India’s sensational comeback in the second Test of the ongoing four-match series against Australia has earned respect from Shoaib Akhtar. Former Pakistan paceman Shoaib Akhtar has admired Ajinkya Rahane’s men for bouncing back tremendously well after a hammering in the first Test in Adelaide. And following their heroics in the second Test, Shoaib Akhtar has backed them to win the series.
Stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane led the way in the second Test with a century in the first innings that enabled the tourists to take a significant lead. The 32-year old’s twelfth hundred in Tests along with some excellent bowling display by India in both the innings broke Australia’s fight. Rahane also earned the man of the match award for his effort as India levelled the series after a battering in Adelaide.
Shoaib Akhtar underlined that not many would have backed any sub-continent team to beat Australia in their backyard 10 to 15 years ago. The 45-year old wants India to win the four-match rubber, considering their comeback, demonstrated by courage and character. Akhtar went on to say that Rahane’s hundred was precisely the turnaround.
“Who would have thought 10-15 years ago that Australia would 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 hundred is just the turnaround,” Akhtar told Sports Today.
The exhibition of character from the Indian team is tremendous: Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar further said that to plummet to 36 all out in one game and making a sensational comeback in the other is a testament of their strength of character. The Rawalpindi Express singled out Ajinkya Rahane as calm and composed without being nasty on the field. Aside from that, Akhtar stated that Rahane knows how to get the best out of his team.
“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. 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,” he added.