I was told to target Sourav Ganguly’s ribs: Shoaib Akhtar talks about that delivery in 1999 Mohali ODI


India will face Pakistan on August 28 in a much anticipated clash in the upcoming Asia Cup and the hype surrounding that match is through the roof. Before every India vs Pakistan clash, the buildup to the encounter reaches fever pitch and this time, it’s no different.

In a video shared by Star Sports in their YouTube channel titled, “Frenemies” Pakistan pace great Shoaib Akhtar and Virender Sehwag are shown in conversation where the former talks about that venomous delivery he had bowled to Sourav Ganguly in 1999 in Mohali.

The Rawalpindi Express said that in the Pakistan team meeting before the match, he was asked specifically to target the head and ribs of the Indian batters and Ganguly was among the names in the list and that he was given the job to target the swashbuckling batter’s ribs.

“We had decided to target Ganguly on his ribs. In our team meeting, it was discussed how I will try to hit batters. I had asked then, “Do I not dismiss them?’ but they said, ‘No. You have a lot of pace. You just try to hit the batters and we will take care of the wickets,” Akhtar revealed.

In the 1999 match, Ganguly had to be helped off the field after he was struck on the ribs by a short-pitched delivery by Akhtar and he could take no further part in the action.

In later years, Akhtar has always maintained that Sourav Ganguly was the bravest batsman he bowled to in international cricket because the India opener never backed away and managed to score runs against him despite having a limitation against the short ball.

“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,” Akhtar had said in a 2020 interview.

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