaya Ntini’s playing career against Australia and India came when legendary former batsmen Ricky Ponting and Sourav Ganguly were captains of their respective sides.