Thiruvananthapuram: India skipper Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri mentioned that Ambati Rayudu’s batting at number four and Khaleel Ahmed’s performance as the third seamer were the two biggest benefits from the recently concluded ODI series against the West Indies.
“Two areas I can think of are for third seamer – Khaleel has been outstanding. God forbid anything happens to Bhuvi or Bumrah, good to have Khaleel who can come in and take wickets. Rayudu has also taken responsibility at No.4. Those two areas we were looking at (prior to the series). And those two have been addressed,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Shastri said: “I am pretty happy with Rayudu. It is never easy to make a comeback in the team after couple of years. Even though you have to express yourself, you hold back and that is understandable because couple of bad performances can lose you your place. He has handled the pressure really well and batted really well in the last match.”
Shastri also heaped praise on left-arm seamer Khaleel.
“The left-arm fast bowlers can be very handy. Khaleel is raw, he doesn’t have the experience but he has the variations and has the aggression too. Once he adds to his speed, he will be more than effective.”