London : Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni rates Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar as the toughest he has faced in his long and illustrious career so far.
Currently taking part in the ICC Champions Trophy, the 2011 World Cup-winning skipper was quoted as saying by www.cricket.com.au that it was Akhtar’s pace and the ability to bowl a yorker which troubled him, adding that he had problems facing the quickies with his limited technique.
“All the fast bowlers are quite difficult, with the limited technique I had, it was very difficult to face the fast bowlers,” the stumper said.
“Still, if I had to pick one, I would pick Shoaib Akhtar.”
“Very simple reason: he was quick, he was fast, he could bowl a yorker, he could bowl a bouncer but you never expected a beamer. He was a bit unpredictable (but) he was fun to play against,” Dhoni added.
Besides the 2011 epochal triumph in Mumbai, Dhoni has led India to the top of the Test rankings, and the very first World T20 title in 2007, too.
Dhoni has 453 international matches across all formats under his belt till date, amassing 9,000 runs in One-day International (ODI) cricket, including 10 centuries. The 35-year-old, who keeps wicket, has six Test centuries and 723 international dismissals with the gloves.
Dhoni and Akhtar have crossed swords in 10 international matches.
Akhtar’s figures against Dhoni have been 3-32 from the 39 balls he bowled to the Ranchi glovesman in ODIs, and 1-71 from 83 deliveries in Test cricket.