Asia Cup 2023 concluded in spectacular fashion with India emerging victorious in just 129 balls, leaving fans spellbound. Anticipation was high for a super-Sunday clash between Asian giants, but the early wrap-up came as a surprise to many. Renowned for his cricket analysis, Shoaib Akhtar extended his heartfelt congratulations to India and shared his insights on their remarkable victory. He lauded their performance and resilience, saying, “After the first match (against Pakistan), India looked like the underdogs, but it wasn’t to be. Hats off to them for doing a wonderful job.”
Siraj’s Magical Spell
Akhtar was all praise for Mohammed Siraj’s exceptional bowling in the finals. He highlighted Siraj’s ability to swing the ball and maintain impeccable line and length, which played a pivotal role in India’s success. The Rawalpindi Express also commended Siraj for his heartfelt gesture of donating the ‘Man of the Match’ award money to the ground staff, acknowledging their hard work and dedication. “Congratulations Siraj for winning the match for India and donating the prize money you received as a man of the match to the ground staff, they thoroughly deserved it,” Akhtar said.
Rohit Sharma’s Resurgence
Akhtar emphasized the significant role of Rohit Sharma’s captaincy in India’s resurgence. He noted that Rohit had seemed “lost” in his captaincy for the past few years but has now regained his form and is making astute decisions. “Rohit Sharma is an improved captain now. He was lost 1-2 years ago, but now with team management, he is making good decisions. The inclusion of Kuldeep Yadav at the right time reflects his excellent man-management skills. India is moving ahead with a positive attitude,” the veteran added.
India’s World Cup Aspirations
Shoaib Akhtar boldly declared, “India have announced their arrival at the World Cup.” He stressed that India boasts a well-rounded team with a formidable pace and spin attack, heading into the World Cup with high confidence. “India are going to the World Cup with high confidence. If they win the next series against Australia as well, that’ll show India is a formidable team with a formidable bowling attack,” Akhtar said.
The Favorites and the Dangerous Contenders
Akhtar admitted that he didn’t expect India to beat Sri Lanka so convincingly “in 5-10 overs.” He went on to state that India is the favorite to win the World Cup, but he isn’t writing off any subcontinent teams, as they are all equally dangerous contenders. In a word of advice to the Pakistan team, he urged them to find a winning combination before the World Cup to secure a spot in the knockout phase of the tournament.