New Delhi: Star Indian batsman and former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said that Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar was the toughest bowler that he had ever faced in his 13-year long career.
Dhoni has faced a battery of fast bowlers from around the world, but he rated the Pakistani fast bowler as the best ever, "All the fast bowlers are quite difficult, with the limited technique I had, it was very difficult to face the fast bowlers. 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, he was fun to play against," said Dhoni.
He was speaking at the Virat Kohli charity dinner on Monday, which was attended by the whole Indian team.
Dhoni was also asked about the Duckworth-Lewis system, which is expected to play a big part in the tournament with rain interrupting many of the matches.
Indian wicketkeeper was at his witty best, when asked if he understands the D/L system or not,
"I don't think even ICC understands the D/L method," replied the Jharkhand batsman with a smile.
Dhoni was also earlier critical of the DRS system, saying "If you see the deviations in DRS, there are quite a few deviations. Even the makers agree that can happen. Now you have to also take into account whether it was given not out or out. If it was given out it needs to touch the stump [for the decision to remain out]; if it was not out it needs to hit half the stump [to be given out]. That itself makes the variable too big. In cricket every inch, every millimetre, matters."
"DRS should not be the umpires' decision justification system. It should be giving the right decision. Like in tennis you don't say the umpire called it out and half the ball has to pitch inside the line. It has to be plain and simple. You don't have to keep too many things in consideration. You either say, 'This is DRS, doesn't matter whether it is given out or not out, if half the ball is hitting the stumps, you are out.' Irrespective of the decision. Now, for example, you take DRS, in an lbw decision, what changes everything is whether it was given in favour or not. It can mean a margin of one inch overall, and that is very big." Dhoni had said.
Dhoni didn't bat against Pakistan, but he is likely to play a key role in India's Champions Trophy campaign with captain Virat Kohli relying on him to play the role of a finisher, and also be the guiding force for the lower middle-order. Dhoni hasn't been in the best of forms coming into the tournament but Kohli and the team think-tank retaining faith in him.