Akhtar terms Ganguly as the bravest batsman he ever bowled to

Tough cookie
Akhtar rates Ganguly as the only opener who could face him with the new ball. File photo: AFP

Lahore: Shoaib Akhtar has heaped praise on Sourav Ganguly, saying the former Indian captain was very brave and was the only opener who could face the 'Rawalpindi Express' with the new ball.

"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.

Bloody hard work
Sourav Ganguly was not the most elegant batsman against short-pitched bowling. File photo: AFP

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 labelled Ganguly as the best Indian captain he had played against.

"If I talk about India, then it will be Sourav Ganguly. India haven't produced a better captain than him. (M S) Dhoni is very good, he's a superb captain but when you talk about team building then Ganguly did a great job," said Akhtar.

Got him
Shoaib Akhtar exults after dismissing Sourav Ganguly in the 2004 Lahore ODI. File photo: AFP

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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