Bengaluru | India head coach Rahul Dravid was a pleased man after the 3-0 series win over Afghanistan as few fringe players performed well to give the team more options for the T20 World Cup in June.
India played 11 T20s after the ODI World Cup last year and the thinktank was able to have a closer look at some contenders such as Jitesh Sharma and Shivam Dube after frontline players were given a rest.
Dravid was quite chuffed at their efforts.
“We've had different people play after the last ODI World Cup for a variety of reasons. But I think it's just nice to see that there are some options (ahead of World Cup) who have put their hand up, and certainly shown that they've got skills to address.
"Some areas we might need some addressing in, and we were thinking about it,” Dravid said in his post-match press conference.
The only concern for Dravid was the lack of team-time ahead of the showpiece to be held in the West Indies and the USA.
The three-match series against Afghanistan, which India won 3-0, was India's last T20 assignment ahead of the World Cup.
“Unfortunately, we really won't have much cricket as a team anymore. We will obviously have the IPL, and you know, everyone will be watching closely to see how some of those guys play and what are the slots we need to fill in the team,” he said.
Dube emerged player of the series against Afghanistan for his 124 runs and two wickets, and Dravid was excited to have an all-rounder option to consider.
“He's come back after a long time. He's certainly very much an improved player after coming back. There's no doubt that he always had the talent, but just really happy to see the way he performed in the series.
"I'm sure it will give him a lot of confidence as well, you come back in and play a series and you become the man of the series. It's great and has certainly put his hand up. He's going to have that opportunity to show it in the IPL again, like he did last year,” said Dravid.
The wicketkeeper's slot too will come under scrutiny as India now have multiple choices in Jitesh, Sanju Samson, Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant, who is yet to regain full fitness.
The former Indian captain did not rule out anyone from contention.
“We've got quite a few keeping options out there. We saw a couple of guys in this game. There's Sanju, Kishan and Rishabh, I mean, we have all these guys. "We'll just have to see how things pan out over the course of the next few months and make a decision on what we think is the best way to go.” The 51-year-old Bengaluru man was also impressed by captain Rohit Sharma's decision to give the ball to leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi in the second Super Over against Afghanistan on Wednesday night.
Bishnoi successfully defended 11 runs dismissing Mohammed Nabi and Rahmanullah Gurbaz in successive balls.
“Rohit went with Bishnoi and it was his gut call. I think he felt that a spinner had a better chance to take two wickets. If they batted six balls, with the power that they had, they probably would have got 12 runs.
"But I thought Bishnoi was brilliant because he bowled two super balls. He pulled the length back. If the length had gone slightly fuller, you know, it would have gone for six. It was a really good gut call from Rohit to go for the wickets and be more aggressive rather than looking for a safer option,” Dravid added