Legendary Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar was left impressed with India’s progress ahead of the upcoming ICC ODI World Cup 2023. Akhtar feels that the Indian team started the Asia Cup 2023 as ‘underdogs’ but are heading into the World Cup as one of the ‘most dangerous’ teams.
Rohit Sharma’s men defeated Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup final at Colombo’s R. Premadasa Stadium on Sunday by 10 wickets thanks to Mohammed Siraj’s fiery spell of 6/21.
The 29-year-old shattered multiple records as Sri Lanka folded for a paltry 50-run total having opted to bat first, after which India steamrolled over their opponents completing the chase in just 6.1 overs.
Akhtar was mighty impressed with India’s dominant display as he lauded the Men in Blue before admitting he had not expected such a one-sided final.
“Rohit Sharma’s captaincy has improved. He and the team management have been making great decisions. I did not imagine India beating Sri Lanka in this manner,” said the Rawalpindi Express on his YouTube channel.
The Pakistan great praised the Indian team calling them the most dangerous side heading into a home World Cup.
“From here on, India could be the most dangerous side in the World Cup, but I am not writing anybody off because teams from the sub continent are formidable,” Akhtar stated.
En route their record-extending eighth Asia Cup crown, the Men in Blue romped Pakistan by 228 runs, before their emphatic display in the final. In between, the Indian team did lose to Bangladesh by 6 runs however Akhtar felt that India ticked all the boxes and will be one of the teams who can ‘worry’ not just Pakistan, but other teams as well.
“India will be going into the World Cup after boosting their confidence. India started as underdogs, but now I feel that it is not only a worry for Pakistan, but a worry for many other countries. India have announced their arrival in the World Cup because they have all the boxes ticked,” the legendary pacer added.
After the Asia Cup, Rohit Sharma and Co. are set to head home from Colombo although they are set to reassemble in Mohali on September 20 for the upcoming 3-match ODI series against Australia slated to start from September 22.