Shoaib Akhtar believes one of the main reasons behind Team India's emhpatic win at the Gabba s their investment in the youth. The former Pakistani fast bowler thinks India are reaping the benefits of the process, which they started 20 years ago.
With more than half a dozen first-team players ruled out with injuries, Team India pulled off a miraculous win in Brisbane to seal the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1. Youngsters like Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant and Washington Sundar played a huge role in ending Australia's invincibility at the Gabba. It was the first time the hosts lost a Test match at the venue since 1988.
In a video on his YouTube channel, Shoaib Akhtar explained how investing in the youth helped Team India pull off a series win for the ages.
"I was thinking about the reasons behind India's win at Gabba. They won because of the investment they made 20 years ago. These kids that came solidified India's bench strength. This investment is paying back to India," Shoaib Akhtar said.
Shoaib Akhtar also reckons the Indian Premier League (IPL) has played a huge role in boosting the confidence of the youngsters.
"India started the IPL, the players got exposure, and they made use of it. The Indian players learned from playing along with overseas cricketers and gained confidence from that," he added.
Shoaib Akhtar hails Rahul Dravid for nurturing Team India youngsters
Shoaib Akhtar believes Rahul Dravid deserves huge credit for the impressive performances by the Team India youngsters in Australia.
The former Indian batsman has worked with the likes of Washington Sundar, Rishabh Pant and Shubman Gill at the Under-19 level as well as with India A. His advice and guidance have helped the youngsters prosper into potential world-class players for Team India.
"But think about it. Who was the player that was given charge of the academy? The best Test player produced in the country, Rahul Dravid. Because they did not want to spoil the kids. He created the U-19 team, he established players in the academy, and now these Indian kids are beating Australia," Shoaib Akhtar said.
Despite losing several key players to injuries, Team India still had the belief that they could beat the Australians in their own den.
After losing the first Test in a humiliating manner, the manner in which the visitors staged a comeback says a lot about their character.