India lifted their last major ICC trophy in 2013 when they beat England in the final of the Champions Trophy. Since then, they have contested in five global events including the ODI world cups (2015 and 2019), two T20 world cups (2014 and 2016) and one Champions Trophy (2017), failing to win neither. Also Read - Anushka Sharma Looks Pretty in Peach as She Basks in the Sun, Don’t Miss Her Cute Baby Bump
Despite India being ranked among the top teams in limited-overs formats, they have been criticised for failing to win a major trophy in the past seven years. However, Pakistan bowling legend Shoaib Akhtar reckons that it shouldn’t be the only criteria to judge them. Also Read - IPL 2020 Points Table Latest Update After MI vs KXIP, Match 36: Kings XI Punjab Beat Mumbai Indians to Take 6th Spot; KL Rahul Strengthens Lead Over Orange Cap
“Winning tournaments is one thing but staying at top is another,” Akhtar told PTI. “India is still the top-ranked Test team and is almost among the top teams in the limited-overs format. So, we should not base their performance only on their showing in ICC events.” Also Read - 'He's The Most Impactful Player in IPL' - Virat Kohli Lavishes High Praise on RCB Teammate
Akhatar, who played 46 Tests, 163 ODIs and 15 T20Is during his career, though reckons that the reason India have failed at the biggest stages is due to the lack of a match-winner.
“Of course, they should win ICC events and they have to. This team, when the top four score, they win more often than not. But if they don’t, then it is an issue. Another thing I noticed is that you need a match-winner like Yuvraj (Singh) or (MS) Dhoni in the middle-order,” he said.
“When we toured India in 1998, we always thought we would run through India after getting the top order. There was no match winner until Yuvraj came in, followed by Dhoni. Then you started seeing change in results. Right now, the problem is lack of finishers,” the 44-year-old added.
Sporting events across the globe have been suspended due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and Akhtar feels cricket won’t be back at least for a year or so and that includes India’s tour of Australia later in 2020.
He feels that should the tour go ahead, India will have to prove themselves again.
“Despite the loss in New Zealand, I think India is a very, very good team and can give a tough time to Australia. But again, India have to prove that like they did the last time,” he said.
He continued, “However, I don’t see that series happening. My assessment is there won’t be any cricket for next one year. The T20 World Cup is not going to happen. We are dealing with a pandemic at the moment. Any industry, which requires crowd gathering, is going to suffer.”