Indian coach Ravi Shastri lauded the performances of youngsters in India's series-clinching Brisbane Test win. He said that the Indian team could have won the third Test at Sydney had Rishabh Pant batted a little while longer.
Rishabh Pant smashed an unbeaten 89 on the final day of the fourth Test at the Gabba to help India register a historic win.
The swashbuckling wicket-keeper batsman had played a similar 97-run knock on the final day of the Sydney Test, but India had to settle for a draw following his dismissal.
During a post-match interview with Sony Sports network, Sanjay Manjrekar asked Ravi Shastri about the special performances by youngsters including Rishabh Pant.
He said that Pant had demonstrated why the Indian team prefers to play him ahead of Wriddhiman Saha overseas.
"What can one say about Rishabh Pant. We play him overseas because he is a match-winner. And he has showed that again in the series the way he played," said Ravi Shastri.
Noting that Rishabh Pant gets a lot of brickbats when he falters behind the wickets, Ravi Shastri spoke in glowing terms about his performances with the bat in the series.
The former Indian all-rounder reckoned the flamboyant batsman could have won India the Sydney Test as well if he had stuck around for some more time.
"The people are after him when he doesn't keep well but when he wins the match by batting like this and if he had stayed another hour in Sydney, we could have won that match as well. So, in my opinion his performance has been very good in this series," Shastri added.
"It seemed like Washington Sundar had already played 20 Test matches" - Ravi Shastri
Ravi Shastri praised Washington Sundar and Mohammed Siraj for displaying excellent temperament on the big stage.
He also highlighted T Natarajan's journey from being initially picked just as a net bowler to making his international debut in all formats of the game.
"Washington Sundar and Mohammed Siraj, these players showed how good a temperament they have. Washington Sundar was a net bowler. Even Natarajan was a net bowler, from there he played the ODIs, then T20Is and now made his debut in this Test match," Shastri observed.
Ravi Shastri pointed out that Shardul Thakur had made the best use of the opportunity he got.
The 58-year-old also commended Washington Sundar for the maturity he displayed during his 123-run partnership with Thakur in India's first innings of the Brisbane Test.
"When Washington Sundar was batting, it seemed like he had already played 20 Test matches. The temperament he showed in the partnership with Shardul Thakur. I will also like to say about Shardul Thakur, he has played a lot of first-class cricket, he got a chance and he grabbed it with both hands," Shastri added.
India had opted to play Sundar as the sole spinner ahead of Kuldeep Yadav to add depth to their batting in the absence of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin.
The lanky off-spinner did not let the team down, as he played vital knocks in both innings of the Brisbane Test, apart from scalping four wickets as well.