After having suffered a shellacking for ages- a defeat by ten wickets- Team India showed why they are revered as one of the best sides in the world as they scripted a come-from-behind 2-1 series win against the Australians to finally avenge the 2-3 defeat that they had suffered at the hands of Aaron Finch’s men last year.
It turned out to be a rather one-sided encounter in Bengaluru. After the Indian bowlers- led by Mohammed Shami‘s four-wicket-haul- restricted the Australians to 9-286 in 50 overs, the duo of Rohit Sharma  and Virat Kohli  anchored India’s run-chase to help the Men in Blue stroll past the total in a canter.
And, as expected, following an epic come-behind-heist, the Men in Blue are garnering praises from both the cricketing folklore as well as pundits. Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has hailed India’s epic win and also the leadership of Virat Kohli, who he describes as a mentally tough and exceptional leader.
“Virat Kohli is an exceptional leader. He is very tough mentally. He knows how to mount comebacks. His boys know it as well. He doesn’t give up after setbacks. Then if you have talents like Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul, then you know that if you have got the opposition out for less than 300, that too in Bengaluru, then you forget about stopping that chase,” said Shoaib as quoted by India Today after India’s seven-wicket win.
Shoaib Akhtar terms India-Australia battle as the ‘Battle of Pride’
When Australia and India lock horns on a cricket field, bragging rights are up for grabs between these cricketing powerhouses and Shoaib aptly mentioned the contest as the ‘Battle of Pride’. He also hailed the ruthlessness of the current Indian team, terming their hammering of the Aussies in Bengaluru as ‘total annihilation’.
“It was a Battle of pride. This is a new Indian team, not like my playing days. To win the series after losing the 1st match so comprehensively was quite difficult. In Chinnaswamy, basically India bullied and hammered Australia; it was like playing with boys. This was too much from India(laughs), total annihilation” Shoaib said.
“When Rohit is on song, he doesn’t care whether it’s a good/bad ball. It comes very naturally to him. On pitches like Chinnaswamy, he becomes ruthless. Australia got a taste of their own medicine, like when they used to have a great team. Today the tables are turned. Great skills, great characters, great series. All in all, India looks a very good package to me,” concluded Shoaib.
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