'Kohli, Rohit and Rahul; all these guys are...': Wasim Akram after Mitchell Starc shreds India's top order
As India once again crumbled to some quality left-arm pace, Wasim Akram, the greatest left-arm quick of all time, weighed in with his two cents on the matter.
Left-arm woes returned to haunt India in the 2nd ODI against Australia when Mitchell Starc shred the top order en route to picking up a 9th five-wicket-haul. Starc dismissed openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill, middle-order batters Suryakumar Yadav and KL Rahul to help Australia bundle India out for 117 – their fourth-lowest ODI total at home. This is not the first time that India have struggled against left-arm quicks; go back to the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy where Mohammad Amir produced a magical spell up front, or the 2019 World Cup semifinal where Trent Boult took out India's top order. The problem of facing left-arm quicks isn't new for the Indian team.
Hence, as they once again crumbled to some quality pace, Wasim Akram, the greatest left-arm pacer of all time, weighed in with his two cents on the matter. Akram, the former Pakistan captain feels that the angle from which the left-arm pacers deliver the ball makes it difficult for the batters and not only Virat Kohli, Rohit or Rahul, some of the world's greatest batsmen have not found such bowlers ton get away with. Couple it with the fact that Australia won the toss after a brief spell of rain and used the overcast conditions to good effect, so much so that the Indian batters had no answer to the storm that wrecked them.
"See, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul; all these guys are great players. Rahul won the last match for India. It's not just them who get trapped to the left-armer's angle; others fall too, especially when the ball comes in. And the pitch on which the match was played, I felt as if I was watching the game in Australia," Akram told Sports Tak.
"It rained as well, the ground was lush green too. I felt as if the match is being played in New Zealand. Credit to the organisers that the ground looked good. It was a small match; Australia played well. The series is shaping up nicely at 1-1. But I supposed that the ball was seaming on that wicket. Although Australia scored those runs quickly, I saw a couple of overs from Siraj, the ball was seaming both ways."
While not dwelling much on the performance of the Indian batters, Akram hailed Starc as one of the greatest fast bowlers in the world and pointed out that it should not come as a surprise that a bowler of his calibre got the upper hand over a star-studded batting line-up that has pushed the outcome of the series on to the decider in Chennai on Wednesday.
"I haven't followed Indian cricket regularly but like I said, they have some greats of the game and they know how to adjust themselves. There are days that belong to the bowlers as well; congratulations to Mitchell Starc for bowling so well, snuffing out three wickets at the top and then take two more wickets. There is no doubt that he is a great bowler, one of the best in the world. So it was his day," Akram added.