'Played under his leadership for KKR' - Shoaib Akhtar picks Sourav Ganguly as one of his toughest opposition

‘Played under his leadership for KKR’ – Shoaib Akhtar picks Sourav Ganguly as one of his toughest opposition

India won ICC Champions Trophy in 2002 (joint-winners) and made it to the final of the 2003 World Cup under Ganguly’s leadership.

Sourav Ganguly and Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar and Sourav Ganguly. (Photo by Getty Images and YouTube

Shoaib Akhtar, who donned the Pakistan jersey across all formats over fourteen years, was known as one of the most lethal bowlers in international cricket. The Rawalpindi Express used to decimate might batting forces with sheer pace and aggressive bowling approach.

While donning the national jersey, Akhtar played 46 Tests, 163 ODIs and 15 T20Is, scalping over 400 international wickets. He had flaunted his express pace in 2003 against England where he had clocked 161.3 kmph, the record for the fastest delivery ever on the biggest stage.

Along with international cricket, Akhtar also plied his trade in the Indian Premier League in 2008, where he donned the Kolkata Knight Riders jersey. He instantly hogged the headlines by delivering a blistering spell and scalping four wickets on his IPL debut. The Sourav Ganguly-led side, on the back of Akhtar’s bowling masterclass, went on to clinch the encounter by 23 runs.

Akhtar, in his recent Instagram post, heaped praise on Ganguly and recalled playing under Dada for Kolkata Knight Riders. The former Pakistan speedster also labelled Ganguly as one of his toughest opposition.

Welcomed any opposition as I was determined to see the battle: Shoaib Akhtar

“Welcomed any opposition, because I was determined to see the battle through. One of my toughest opposition was the man himself @souravganguly. Not only a tough opposition but a great captain having played under his leadership for @kkriders,” wrote Akhtar in his Instagram post.

‘Dada’ is regarded as the most successful Indian Test skipper overseas as he steered India to 11 triumphs when he was at the helm. Ganguly is often lauded for his aggressive approach, leading to India witnessing a reinforced side.

India won ICC Champions Trophy in 2002 (joint-winners) and made it to the final of the 2003 World Cup under Ganguly’s leadership. The Men in Blue went through an overhaul during that period and they even climbed up to No.2 position in ICC Test rankings.

The Prince of Kolkata led India to 76 wins in 146 ODIs and 21 wins in 49 Tests. Talking about his batting expeditions, Ganguly amassed 7212 runs in 113 Tests at an average of 42.2. With the white-ball, he scored 11363 runs in 311 ODIs at an average of 41, which included 22 tons and 72 half-centuries.