Shoaib Akhtar hails courageous India for ‘showing character’ against full-strength Australia

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Karachi: Former Pakistani cricketer turned YouTuber Shoaib Akhtar is highly impressed with India. He hailed India’s fighting spirit in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia. Despite weakened by most of their players’ service the way the team has bounced back in spite of the rising number of injuries is something to be extremely proud of, Akhtar reckoned.

“Most of their players are injured but this is the beauty of the Indian team that despite all the setbacks, they are playing with kids (referring to debutant T Natarajan and Washington Sundar, along with Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Siraj) who never would have thought in their wildest of dream that they’ll have to play against Australia in such a scenario,” Akhtar said on a video on his YouTube channel.

Earlier in the series, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav were ruled out after sustaining injuries in the first and second Test. KL Rahul has been ruled out due to a wrist injury he suffered while batting in the nets. During the last Test at SCG, Ravindra Jadeja and Hanuma Vihari were also ruled out due to thumb and hamstring injury respectively.
India are also missing the services of their skipper Virat Kohli, as he flew back to India after the first Test.

“With so many injuries, only two big name players are left – Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane. Inexperienced Indian players are up against a ball of fire but they are making sure that Australia is being tested. Now imagine, if with this team, India can grab hold of this Test match, I would assume this would become India’s biggest Test series in history,” he said.

Akhtar further added that it would be the biggest win in Indian cricket’s history if they manage to edge past Australia. “You enter the final Test but you don’t have the team. And yet, they’re fighting. This is the character I’m talking about. I won’t call it a B team, but if with this they are able to strengthen their grip on the Test, and even if are able to draw, I’d believe it will be a historic moment.

“There’s a lot to be proud of. With Jasprit Bumrah out, batsmen out and basically most of the team ruled out of final Test, the way this young has shown fight and stopped the onslaught from a full-strength Australian attack is commendable,” he concluded.

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