Shahid Afridi, former Pakistan skipper and batsman tweeted that Indian batsmen are still capable of fighting back but it will be tougher without skipper Virat Kohli after India succumbed to an 8-wicket defeat against Australia in the 1st Adelaide Test on Saturday.
The former all-rounder has backed arch-rivals India to bounce back in the rest of the matches of the Border Gavaskar Trophy besides praising top-quality pace attack on display by Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.
Shahid Afridi Praised Pat Cummins And Josh Hazlewood But Tweeted That Indian Batsmen Will Find It Tough Without Virat Kohli
After taking a handy lead of 53 runs in first innings, Virat Kohli-led India surrendered against the Australian attack led by pacers Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood in second innings. Resuming their innings from an overnight score of 9 for 1 on the third day of the play, the tourists were bowled out for 36 for 9 which turned out be their lowest score ever in Tests as none of the batsmen reached double-digit figures.
While many experts of the game were critical of India’s disheartening defeat, Shahid Afridi backed India to make a strong return. He also praised Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood for their impeccable performances with the ball.
Shahid Afridi also pointed out that winning the remaining 3 Tests will not be an easy task for the tourists without their best batsman and captain Virat Kohli.
“Brilliant display by Cummins and Hazelwood today, really enjoyed top-quality Test match fast bowling after a long time. Indian batting is still capable of fighting back but it will be now tougher without Kohli,” Afridi tweeted.
Brilliant display by Cummins and Hazelwood today, really enjoyed top-quality Test match fast bowling after long time. Indian batting is still capable of fighting back but it will be now tougher without Kohli.
— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) December 19, 2020
The Australia pace duo Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins wreaked havoc in Adelaide on Saturday, bowling out India by sharing 9 wickets between themselves. None of the Indian batsmen, including skipper Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara could score in double digits. Virat Kohli will now head home as he was granted paternity leave by BCCI to attend the birth of the first child.
Mohammed Shami Ruled Out Of Remainder Of Test Series With A Fractured Arm
The visitors managed to give a paltry 90-run target for the Aussies to chase after scoring their lowest Test score of 36. In reply, Joe Burns, who was clearly struggling with his form, scored an unbeaten 51 off 63 deliveries to see his team cross the hurdle. With this victory, Australia have taken a lead in the series 1-0 with 3 Tests remaining.
Both teams will now compete against each other in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne which starts on December 26. Meanwhile, India received yet another blow as pacer Mohammed Shami got ruled out from the remainder of the Test series with a fractured arm.
Mohammed Shami suffered a fracture on Saturday and is likely unable to play any further in the remaining 3 Tests. The Indian pacer, who also was instrumental in their maiden 2-1 win in Australia in 2018-19, suffered a blow to his right hand while trying to sway away from a Pat Cummins‘ bouncer on Saturday before India were all out for their lowest Test score of 36.