Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson come after the Pakistani speedster, as Gautam Gambhir finds Shoaib at the top.
When asked about the most dangerous and lethal bowlers, Gautam Gambhir gave Shoaib Akhtar the highest rank. Gambhir finds no competitor of Shoaib Akhtar. He considers Shoaib the most difficult to handle due to his fiery bowling. Therefore, he always gives higher ranks to Shoaib Akhtar and keeps other bowlers after the Pakistani pacer.
Gautam Gambhir said in his statement, “He was the most dangerous and lethal fast bowler in the world. I have played against Brett Lee, Shane Bond, and Mitchell Johnson, but they were nowhere near Shoaib. When he was in a mood, he could change the game in a span of five overs.”
To explain his opinion, Gambhir gave the example of India Pakistan match played in Mohali.
He said, “We were playing against Pakistan, and Shoaib was quick. His bouncers had gone over the head of wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal for fours. He told Kamran to stand at the edge of a thirty-yard circle. I was batting with Sachin Tendulkar at that time. He told me we can take a single if the bowl goes to a keeper. Shoaib was that fast.”
Gautam Gambhir gives various names of that era’s fast bowlers, including Shane Bond, Brett Lee, and Mitchell Johnson. Gautam Gambhir faced all these bowlers with Shoaib Akhtar. However, he found the latter the most challenging to handle.
Gambhir’s opinion matters the most because he is considered one of the best left-hand batters India has ever produced. He has an impressive record in all three formats, but he was a specialized test and ODI batter who dominated the world for almost a decade.
Gautam Gambhir is on the commentary panel of the Asia Cup 2023. Therefore, he is currently in Sri Lanka. He played for the Indian teams that won the T20 World Cup in 2007 and the ODI World Cup in 2011.
Interestingly, Gambhir has been involved in many on-ground fights with Shoaib Akhtar. The most notable events were the Pakistan tour to India in 2007 and the Asia Cup in 2010.