Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar on Saturday hit out at the Indian bowling lineup after their defeat in the second ODI against New Zealand which eventually led to their series loss. Akhtar said that Team India missed a strike bowler who could scalp some wickets in the middle overs. Earlier, Harbhajan Singh had also criticised the team selection for the second ODI as ace bowler Mohammad Shami was dropped from the squad and Navdeep Saini was included along with Shardul Thakur and Jasprit Bumrah.
In the latest video uploaded on his YouTube channel, Akhtar said, "India deserved this lesson. You cannot win ODIs by playing such poor cricket. No one had an answer to Taylor’s innings. I don’t understand how you can let the game slip from reducing the opposition to 7-8 down. I’m repeatedly saying India is missing a strike bowler. Chahal came in place of Kuldeep, he did well but they lacked someone who could put his hand up when they needed wickets."
"India was a very average side today. But Credit to New Zealand for coming back so strong after 0-5 loss in T20IS. That type of loss can be demoralizing for any team but they have made a solid comeback. This is a learning curve for India, they need to show character," he added.
As Team India took on New Zealand in the second ODI of the three-match ODI series, the visitors looked determined to make a strong comeback to level the series after having lost the first match. However, the match seemed almost like a replica of the 2019 ICC World Cup semi-final where the same teams had locked horns and had the same fate.
After setting a total of 274 for the Indians to chase, the New Zealand guns came blazing as they pocketed some early wickets beating the visitors by 22 runs to clinch the series 2-0. Ravindra Jadeja and Navdeep Saini fought valiantly but the Kiwi bowlers were too good for the Indian batsmen. The third ODI will be played on Tuesday, February 11.