Former Indian head coach Ravi Shastri was all praise for the younger crop of cricketers after Shikhar Dhawan’s Team India concluded their white-ball tour to New Zealand on Wednesday. After a bittersweet campaign at the T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia, India’s seasoned campaigners Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul were rested for the double white-ball series between the two New Zealand World Cup semi-finalists.
With Christchurch’s infamous weather taking center stage on Wednesday, India failed to restore parity in the 3rd ODI as Kane Williamson-led New Zealand secured a 1-0 victory over the visitors. Leading batsman Shreyas Iyer led India’s batting in the third and final ODI of the bilateral series, playing a gritty 49 strike off 59 balls. Indian pacer Umran Malik took the crucial wicket from Finn Allen (57) before the rain-marred encounter ended in a clean sheet at Hagley Oval.
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Former Indian coach Shastri spoke exclusively on Prime Video’s post-match coverage and talked about the performance of the Indian youth in the ODI team. Shastri, who believes many positives have come out of the recently concluded One-Day series, was full of praise for batters Iyer, Shubman Gill and pace ace Umran. The former Indian all-rounder and 1983 World Cup winner also praised Washington Sundar for his batting performance against the Black Caps.
“Shreyas Iyer gets points in a few games. Prepared to stay there and prepared to get through the tough period. Suryakumar of course has the potential, has the talent and he will deliver. I really liked Washington Sundar. And even Umran Malik, I like the way he bowls. There’s potential there. If he can hold on, it will be very good. Overall, there was a very positive Shubman Gill at the start of the innings,” said Shastri.
Pacer Malik emerged as the most successful bowler for India in the New Zealand series. The speedster took three wickets in the recently concluded ODI series. “These conditions are tough, you don’t get these conditions very often and you don’t travel to New Zealand that often. So I think it’s excellent for young cricketers to come here and get this kind of exposure. The weather and the ground there dimensions must be taken into account,” Shastri added.
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