India’s thumping victory over Australia in the Boxing Day Test has managed to impress former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar. The pacer showered praises for Ajinkya Rahane’s team that came back to level the series 1-1 for now. In a conversation with Sports Today, Akhtar talked about Rahane’s captaincy and Team India’s character.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
“Whatever you say about Ravi Shastri, Ajinkya Rahane and the team, India’s strength is not people who are playing on the field, it’s the bench strength. They seized the opportunity and went out there and performed,” Akhtar added.
“Getting hammered in one Test and then coming back and winning the next Test comprehensively shows the character of the team and the management. And at the same time, people are out there to win the Test match.”
He went on to say that such a performance was not expected from anyone 10-15 years ago but India made it possible. He also wished that India went on to win the series.
“Who would have thought 10-15 years ago that Australia will 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’s hundred is just the turnaround,” Akhtar said.