The rivalry between India and Pakistan on the cricket field is regarded as the most high-octane. The only contest which has a similar stature is that of England and Australia for the Ashes series.
Indo-Pak cricketing battle consists of key duels between the fine line of quality Pakistani pacers facing off against legendary Indian batsmen.
For more than a decade, the duel between ‘Rawalpindi Express’ Shoaib Akhtar and former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly was one of the most keenly anticipated ones.
Akhtar tried to dislodge Dada’s wickets with sheer pace and hostility. Meanwhile, the elegant southpaw used his shoulder to play some delightful strokes on the off-side.
The two also had mutual respect both on and off the field. Ganguly and Akhtar even shared the same dressing room during the latter’s one-year stint at Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
Akhtar and other Pakistan internationals took part in the Indian Premier League (IPL) only during the inaugural season of the tournament in 2008.
Now, the former Pakistan speedster has tagged Ganguly as one of his toughest opponents and also heaped praises on his leadership abilities.
“Welcomed any opposition, because I was determined to see the battle through. One of my toughest opponents was the man himself @souravganguly. Not only a tough opposition but a great captain having played under his leadership for @kkriders,” Akhtar captioned his recent Instagram post.
Despite having a star-studded lineup, KKR could not finish the tournament on a high. New Zealand legend Brendon McCullum provided an electric start to the inaugural season, playing for the Knight Riders.
Coming back to Akhtar, he always had a few good words for Ganguly and his leadership abilities. In a video on his YouTube channel, Akhtar claimed about changing perspective for the Indian team, during Ganguly’s tenure as captain.
Earlier, the Pakistani troops treated the Indian team as runovers. But, Akhtar opined that it all changed with the aggressive brand of captaincy inducted into the team by Ganguly, the current BCCI President.