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Sourav Ganguly bravest batsman I bowled to, best Indian captain I saw: Shoaib Akhtar

Sourav Ganguly, despite having limitations against the short ball, never backed away even when Shoaib Akhtar directed balls at his chest, said the former Pakistan speedster. "That is what I call bravery," he said.

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: June 13, 2020 7:06:15 pm
Sourav Ganguly Sourav Ganguly is helped to his feet after being hit on the rib cage by a Shoaib Akhtar delivery in an ODI in 1999. (File Photo/PCB)

Shoaib Akhtar said Sourav Ganguly was the bravest batsman he bowled to in international cricket because the India opener never backed away and managed to score runs against him despite having a limitation against the short 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.

Akhtar said that Ganguly was aware that he did not have the shots to face the short ball – something fast bowlers increasingly capitalized on when bowling to the left-hander – but still faced the music.

“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,” Akhtar said.

The former Pakistan speedster also labelled Ganguly as the best Indian captain he had played against.

“When India came in Pakistan in 2004 under Ganguly’s leadership I got a feeling that this team can beat Pakistan and they did that,” Akhtar added. India had beaten Pakistan 2-1 in the Tests and 3-2 in the ODIs in 2004.

READ | Tendulkar, Ganguly faced better bowlers than Rohit, Kohli: Ian Chappell

“India haven’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.

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