Following the Indian cricket team's 3-0 whitewash of the Kiwis in the Test series against New Zealand, cricketers across the globe expressed their views on this new-gen Indian team under Virat Kohli. The Blues reached the top of the ICC Test team rankings after their fabulous performance in the three-match Test series against the Kiwis.
The series victory proved to be a vital one for India as several players made a mark in terms of their individual performances. However, Ravichandran Ashwin proved to be the stand-out performer picking up 27 wickets in the series which included three five-wicket hauls. The off-spinner ended up as the Man of the Series.
A player for all conditions
Ashwin received heaps of praise from all the cricket fraternities for his consistent bowling throughout the series. The latest one to have been impressed by him is former Bangladesh coach, Dav Whatmore. Speaking to The Times of India, Whatmore spoke about the difficulty of playing spin in India and what players need to concentrate upon while touring India.
"Playing spin in India is incredibly difficult. Understanding the ball's behavior, the heat and with fielders all around you - it can be daunting. The only way you will get better in these conditions is by playing more and more here," he said.
Whatmore also said that he was pretty impressed with the way Ashwin bowled throughout the series. "Look at the way Ashwin bowled. He was just phenomenal," he said.
When asked about his views on Ashwin's performance outside the sub-continent, he said, "Ashwin is an extremely valuable player and will invariably do well in conditions outside too. I felt he bowled brilliantly in Australia when they toured there in the 2014-15 season and hasn't looked back since. It's not just about Ashwin's bowling but his batting as well which has been a talking point. He is an asset to this Indian side."
Happy with Kohli’s rise
Whatmore was also pleased with the evolution of Virat Kohli over the years. Dav Whatmore was the coach of the under-19 Indian team that went on to win the World Cup in Malaysia under the leadership of Kohli in 2008.
"The word to describe Virat is 'focus'. Look at the way he dropped his weight, worked on his fitness and became stronger - which is not an easy thing to do. The thing that struck me about that U-19 World Cup campaign in Malaysia was the confidence Virat had in himself and he always led by example,” said the 62-year-old.
“He has always remained aggressive and you can see that in his eyes. He is always hungry to perform and that's rubbed off on his teammates as well," he was quoted as saying in Times of India.
With India concentrating more on Tests in the coming months, the team's performance in the concluded series was surely a positive sign.