India crushed Sri Lanka by 10 wickets in Colombo on Sunday (September 17) to clinch their record-extending 8th Asia Cup title.
Asked to bowl first, the Men in Blue bundled out the hosts for a paltry 50 in 15.2 overs on the back of Mohammed Siraj’s six-wicket haul (6/21).
In reply, Shubman Gill (27*) and Ishan Kishan (23*) made light work of the chase to take India home in just 6.1 overs.
After India’s title win, former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar lauded Rohit Sharma for his captaincy.
Shoaib did not filter his words as he said that India will be a force to reckon with in the upcoming ODI World Cup at home, slated to get underway on October 5.
“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.
“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,” Shoaib Akhtar said on his YouTube channel.
Akhtar had special praise reserved for India pacer Siraj, who wreaked havoc on the Sri Lankan batting line-up in the summit clash.
After his remarkable bowling spell, Siraj won hearts with a heartwarming gesture by giving away his Player-of-the-Match cash prize to the Colombo ground staff, saying that the tournament wouldn’t have been possible without them.
“Good job Siraj, you helped India win. And you did a great job by giving away your prize money to the groundstaff,” Shoaib stated.
“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,” he added.
India will now host Australia in a three-match ODI series from September 22 while they will open their World Cup campaign against Australia in Chennai on October 8.