Shoaib Akhtar has heaped praise on Sourav Ganguly, saying the former Indian batsman was very brave and was the only opener who could face the ‘Rawalpindi Express’ with the new ball.
Sourav Ganguly was the bravest batsman
“People used to say that he was scared to face fast bowling, he was afraid to face me. I think all of that was rubbish. Sourav Ganguly was the bravest batsman I ever bowled to, the only opener who could face me with the new ball,” said Akhtar in an interview on the Helo app.
Akhtar further said that despite having limited strokes whenever the ball was aimed at his body, the left-handed batsman never backed away.
“He knew, he didn’t have the shots, I also targeted him by bowling at his chest but he never backed away, and still scored runs. That is what I call bravery.” The former Pakistan speedster also labeled Ganguly as the best Indian captain he had played against.
“If I talk about India, then it will be Sourav Ganguly. India hasn’t produced a better captain than him. Dhoni is very good, he’s a superb captain but when you talk about team building, then Ganguly did a great job,” said Akhtar.
Ganguly counted as one of India’s most successful captains, played 113 Tests and 311 ODIs in which he scored 7,212 and 11,363 runs, respectively.
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Shoaib Akhtar predicts that Sachin Tendulkar would scored more than 1.30 lakh runs if he played in modern cricket era. Akhtar also revealed he wanted Tendulkar to complete a century during their famous 2003 World Cup clash against India. Tendulkar got out on 98 with Akhtar accounting for his scalp. Riding on Tendulkar”s fine innings, India won the match by six wickets in Centurion.
“I was very sad because Sachin got out for 98. It was special innings, he should have touched the century mark,” Akhtar said. “I wanted him to get a century. For that bouncer, I would have loved to see a sixer, as earlier he hit.”