Shoaib Akhtar has slammed his own country’s fans and questioned them for thinking that Rohit Sharma-led India was purposely trying to lose the match against Sri Lanka.
New Delhi: Pakistan legend Shoaib Akhtar has slammed his own country’s fans and questioned them for thinking that Rohit Sharma-led India was purposely trying to lose the match against the defending champions Sri Lanka at the R. Premdasa Stadium on Tuesday, September 12, in Colombo.
The Indian bowlers once again showcased their class with an outstanding bowling display to defend 214 runs against the defending champions, Sri Lanka, in the ongoing Asia Cup 2023 tournament. The Rohit Sharma-led side also ended Sri Lanka’s 13-match unbeaten winning streak.
India’s Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav again created havoc, as he was absolutely unplayable in the match. The spinner grabbed a four-wicket haul and gave 43 runs in 9.3 overs at an economy rate of 4.52. The 28-year-old spinner took the main wickets of SL batters Sadeera Samarawickrama and Charith Asalanka. Later, he cleaned up the tail by removing Kasun Rajitha and Matheesha Pathirana.
The arch-rivals Pakistan suffered a huge defeat against India by 228 runs in the Super Four clash at the continental showpiece in the very same venue at Colombo in a two-day clash. Hence, the Babar Azam-led side wants Men in Blue to win their game against the island nation (Sri Lanka) so that their clash against the Dasun Shanaka-led side would become a virtual knockout match to enter the final. However, when India was bowled out for 213, many fans claimed that it was a fixed game to see Pakistan out of the Asia Cup final race.
In a video on his YouTube channel, the former Pakistan pacer slammed these claims and lauded both India and Sri Lanka for showing a great fight. Shoaib Akhtar said “What has happened to people? They are saying that India is losing to Sri Lanka purposely and there are memes made on it. Are you out of your mind? Didn’t you see how well Asalanka and Wellalage bowled? Why will they want to lose so that Pakistan goes out? They wanted to go to the final and gave it their all in the field.”
“Look at the fight India gave in the field by Bumrah and others. Look at the fight that young Wellalage gave, the 20-year-old kid with both bat and ball. We didn’t see such fight from our players, but they aren’t to be blamed either. When was the last time we played 25-30 ODIs in a year?”
The legendary pacer prasied Indian side for the way the made a strong comeback with the ball and bowled out the defending champions for just 172 runs. Akhtar credited all Men in Blue bowlers for their big contribution.
“India gave their heart out in the field. Just loved the way each bowler showed the fight, be it Kuldeep, Bumrah, Hardik, Siraj and even Jadeja. He contributes with bat, ball and also in the field,” Shoaib Akhtar said.