Getting used to conditions quickly will be India's challenge: Bangar
Ahead of their departure for the brief limited overs tour to Zimbabwe, newly-appointed head coach Sanjay Bangar on Wednesday said getting accustomed to the local conditions quickly in the African nation will be the first challenge for the young Indian brigade.
The series comprising three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and as many T20 Internationals will see a lot of new faces donning the blue jersey with the seasoned Mahendra Singh Dhoni at the helm.
But Bangar is confident that like the previous two series in 2013 and 2015, when the Indians handed a whitewash to the Afican minnows, the new-look squad too has the pedigree to repeat their performance.
"This is a very important tour for the young players. It provides them an ideal opportunity to test themselves in international waters. It is the start of a new season and it gives them an opportunity to make a mark and keep knocking at the doors of the Indian team," Bangar told bcci.tv. He thanked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for giving him the opportunity.
"Among the few things that are important when we land in Zimbabwe is being aware of the individual strengths, the position that they play in, what we expect from them, and then fit them in the scheme of things as far as the team composition is concerned."
"We have a fair idea of what they are capable of and how we can optimise their strengths into the composition of the team. Not many of them would have played in Zimbabwe and getting used to the conditions in such a short period would be a major challenge," he added.
Exuding confidence about the young side, Bangar said: "All of them have worked very hard to earn the India colours. Each one is capable of winning the match for his team on his given day."
"You have spin bowlers who can turn the course of the match and pacers with special abilities. You have Dhawal Kulkarni who has got great experience of first-class cricket. He has got great control and is capable of bowling at all stages of the game."
"Then, you have Jasprit Bumrah who is always learning. He made a huge mark since he played for India in January. Barinder Sran is someone who is exciting and brings his own skill set being a left-armer which is always an added strength. You have a Rishi Dhawan, and Yuzvendra Chahal who has done consistently well in the IPL and shorter formats," he said.
"In the batting department, we know how Manish Pandey played that dazzling knock in Sydney against Australia and won us that game. We then have Kedar Jadhav and Ambati Rayudu, who both scored a century on the tour of Zimbabwe."
"KL Rahul has made a mark in the IPL and has had success in the past with the Indian Test team. All this with the presence of MS Dhoni gives a fantastic opportunity for the younger guys to showcase their talent," he added.
The former India all-rounder said the team will continue playing aggressively, which they have been doing in the past couple of years.
"We will be looking to go out there and play the brand of cricket that the Indian team has displayed over the last two years. This team fields well, there is a lot of energy, buzz and intensity in whatever they do, and that would be the underlying message in approaching all three departments of the game," he said.