Former Pakistan gun fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar reckons there is no way that India should not be winning the ongoing World Cup. India continued their unbeaten run as they defeated New Zealand by four wickets at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamshala on Sunday.
India was able to skittle out the Kiwis at 273 after Rohit Sharma won the toss and decided to field first. Virat Kohli continued his rich form as he scored a match-winning knock of 95 runs off just 108 balls with the help of eight fours and two sixes.
Rohit Sharma also scored an attacking knock of 46 runs whereas Ravindra Jadeja added the finishing touches with an unbeaten 39. On the other hand, Mohammed Shami was the pick of the bowlers as he returned with impressive figures of 5-54 in his quota of 10 overs. Thus, India once again came up with a collective performance in the ongoing World Cup and they are a force to reckon with in their own conditions.
Akhtar lauded Virat Kohli’s match-winning knock against the Blackcaps.
“He is someone who thrives under pressure. Pressure brings opportunities for him. And opportunities are scoring a hundred, playing match-winning knocks and getting followed on Instagram, and why not! This guy deserves it,” Akhtar was quoted as saying on his YouTube channel.
The Rawalpindi Express, as he was renownedly known during his career, hailed India’s potent batting order as all the batters are in prime form.
“Shubman Gill is enough for this New Zealand team. Had Rohit Sharma not got out casually, he is enough. If KL Rahul goes up the order to 3 or 4, even he is enough. India’s batting lineup is very lengthy.”
“Everyone knows what Kohli did today, but Rahul also took the load. Suryakumar had also done so had he not got out,” he stated.
Akhtar lauded Mohammed Shami for helping India keep New Zealand in check in the death overs as he got crucial wickets.
“But in ensuring that New Zealand don’t score 300-350, Shami played a big role. He was a bit expensive, but it’s okay since he dismissed five batters. He has shown his talent and India need to persist with the same bowling attack. They have a complete batting and bowling lineup. There is no way that India should not be winning the World Cup,” Akhtar added.
India will next take on reigning champions England at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow on Sunday.