Shoaib Akhtar, former Pakistan pacer lauded Team India after their valiant effort to draw the third Test against Australia in Sydney. India fought relentlessly to pull off one of the most memorable draws in their Test history.
India batted for 131 overs and lost only 5 wickets in pursuit of the stiff 407-run target to draw the game and keep the four-match series alive, despite being written off by many experts and critics ahead of the start of Day 5’s play.
Shoaib Akhtar: India Have Got It In Them To Win The Series
Shoaib Akhtar feels India have got the capability to beat Australia in the final Test in Brisbane and clinch the Border-Gavaskar Trophy again which is set up for a blockbuster final after an intense drawn game in Sydney. Shoaib Akhtar said if India can beat Australia in Brisbane, this Test series win will be the biggest ever in their Test history.
“Now at the final stages (of the series), I think India have got it in them to win this series. Again, a last little push, where they will face issues, they have several injury concerns, but the Indian bench strength has to believe that they can do it, they need to give one last effort and they can win the series,” Shoaib Akhtar said in a video on his YouTube channel.
“If from this point onwards, India goes on to win this series, then that will be a big big victory. According to me, it will be the biggest series win in Test history,” Shoaib Akhtar added.
India resumed from 98/2 on Day 5 at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) with 309 runs to get and 8 wickets left. They lost captain Ajinkya Rahane early after he scored 4 off 18 balls before Rishabh Pant and Cheteshwar Pujara forged 148 runs for the fourth wicket and kept India in the hunt.
While Rishabh Pant launched a counter-attack against the Australian bowling attack with a brilliant 97 off 118 balls, Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara slammed a solid 77 off 205 balls.
After the duo’s departure, Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari combined to produce a remarkable display of defensive Test match batting.
The duo played 289 deliveries between them and added an unbeaten stand of 62 runs for the sixth wicket to save the Test match for India. Despite the duo battled respective injuries and were facing chin music from the Australian fast bowlers, they held on and batted over 3 hours to deny Australia a victory.
Shoaib Akhtar: All Credit Goes To India For Showing Lot Of Guts As The Whole Team Contributed To Ensuring That The Series Don’t Slip Away
Praising India’s character and grit to not let the game slip away, Shoaib Akhtar credited the visitors for their tremendous effort and backed them to win the Border-Gavaskar Trophy for the second straight time having clinched it already on their last tour in 2018-19.
“I think all credit goes to India because they have shown a lot of guts, a lot of guts. The whole team, spinner, tailenders, fast bowlers, Bumrah has put in all his energy, even got himself injured, but did not let the series slip away,” Shoaib Akhtar maintained.
India though is plagued down by injury concerns to a lot of players as first pacer Ishant Sharma missed entire Test series, after which pacers Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav were ruled out.
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, middle-order batsman Hanuma Vihari and pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah are now newest additions to the injury list. Opener Mayank Agarwal and Ravichandran Ashwin are doubtful while Virat Kohli and KL Rahul have already flown home.