Karsan Ghavri: India is capable of beating New Zealand

Former India fast bowler Ghavri, who played his last Test in Christchurch in 1981, backs Virat Kohli to go for series win against New Zealand.

Karsan Ghavri believes India has best bowling attack in the history of the game.   -  M. Moorthy

Karsan Ghavri knows a thing or two on how to bowl to the Kiwis in their own backyard. The former India left-arm pacer was part of the 1980-81 tour where he dismissed quality players such as John Wright, Sir Richard Hadlee and Jeremy Coney — Test and limited-overs combined.

On the eve of India’s first Test against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve in Wellington, the 68-year-old backed Virat Kohli to go for a series win. “The happy time is that they are in good form and that can get you better results. I won’t be surprised if we win the series as we are capable of beating them, beat any side for that matter,” he told Sportstar on the sidelines of the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal on Thursday.

Earlier, India never had a pace pack to trouble batsmen on windy conditions but today, the story is different.

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Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami are proven performers across conditions. And on top of that, India has remained unbeaten in the World Test Championship — seven consecutive victories to top the table.

“We have the best bowling attack in the history of the game so far but it is not only about that. The fielding has improved a lot. And the batting power was always there.  Our batsmen know how to deal with fast bowling. In Test cricket, they will do it as you have good openers. Mayank Agarwal is excellent, followed by Cheteshwar Pujara and Kohli. The all-round show is working well for the team,” said Ghavri.

‘Khaleel, a great prospect’

Two years ago, the Indian think tank was obsessed with the idea of including a left-arm pacer. Rajasthan boy Khaleel Ahmed — who is currently nursing a fracture on his left wrist — was rushed in for limited-over matches.

Though right-armer Navdeep Saini is on the verge of cementing his spot in limited-overs, Ghavri feels having a left-armer along will be an advantage in any format. “It makes a difference because of the angles and other things. Khaleel is a prospective fast bowler and he needs to be nurtured. As time progresses, he will do good service to Indian cricket,” he said.

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