The Indian cricket team staged a remarkable 8-wicket victory to level the series in Melbourne after losing the first Test comprehensively. Speaking to Sports Today, the fast bowler said -
"I was telling a few friends in Delhi that India are going to beat the hell out of Australia. I told them that if the batting performs, if the middle order performs, then India have a fair amount of chance to win this series. They said I was hyping up a bit too much,”
"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 added further.
Akhtar praises Ajinkya Rahane for his leadership of the Indian cricket team
The former speedster also talked about how the Indian cricket team showed character after a heavy defeat in the Adelaide Test. Akhtar praised Ajinkya Rahane for leading India effectively and going about his business quietly on the field.
"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,” Akhtar added.
With all the odds stacked against India with the growing list of injuries and Virat Kohli's unavailability, it is undoubtedly an extraordinary feat from the Indian cricket team to level the series at 1-1.
However, Australia will look to bounce back in Sydney, and they will receive a shot in the arm with David Warner's return. Notably, Warner missed out from the first two Tests due to a groin injury, and he has been named in the squad for the third Test that begins from January 7.Published 01 Jan 2021, 17:42 IST