Former Pakistan speedster Shoiab Akhtar has heaped wealthy praises on Team India, its captain and the entire dressing room for their historic comeback within the recently-concluded Boxing Day Test against Australia.
Akhtar, who had earlier termed “mighty” India’s Adelaide debacle as “embarrassing”, has hailed Ajinkya Rahane for leading from the front and the entire Indian room to back a teenager like Mohammed Siraj, who overcame personal loss to star in India’s superb win at Melbourne Cricket Floor (MCG).
In an exclusive interview with Sports Today, the World’s fastest bowler added that India backing Siraj reveals 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 regardless of not having Virat Kohli, Ishant Sharma and Mohammad Shami on their side.
“Teams usually are not made on the field. Teams are made in dressing rooms. So as to regroup yourself, after getting hammered by Australia for 36. I feel the dressing room has performed an element in that.
“I noticed Ajinkya Rahane struggle. He fought along with his bat. The struggle 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 in which. Kohli is a team and a half anyhow. So is Rohit.
“Ajinkya Rahane made certain he was going to come out as a brand with the bat and the performances. His captaincy was also good. His bowling changes, the way in which he used Bumrah, the way his Siraj. It was difficult for him after having lost his father. He obtained the support from his teammates. It exhibits the religion India has on their players within the dressing room, whatever the caste, race and creed. It could have been the most effective moment for his father, but unfortunately he was not able to see that. That goes to point out how the dressing room backed the player.
“Looking at the temper within the dressing room, I can say India can regroup and have an opportunity of winning the series.
“Ajinkya Rahane played a pivotal part, the fitness of Bumrah and other guys,” Shoaib Akhtar informed while speaking to Boria Majumdar on Sports Today.