Rawalpindi: Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar reckons that the Virat Kohli-led India is swiftly becoming a “ruthless” team as they proved their mettle once again, this time against New Zealand in the second T20I of the series.
Akhtar was also all praise for different members of the Men in Blue.
After India defeated the Black Caps by seven wickets in the second affair of the five-match rubber in Auckland on Sunday, Akhtar said on his Youtube channel: “India is becoming a ruthless team as they once again proved it against New Zealand in the second T20I. If you (Kiwis) are being bowled out for such a modest total, how will you compete against a side like India which possesses a long batting line-up.”
“Earlier, I had said that (Colin) Munro and (Martin) Guptill would have to score big, otherwise it would be impossible to stop the onslaught of India,” he added.
Known as the ‘Rawalpindi Express’ in his playing days, Akhtar also lauded pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami saying: “Have seen a new confidence from Bumrah and Shami as they have now started to create fear in the oppostion batsmen. Also, Ravindra Jadeja doesn’t let you score runs and bowls some odd spins which and tests the batsmen.”
The 44-year-old lamented the fact that competition in cricket is slowing down globally as teams have failed to show character and any fight.
“At present India is dominating the world one-sided. But what will happen to other teams? What will happen to world cricket?” he asked.
“When Australia dominated world cricket, at least India and Pakistan showed fight and tried to compete. However, what we are seeing in New Zealand is that the hosts have completely surrendered before India in the first t20 T20Is,” he added.
India will now aim to seal what would be their first T20I series-win over New Zealand when they meet the hosts in the third match in Hamilton on Wednesday.
Pacers shine for India on Day 2 of warm-up game
Hamilton: Indian pacers came out with a remarkable performance on second day of the practice game against New Zealand XI being played at the Seddon Park.
On Saturday, the four Indian pacers — Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav and Navdeep Saini — all bowled on immaculate line and lengths and bundled out New Zealand XI for 235.
While Shami was pick of the Indian bowlers as he picked up 3 for 17, Bumrah, Umesh and Saini picked two-two wickets each. Ace off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin scalped the remaining one wicket.
For New Zealand XI, Henry Cooper top scored with 40 while Rachin Ravindra and captain Daryl Mitchell contributed with 34 and 32 respectively.
With a lead of 28, Indian openers Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal then came out all guns blazing in the second innings and accumulated 59 runs in the seven overs they played before Stumps.
While Shaw scored 35* off the 25 balls he faced (5 fours and a six), Agarwal too smashed 23 runs off 17 balls (4 fours and a six), swelling India’s lead to 89.
In their first innings, India had been bundled out for 263 riding on Hanuma Vihari’s 101 and Cheteshwar Pujara’s 93.
Brief Scores: India 263 all out and 59/0 (Prithvi Shaw 35*, Mayank Agarwal 23*); New Zealand 235 all out (Henry Cooper 40, Mohammed Shami 3/17