Former Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar was all praise for the Indian duo of Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey as he touted them as ideal replacement for Dhoni and his finishing role.
Shoaib Akhtar, also known as Rawalpindi Express, was one of the fearsome bowlers during his cricketing days. He was one of the famed Pakistani trio of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and the man himself. Shoaib also had 444 international wickets to his name.
The Rawalpindi express thinks that Manish Pandey can fill the big shoes of MS Dhoni the finisher and he has it in him to be a good finisher in the coming years. Speaking on his YouTube channel, Shoaib said, “Hindustan ko akhir Dhoni ka replacement mil gya (India has finally got Dhoni’s replacement), they have found a good fit in Manish Pandey. Shreyas Iyer too looks a complete player and these add depth to India’s batting” praising both Iyer and Pandey.
Shoaib Akhtar went on to say that as the players has played a lot of tournaments like IPL they are also equipped well to handle pressure situations and will definitely respond in a positive manner. “They do not care about big names and hence, end up playing important innings. I think it was a great series, characters were shown, players were willing to fight. Even when the innings ended, Iyer and Pandey were speaking about the batting while they were walking off the field. These players understand the game, they keep discussing the game,” added Shoaib.
However, both Iyer and Pandey did not have a great series against Australia. But in the series decider Iyer made sure that he took India home after Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli got out. While Pandey provided finishing touches with two boundaries in the Hazelwood over. Akhtar also said that India bullied Australia in Bengaluru and toyed around with them as if they were kids.
With MS Dhoni’s future is undecided and Kedar Jadhav is not fitting in plans Indian team management is looking for finishers who can handle pressure situations with ease.