Shoaib Akhtar has heaped praise on Sourav Ganguly, saying the former Indian batsman was very brave and was the only opener who could face the ‘Rawalpindi Express’ with the new ball. Also Read - Indian Cricket: MS Dhoni Beats Sourav Ganguly by Slightest of Margins in Battle of The Captains

“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. Also Read - MS Dhoni Hasn't Given Enough Quality Players Like Sourav Ganguly Gave to Indian Cricket: Gautam Gambhir

Akhtar further said that despite having limited strokes whenever the ball was aimed at his body, the left-handed batsman never backed away. Also Read - Graeme Smith Backs Sourav Ganguly For ICC President's Role, Hails Former India Captain Ability as Leader And Administrator

“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 labeled Ganguly as the best Indian captain he had played against.

“If I talk about India, then it will be Sourav Ganguly. India hasn’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.

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.

(With agency inputs)