Former Pakistan bowler and legend Shoaib Akhtar has lauded the entire team India, its captain and the entire dressing room for their great comeback in the Boxing Day Test against Australia.
Team India, in the first Test against the host, has faced an embarrassing 8-wicket defeat. The entire team crumbled at the score of 36 on the second innings of Day 3. In the Boxing Day Test, it was being speculated that India would not be able to survive the Boxing Day Test after a humiliating defeat in the first Test.
However, India proving themselves in the Boxing Day Test, bounced back strongly and defeated Australia by 8 wickets.
Ajinkya Rahane Fought With His Bat: Shoaib Akhtar
The World’s fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has heaped rich praises on Ajinkya Rahane, who led the team India in Virat Kohli’s absence. He also appreciated the entire team India for backing the young Mohammad Siraj, who overcame a personal loss to star in India’s glorious in the Boxing Day Test.
“Teams are not made on the field. Teams are made in dressing rooms. In order to regroup yourself, after getting hammered by Australia for 36. I think the dressing room has played a part in that,” Akhtar said in an exclusive interview with Sports Today.
“I saw Ajinkya Rahane fight. He fought with his bat. The fight was out there to see, between the bat and the ball. India didn’t have Virat Kohli, Ishant, Shami. This was half the team, by the way. Kohli is a team and a half anyways. So is Rohit,” he added.
India Has High Chances of Winning The Series: Shoaib Akhtar
Akhtar further added that India backing Siraj shows that the players are backed regardless of their caste, race and creed. Further, he lauded the character of the India players, saying that they bounced back despite not having Virat Kohli, Ishant Sharma and Mohammad Shami on their side.
Notably, Virat Kohli headed back to India on December 22 to be with his wife Anushka Sharma who is going to give birth to their first child in January. Ishant Sharma has not successfully recovered from injury and Mohammad Shami got injured in the first Test and has ruled out of the remainder Test series against Australia.
“Ajinkya Rahane made sure he was going to come out as a brand with the bat and the performances. His captaincy was also smart. His bowling changes, the way he used Bumrah, the way his Siraj. It was difficult for him after having lost his father. He got the support from his teammates,” said Shoaib Akhtar.
“It shows the faith India has on their players in the dressing room, regardless of the caste, race and creed. It could have been the best moment for his father, but unfortunately, he was not able to see that. That goes to show how the dressing room backed the player,” he added.
Shoaib Akhtar, at the same time also said that India have high chances of winning the Test series against Australia.
“Looking at the mood in the dressing room, I can say India can regroup and have a chance of winning the series.
“Ajinkya Rahane played a pivotal part, the fitness of Bumrah and other guys,” Shoaib Akhtar told while speaking to Boria Majumdar on Sports Today.