KL Rahul was one of the stars of India's ODI and T20I series win against Zimbabwe © AFP
KL Rahul was one of the stars of India’s ODI and T20I series win against Zimbabwe © AFP

Harare: It was far from a cake walk for the Indian team against minnows Zimbabwe in the T20I series, but India coach Sanjay Bangar says the youngsters have managed to make an impact. India survived a last ball scare last night in the final T20 to nail the series 2-1. “Each one who got an opportunity created an impact. They made an impression and I think this experience will really stand them well going ahead,” Bangar said at the post-match press conference. “Some of the boys would go to Australia with India A team and I think the selectors who were here for the entire duration and were watching each and every player very closely would have definitely earmarked players for the future from what they saw over here,” he added. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Zimbabwe, 3rd T20I Match

Commenting on team’s comeback after losing the first T20, Bangar said, “When you lose the first match in a three match series the pressure only adds up. I think the way we came back in the second game and held our nerve in the third [was commendable].”

Responding to a question about the performance of young Indian batsmen, the India coach said, “I think T20 is such a game wherein it consists of so many decisions that have to be made under pressure (and) at times the decision that you make; go for a shot, if it comes off, it seems a terrific decision but if it doesn’t come off it again puts a question mark on the decision making so I feel that T20 is such a fast and dynamic game that you need to keep a bit of leverage and some time give opportunity to the younger guys. But all and all, I am pretty satisfied (with) the way they respond(ed) to various match situations.” READ: Sanjay Bangar praises Akshar Patel’s consistency in India’s tour of Zimbabwe

Impressed by Kedar Jadhav‘s useful contributions in the few opportunities he got, Bangar said he showed his worth. Jadhav scored 58 off 42 balls in the final T20 to shape the Indian innings.

“This was the only second time he could bat today and he played an amazing innings because he was having some issues as he wasn’t really feeling good but he hung in and the kind of innings he produced on a difficult track shows the quality of the player. He is doing all that he can in the opportunities that he is getting.”

Bangar was also of the view that age doesn’t really matter nowadays because most of the guys are keeping themselves very fit and have fantastic work discipline. He also found Akshar Patel fast developing into a useful all-rounder. “Throughout the series, he kept pressure on and probably he was the most economical bowler. I don’t really know the exact stats but he was very consistent and maintained that pressure not only through his bowling but also with the way he fielded, the number of catches he took and the way he finished the innings. READ: Dhoni: IND tour of ZIM was ‘good exposure’ for youngsters

“He is proving to be good developing player at number seven or number eight, who is capable of playing good shot and I feel that’s very encouraging for Indian cricket.” Bangar also talked about the way seasoned MS Dhoni handled the Indian youngsters.

“Dhoni had a lot of interactions with players and made that effort to go out and mingle with them and probably invited them for dinners. He went out of the way to make them feel comfortable. He shared his experiences with the younger guys probably emphasising on how to handle pressure under match situations and the things that are required to be done. READ: IND beat ZIM 3 runs in 3rd T20I to win series

“Dhoni, fantastically, passed on the tradition of Indian cricket because these youngsters are the future of Indian cricket and the way he shared his experiences was very similar to how the earlier generation used to pass on the knowledge and experiences just to make younger players feel comfortable in the dressing room.”