London, July 25: Having bowled to both Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara during his illustrious career, Australian spin legend picked the Indian as the "best batsman" but admitted sometimes his "good friend" from the West Indies was better than his rival.
Warne said 43-year-old Tendulkar was the best batsman of his generation. The duo had several battles on the field. Now, they both have launched All Stars Twenty20 league where retired cricketers played last year.
"To me, he (Sachin Tendulkar) was the best batsman of my generation. A wonderful player, all round to fast bowlers, spinners and in all conditions. He was the best from India," Warne told "Sky Sports" as he picked the best batsmen he bowled to, from 9 countries.
Talking about Lara, 45-year-old Warne described him as the "best left-hander" of his time. And added that at times, he was better than Tendulkar.
"The best batsman from West Indies was Brian Lara. Arguably some people think (he is) better than Sachin Tendulkar. At times, he probably was. He was the best left-hander of my time. Probably one of the best left-handers to have played the game. It is just great to watch (him)," Warne, who took 708 Test wickets in 145 matches, said.
"If you needed someone with 400 to win on the last day of Test match, you probably want Brian Lara to bat for you. He can just come and make a 200 and win you the game. Outrageous - some of the shots he used to play. The real strength to his batting was probably his placement (of the ball). He always seemed to find the gaps on the off-side and through the covers. Brian Lara was a great player and a good friend," he added.
Tendulkar holds the record for most runs in both Tests and One Day Internationals. He retired after playing 200 Tests and 463 ODIs. Lara featured in 131 Tests and 299 50-over internationals. He holds the record for the highest individual score in five-day format - 400 not out.
Warne's list of best batsmen he bowled to
India - Sachin Tendulkar
England - Graham Gooch
South Africa - Hansie Cronje, Jacques Kallis
Pakistan - Saeed Anwar
West Indies - Brian Lara
Sri Lanka - Aravinda de Silva
Zimbabwe - Dave Houghton
Bangladesh - Mohammad Ashraful
New Zealand - Martin Crowe