Former fast-bowling star Brett Lee said Sachin Tendulkar was the best batsman he has bowled to while opting for Steve Smith in a comparison with Virat Kohli in an Instagram interview.

Lee, who represented Australia from 1999 till 2012, picked Tendulkar, Brian Lara and Jacques Kallis as the three toughest batsmen he bowled while singling out the Indian for his timing.

“Three names come to mind straight away. Sachin Tendulkar. Why? Because it felt like Sachin had that extra time to play me. In my opinion he is the best batsman in the world,” Lee said.

Lee then picked Brian Lara, for his flamboyance and said the West Indies legend could hit the same ball bowled six times in an over to six different parts of the ground. For his third choice, Lee heaped praise on Jacques Kallis who he said was the most complete cricketer his time.

When asked about the best of the current generation, Lee picked Steve Smith over Virat Kohli as the world’s best batsman at the moment because of the Australian’s incredible turnaround after the ball-tampering scandal.

Along with his then deputy David Warner, Smith was banned for one year for his role in the infamous ball-tampering scandal in the Cape Town Test in 2018.

On his return, he amassed runs and regained his status as one of the modern greats of the game.

“Look, it is so hard to pick, there are so many qualities in both that I enjoy, from the bowling of point I am trying to look are there any flaws in both batsmen, both of these batsmen are genuine,” he said.

“At the moment, I would pick Smith over Kohli because of what he has been through and what he has to overcome,” Lee said during an Instagram live session with former Zimbabwe cricketer Pommie Mbangwa.

“Steve Smith has been through a lot in the last couple of years, he has seen a rise with the way he played in the last 12 months, he is so fidgety, sometimes you are like just relax mate,” he added. “I might go with Kohli tomorrow as it depends on the mood. They are two great players and hard to split.”

Lee reasoned that he chose Smith over Kohli as he has come back strongly after serving the ban.

“Kohli is technically sound, he hits through the V, he used to nick off earlier in his career, but it is hard to do that now, he is a great leader of his side, I think he would love to win the IPL too.”

Considering the former captain’s numbers, Lee said Smith could still finish numbers as good as the legendary Don Bradman.

About Tendulkar, Lara and Kallis from the 23-minute mark