India stand-in skipper, Hardik Pandya has asserted that the ongoing limited-overs tour of New Zealand is all about role clarity and opportunities for youngsters in the set-up. Notably, the opening game of the three-match T20I between India and New Zealand was washed out due to consistent rain in Wellington on November 18. Hardik, who is leading the Indian side in place of Rohit Sharma in the three-match T20 series, said the men in blue don’t believe in dwelling on the past.
After the washed-out game, Hardik Pandya said, “These guys are young by age, but not by experience. They have played plenty of IPL and got a good number of Internationals as well. I think the youngsters of today don’t get intimidated by not having played too much cricket. If the situation demands, I and the more experienced players will play different roles, but this tour is for the new guys to get more clarity, opportunities and a chance to express themselves.”
He further added, “The World Cup is done, I’ve left it behind. The disappointment will be there, but we can’t go back and change things. We’re now looking forward to this series.”
The three-match T20 series will be followed by a three-match ODI series. New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson said the ongoing series is a good platform to test players like Adam Milne, who didn’t get a shot in the T20 World Cup where both the Kiwis and India exited in the semifinal stage. While India lost to England in the semifinals, New Zealand was shown the door by Pakistan.
Talking about the same, Kane Williamson said, “It is about getting better, especially in the knockout matches. The likes of Adam Milne were in the T20 World Cup squad but didn’t get an opportunity, so this is a good time to get them some game time. We’ll start fresh, this is a new series both sides are looking forward to. We both wanted to get to the final, but we’ve got a week to rest and get ourselves ready for this.”
Kane Williamson said the upcoming three-match ODI series against India will be a great opportunity for young Kiwi cricketers to impress upon the selectors and stake a claim in next year’s 50-over World Cup.
The Kiwi skipper signed off saying, “Most teams gear up towards major events that are not too far away, and the ODI format will now be a great opportunity for guys to come in. I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities for guys to shine. We’ll have to wait and see what surfaces present us, and we need to adjust.”