Newly retired Ricky Ponting says while India's Sachin Tendulkar was the best batsman he played against, West Indian Brian Lara was the opponent he feared most.
Ponting pulled stumps on his Australian record-equalling 168-Test career at the conclusion of the third Test loss to South Africa in Perth on Monday.
In 17 years of Test cricket, which produced 13,378 runs at 51.85 and made him the second-highest run-scorer in Test history behind Tendulkar, Ponting said the pair stood out as his highest quality opponents.
"I am on record before as saying I felt Sachin was the best player I played against," he said.
"He has so much success against us in our conditions and their conditions.
"But I probably lost more sleep on the eve of games against Lara, because I knew that he could single-handedly win games for his team.
"The way I judge players is their ability to win games by themselves, and Lara could certainly do that and probably did it more than what Sachin did for India."