Mohammad Kaif has picked Shubman Gill as the biggest positive for India from the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka and New Zealand.
Gill was at his consistent best in the ODI series against the Lankan Lions and the Black Caps, smashing three centuries, including a double ton in the first ODI against the Kiwis in Hyderabad. Although he did not have a great run in the T20Is, he made up for it with a blazing century in the final game in Ahmedabad.
During an interaction on the Star Sports show 'Match Point', Kaif was asked to pick the three biggest positives for India from the 12 white-ball games, to which he responded:
"Shubman Gill will be No. 1. He is scoring runs everywhere. He scored a double century as well in ODI and is consistently scoring runs. He is the first positive, he has even scored a century (in T20Is) as an opener now, that is a big thing he did."
Kaif picked Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav as the other two biggest gains for the Men in Blue, saying:
"Then Hardik Pandya as a captain, leader, bowler and batter. He is everywhere looking like a free-flowing player and then Kuldeep Yadav, who has now started to play in the XI."
Barring the final ODI against Sri Lanka, Hardik featured in India's XI in all the other games. Apart from leading India to T20I series wins against Dasun Shanaka and Mitchell Santner's sides, he was a consistent performer with both bat and ball.
"The doubts about whether Kuldeep Yadav can play have ended now" - Mohammad Kaif
Kaif highlighted that Kuldeep has stolen a march over Yuzvendra Chahal as India's primary wrist-spinner, elaborating:
"When the name is written now, Chahal is not there. Kuldeep's name is written first and then the captain thinks whether he should play Chahal or Umran. The doubts about whether Kuldeep Yadav can play have ended now."
The former Indian batter was effusive in his praise for the left-arm wrist-spinner's ability to pick up wickets in the middle overs on batting-friendly pitches, stating:
"He has made a comeback with his class. The ball he bowled to Mitchell to dismiss him through the gap between bat and pad, he did that many times in this series, that was a class ball. That is Kuldeep Yadav's specialty, he comes and picks up wickets in the middle overs on flat pitches."
Kuldeep did not play the three T20Is and the first ODI against Sri Lanka. He was drafted into the XI for the second ODI against the Lankans after Chahal suffered an injury in the first game and didn't look back thereafter, scalping 13 wickets in eight matches.
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