India’s head coach Rahul Dravid said that the 3-0 result over New Zealand in the T20I series marks a good start for his stint but at the same time, he is realistic enough to not read too much into the overall outcome with Black Caps having to play the series three days after the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup final.
India opened with a win on Wednesday in Jaipur, clinched the series in Ranchi on Friday and then closed out a clean sweep in Kolkata on Sunday. New Zealand, meanwhile, were playing their eighth T20I in the span of 18 days. Some of the key players from both teams were rested for the series as part of workload management.
“It was a really good series win. Everyone played really well right through the series. It feels good, nice to start well. We are also quite realistic. We have to keep our feet on the ground and be a bit realistic about this win,” Dravid said at the post-match presentation in Kolkata.
The series was also Dravid’s first assignment as full-time head coach. He had overseen a white-ball tour of Sri Lanka recently where the team had won the ODI series but lost in the T20Is.
The Kiwis had reached Jaipur for the series opener less than 24 hours after losing the World Cup final to Australia in Dubai.
“Not easy for NZ to play a World Cup final and then to turn up three days later and play three games in six days, was never going to be easy for them. It was nice from our perspective but we have to learn from this series and move forward.
“It’s a long journey ahead over the next two years and we’ll have our share of ups and downs.”
India also rested some of their crucial players including the likes of Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja. New Zealand were without their skipper Kane Williamson.
India also gave debut caps to IPL performers Venkatesh Iyer (Kolkata Knight Riders) and Harshal Patel (Royal Challengers Bangalore) in the series.
“It’s been really good to see some of the young guys come through. We have given opportunities to some of the boys who haven’t played a lot of cricket over the last few months.
“We have seen some of the skills available to us and we have to keep building on those skills as we go forward. It’s going to be a long season between now and the next World Cup being realistic with how much cricket some of our experienced players will play,” Dravid added.
Next for India and Dravid is the two-match series starting in Kanpur on November 25 and the former India captain said, on a lighter note, that those who are travelling for that can afford to celebrate this win while the rest will have to rest.
With PTI inputs
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