Ricky Ponting's greatest rival, Harbhajan Singh, has said the retiring batsman is one of the best players he's ever come across, and added that the decision of the former Australia captain is a sad day for cricket.
Harbhajan has dismissed Ponting more than any other bowler in his Test career and said he thoroughly enjoyed their fierce and combative rivalry that intrigued both Australian and sub-continent fans.
"It is very sad news for the cricket world, another legend of the game has retired. What comes to my mind when I look back and think about Ricky Ponting is that he was one of the greatest players for Australian cricket," News.com.au quoted Harbhajan, as saying to an Australian paper.
"He was very competitive and energetic on the field, and he was one of their best in terms of leading from the front. He has been a champion player for Australia, and played very well for Australia and himself. His record speaks for itself. He scored runs all over the world," he added.
Harbhajan will forever be known as Ponting's achilles heel, dismissing him 10 times, including three ducks in the Test arena to boast the best record of any bowler Ponting confronted, and the Indian spinner is proud that record will stand for good.
"I am pretty pleased with my record against him. If it was the other way around I would not have enjoyed it. He is one of the best players I've come across and I've always had a lot of respect for him," Harbhajan said.
"I enjoyed every moment playing against him, He has always been a very gutsy player. He showed he was a very tough character when he was out in the middle. As a batsman he always looked to attack and showed his class," he added.