New Zealand vs India 2020: Zaheer Khan backs India in ODIs, advises Hardik Pandya to not rush for a comeback
Former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan has termed India's 0-5 whitewash against New Zealand in the T20Is as a 'huge achievement' and has backed the Virat Kohli-led side to carry forward the winning momentum in the upcoming 3-match ODI series. Khan also spoke on the injured Hardik Pandya and encouraged him to remain patient for his comeback.
India whitewashed New Zealand for the first time in history, becoming the first side to win a T20I bilateral series by a 0-5 margin. It was the third instance when India registered a clean sweep away from home with 0-3 against West Indies (2019) and 0-3 versus Australia (2015/16) being the previous two.
Also see – Women’s cricket world cup schedule
Backing the men in blue in the upcoming ODI and Test series, the 41-year-old speedster mentioned how it could get tough for the Kiwis to overcome the visitors in the 3-match ODIs set to begin on Wednesday in Hamilton.
I am expecting things to get better. New Zealand were having a tough time, they tried to find answers to beat this Indian team. But I feel 5-0 victory is a huge achievement. They should take pride a lot of pride from what they have done in New Zealand. It is definitely going to be a tough (ODI) series for New Zealand.
The recent victory was Virat Kohli's 10th T20 bilateral series win as a captain, which is the most in history. With all-round efforts by the team led by a fantastic display of fearless cricket, India managed to collapse New Zealand in two successive Super Overs. Khan urged India to continue the momentum in the upcoming ODIs and Tests.
For India, it is about maintaining that momentum and carrying the confidence from previous series win to the ODI and Test matches.
Zaheer Khan also spoke on Hardik Pandya's injury, who got ruled out of the entire New Zealand series as the all-rounder's rehabilitation is taking longer than expected. Pandya, who injured his back in September, underwent successful surgery for his lower back. The 26-year-old, however, hasn't returned to the national fold since then as he expects to make a comeback in the IPL.
While speaking in the sidelines of Mumbai Indians' Junior grassroots program, Zaheer said: "For MI, IPL is still a long way away, and for Hardik it's important he should take his time to comeback 120 percent. I can say it by experience, when anyone goes through injuries, it's not about coming back, it's about how you come back." He asserted further,
I have always been advising everyone in the same fashion. You have to take your time; you cannot be impatient and rush your comeback.
After the completion of the T20I series, India will take on New Zealand in a 3-match ODI series starting from Wednesday in Hamilton, which will get followed by two Tests later on.
Published 03 Feb 2020, 21:32 IST