Shoaib Akhtar has heaped praises on leadership qualities of the former Indian captain, Sourav Ganguly, for his contributions in the past. For more than a decade the duel between Shoaib Akhtar, popularly known as Rawalpindi Express for his pace and god of the offside — Sourav Ganguly was a most anticipated one and keenly watched by Indian and Pakistan fans across the globe.
The high octane rivalry between arch-rivals India and Pakistan on the cricket field is similar to the stature of the Ashes held between Australia and England. India and Pakistan cricket rivalry is a duel between Pakistan pacers and Indian batsmen.
Quality Pakistan pacers like Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar, Abdul Razzaq, Mohammad Aamir to name a few have bowled against superstars like legendary Sachin Tendulkar, dashing Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly to name a few.
Shoaib Akhtar: Sourav Ganguly toughest opponent, but enjoyed playing under him for KKR
Shoaib Akhtar tried to dislodge the bells of wicket while Sourav Ganguly was batting, but failed to do so most of the times as Dada used his shoulder to play delightful strokes on the offside.
They also shared the same dressing room during Shoaib Akhtar’s one year stint at Kolkata Knight Riders. Pakistan were allowed to play in the Indian Premier League only in the inaugural season of 2008 and the former pacer heaped praises on his leadership abilities as he was one of his toughest opponents.
“Welcomed any opposition, because I was determined to see the battle through. One of my toughest opponents was the man himself Sourav Ganguly. Not only a tough opposition but a great captain having played under his leadership for KKR,” Akhtar captioned his recent Instagram post.
In 2008, despite having a star-studded lineup, KKR could not finish the tournament on a high despite winning the first match against Royal Challengers Bangalore as Brendon Mccullum scored a ton in the first match.
Shoaib Akhtar: Sourav Ganguly changed perspective after instilling aggression
Shoaib Akhtar always had a few good words for Sourav Ganguly and his leadership abilities. In a video on his YouTube channel, Shoaib Akhtar claimed that it was Sourav Ganguly who changed perspective for the Indian team, during his tenure as captain.
Earlier, Pakistan treated Indian team as walkovers but after Sourav Ganguly led from the front and instilled an aggressive brand of cricket in the team, India were a force to reckon with.
Ganguly, the current BCCI president, backed his teammates and gave India superstars like Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Mohammad Kaif and Virender Sehwag.