Former Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar has a message for fans of Team India, who were knocked out of the ICC World Cup 2019 in the semi-final clash against New Zealand at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester on Wednesday. In the latest video on his YouTube channel, Akhtar says that fans must not “bash” the Men in Blue as they played remarkably well throughout the tournament.
Referring to the batting by India in the match, Akhtar showered praises on former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja. He called Dhoni a “legend” and said that the wicketkeeper-batsman should have gone for a dive to avoid being run out in the match.
“Dhoni is absolutely a legend, you are a great batsman and you are a great brand ambassador for the team. But you should have gone for a dive,” said the legendary cricketer. He added that team India was “so close yet so far” in the tournament.
Talking about Jadeja, Akhtar said that his dismissal in the match was unfortunate as the ball he got out on could have been hit for the maximum. “Unfortunately the ball went up in the air and Jadeja was caught,” he said.
He criticised the performance of other Indian batsmen, saying they played “very poorly” and got dismissed in balls that were worthless.
According to Akhtar, India was displaying any fightback in the match but the scenario changed when Jadeja came in to bat, and later joined by Dhoni in the middle. He said that both the batsmen raised the hopes of team India and fans when they were batting.
The former pacer further said that while Rohit Sharma got out on a good ball, skipper Virat Kohli was unfortunate to be sent back to the pavilion.
“I have a message for Indian fans. Your team played really well and I congratulate them for the performance. They made it to the semi-finals and it is unfortunate that they could not enter the final. Please give them credit…Do not hate your team and do not bash your team,” Akhtar said.