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.

Shoaib Akhtar praises Sourav Ganguly on being able to face the Rawalpindi Express

"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.

shoaib akhtar
Former Pakistani cricketer Shoaib AkhtarMichael Steele/Getty

Akhtar, known as the fastest bowler in the history of cricket further said that despite having limited strokes whenever the ball was aimed at his body, the left-handed batsman never backed away.

"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 labelled Ganguly as the best Indian captain he had played against.

Sourav Ganguly
Mahendra Singh Dhon i(L) and Sourav Ganguly run between the wickets on the second day of the fourth Test against Australia in Nagpur in 2008.INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images

"If I talk about India, then it will be Sourav Ganguly. 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 on the BCCI president comparing his captainship to Dhoni's.

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.