Sunil Gavaskar feels Amit Mishra deserved the Player of the Series award
India clinched the five-match ODI series against New Zealand in emphatic fashion in Vizag on Saturday, beating the visitors by 190 runs to take it 3-2. It was MS Dhoni’s first limited-overs series win on home soil in 3 years and ensured the hosts triumphed in both the Tests as well as the ODI series.
One of the major reasons for the Men in Blue’s win on Saturday was the bowling of Amit Mishra, who claimed a five-wicket haul with some exceptional leg-spin bowling and helped India finish off proceedings much faster than they would have thought.
At the end of the game, the 33-year-old was rewarded with not just the Player of the Match award, but also the Player of the Series award. Mishra took 15 wickets in the five matches at an average of 14.3 and hence took home the award.
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar also felt that Mishra deserved to pick up the award and added that encouragement from Dhoni helped him on Saturday.
“Amit Mishra has broken through partnerships, got India wickets, deserved man of the series award. Leg spinners can be match winners if used properly as Amit Mishra proved here.
"Mahendra Singh Dhoni invited Mishra to toss the ball up. When captain encourages bowlers half the battle is won,” Gavaskar told NDTV.
India fielded a relatively young side during this ODI series with the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja etc being given rest and younger players picked ahead of them. Among those fringe players, Gavaskar felt it was Kedar Jadhav who was the most impressive player of the lot.
"This is the best time to be a selector because you are spoilt for choice, many options available. The youngsters in the team are all very promising. Kedhar Jadhav was the pick of the youngsters in the series.
“People asking about MS Dhoni's captaincy need to look at how he used Kedhar Jadhav. The series win will give MS Dhoni will give him big confidence,” he said.
India’s next limited-overs assignment will be against England in January, where they will play a three-match ODI and T20I series.