Mohammad Yousuf, the man who last year scored a world-record 1788 Test runs, has described Ricky Ponting as the world's best player because of his ability to destroy any bowling attack. Yousuf said Ponting was every bit as good as modern batting legends like Viv Richards and Brian Lara and named the Australia captain as the man most likely to break his record for most runs in a calendar year.
Yousuf said Ponting's ability to score heavily in all types of conditions all over the world was one of his greatest assets. "[Ponting] is the best player by quite a long way," Yousuf said in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald. "Everywhere he goes in the world it is the same.
"Sometimes we struggle in parts of the world where wickets favour the bowlers, but that does not happen to him. He used to have a little bit of trouble in places like India or Sri Lanka, but he has shown in the last few years that he now plays very well there. He is very strong, mentally and physically."
Yousuf, who made 455 more runs than Ponting in 2006, said he would like to pick Ponting's brain in an effort to improve even further. "I think if there is somebody who will break the record, it will be Ponting," he said. "He has scored 1500 runs in a year twice and he went very close this time as well. If I see him at the World Cup, it would be good to talk. Maybe I can learn from him.
"The best batsmen I have seen in my lifetime are Viv [Richards] and [Brian] Lara, and they are some of the best in history. I think Ricky is as good as any of them. I have never seen anything like him. I have seen Ponting in a lot of matches, and he is the best player in the world at the moment. He can beat any bowler."