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Virat Kohli led India to a 2-1 series win over Australia in Bengaluru. Courtesy: AP

India produced an exceptional performance in the field in all the departments on Sunday to clinch the 3-ODI series vs Australia 2-1 in Bengaluru on Sunday. Powered by Rohit Sharma’s 29th hundred, India’s chase of 287 was well supported by captain Virat Kohli who also scored 89 runs of his own. Former Pakistan bowler Shoaib Akhtar has credited the captain for India mounting an exceptional comeback after losing the 1st ODI in Mumbai by 10 wickets.

On his Youtube channel Shoaib100mph, Shoaib called Kohli “an exceptional leader” as he doesn’t give up easily.

“Virat Kohli is an exceptional leader. He is very tough mentally. He knows how to mount comebacks. His boys know it as well. He doesn’t give up after setbacks. Then if you have talents like Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul, then you know that if you have got the opposition out for less than 300, that too in Bengaluru, then you forget about stopping that chase,” said Shoaib after India’s 7-wicket win in Bengaluru.

Shoaib also called the ODI series as a ‘Battle of Pride’ between 2 of the top ODI sides in the world. He went on to say that there is something different about this Indian team as in they don’t panic like the teams from yesteryears.

“It was a Battle of pride. This is a new Indian team, not like my playing days. To win the series after losing the 1st match so comprehensively was quite difficult. In Chinnaswamy, basically India bullied and hammered Australia; it was like playing with boys. This was too much from India(laughs), total annihilation.

“When Rohit is on song, he doesn’t care whether it’s a good/bad ball. It comes very naturally to him. On pitches like Chinnaswamy, he becomes ruthless. Australia got a taste of their own medicine, like when they used to have a great team. Today the tables are turned,” added Akhtar.

Finally, Shoaib praised both sides for playing some good cricket in what has been an intensely-fought series.

“Great skills, great characters, great series. All in all India looks a very good package to me,” concluded Shoaib.

India will next tour New Zealand for a full-fledged tour which includes 5 T20Is, 3 ODIs and 2 Tests. The 1st T20I starts on January 24.

Source: https://www.indiatoday.in/sports/cricket/story/india-vs-australia-odi-series-shoaib-akhtar-virat-kohli-rohit-1638372-2020-01-20