VVS Laxman, the former Indian cricketer, recently opened up on his rivalry with his Pakistan counterparts. The veteran named Shoaib Akhtar as someone, who he felt was challenging on the field of play. The Rawalpindi Express was one of the fastest bowlers of his generation. He used to torment the best in the business with his vicious bouncers and toe-crushers.
In his international career, Laxman got out to Akhtar three times (twice in Tests and once in ODIs). In Test cricket, Akhtar castled the retired Indian’s woodwork in Kolkata and Rawalpindi and in the 50-overs format, it wasn’t any different. Hence, the modes of dismissal suggest that even a batsman of Laxman’s class and calibre found it tough to handle Shoaib’s pace at times.
VVS Laxman opines
“It has to be someone like Shoaib Akhtar. Because he was probably the quickest bowler in world cricket at that time along with Brett Lee. Playing against him was always going to be challenging and he always was up to the fight,” Laxman was quoted as saying in Star Sports’ show Cricket Connected.
In his career, Laxman scored 8,781 runs in 134 Tests and 2,338 runs in his ODI career. He was one of India’s bedrock in the lower middle-order, rescuing his team out of trouble plenty of times. He’s most remembered for the double century he scored against Australia at the Eden Gardens Kolkata in 2001. In that game, his knock helped India win the match after being made to follow-on.
During the chat, Gautam Gambhir, who retired back in December 2018, also put forth his opinions. He said that he found off-spinner Saeed Ajmal a challenging prospect due to his Doosra. Due to the same delivery type, Ajmal also had been reported several times for suspect actions.
“One battle which I thoroughly enjoyed was against Saeed Ajmal. Because Ajmal was probably one of the toughest off-spinners I have faced, especially under lights as we couldn’t pick his Doosra. And the speed with which he used to bowl at, he was very very lethal,” Gambhir said. Gambhir also said that he loved his duels with Shahid Afridi and things haven’t changed even now.
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