I want India to win the series because they have made a great comeback: Shoaib Akhtar

I want India to win the series because they have made a great comeback: Shoaib Akhtar

With the series intriguingly poised, there is a lot at stake as India and Australia lock horns on January 7th for the third Test.

Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar. (Photo Source: YouTube)

The Indian team scripted a sensational comeback at the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne to steamroll the Australians by 8 wickets to square the four-match Test series. Stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane led from the front with both the bat as well as on the field in the absence of regular skipper and batting maestro Virat Kohli as India delivered a fitting reply to the kangaroos.

In the first Test, the visitors were humiliated by the Australian side as they were shot out for just 36 runs in the second innings. It was India’s lowest ever total, and not even a single Indian batsman could even cross double figures as Australia thrashed the Indian side by 8 wickets.

But then, in a show of grit and resolve, Rahane scored a scintillating 112 in the first innings of the second Test, ably supported by Shubman Gill and Ravindra Jadeja. Jasprit Bumrah and senior spinner Ravichandran Ashwin sliced through the Australians in the second Test as India delivered a stunning comeback to silence their critics.

Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has emphatically declared that India would retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. The Rawalpindi Express was quick enough hail ‘cool captain’ Ajinkya Rahane for his brilliant leadership skills in the MCG Test.

“I was telling a few friends in Delhi that India are going to beat the hell out of Australia. I told them that if the batting performs, if the middle order performs, then India have a fair amount of chance to win this series. They said I was hyping up a bit too much,” Akhtar told Sports Today.

“I watched the game, one fine morning, I woke up and I saw India were getting hammered by Australia. I thought it was 369 and not 36 for 9. But it was 36 for 9. But you know, characters are exhibited in crisis. The exhibition of character from the Indian team is tremendous. I think this guy is so quiet and so calm. Ajinkya Rahane doesn’t shout or do nasty things on the field, he just stays quiet and does his thing which is cool captaincy. Under his leadership, the guys suddenly performed.”

India showed a lot of character: Shoaib Akhtar

The former Pakistan pacer further opined that the Indian side showed a lot of character on the field and the century from Rahane was the turning point of the game. He also wants the sub-continent team to win the four-match Test series going forward.

“Who would have thought 10-15 years ago that Australia would get hammered by India or Pakistan or some other subcontinent team? Now it’s happening. Now, I want to see this series full of clashes. I want India to win the series because they have made a great comeback. And they have shown a lot of character and great courage. Ajinkya Rahane hundred is just the turnaround,” the speedster further added.

Now, the bandwagon will move to the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), where the New Year’s Test will be played. Opener David Warner has been added to the squad, and it would be a big boost to the Aussies. India, on the other hand, will be looking to deliver the knockout punch on the hosts at Sydney.

With the series intriguingly poised, there is a lot at stake as India and Australia lock horns on January 7th for the third Test.