File photo of India players Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma. (Getty Images)
After Ian Chappell, it's the turn of former New Zealand pacer Simon Doull to sing praises for the Indian batsmen, terming them as a "mountain for the New Zealand bowlers to climb" in his column on stuff.co.nz.
India have already set foot on New Zealand soil for a two-Test and five-ODI series. While the Tests will add to the learning curve of a team in transition, the ODIs offer India a chance to measure themselves before they defend their champion status next year at the World Cup co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
On Sunday, former Australia captain Chappell had said that India have the best Young batsmen in the world, naming the ones who could serve India for long. "India is producing by far the best young batsmen currently, and in addition to [Shikhar] Dhawan, [Virat] Kohli, [Cheteshwar] Pujara and Rohit Sharma, Unmukt Chand is one for the future," Chappell had told PTI in an interview.
And a day later, it was the turn of Doull.
New Zealand made little work of the West Indians, but Doull feels the Kiwi pacers will feel playing on a different track against India. "India's batting order won't fall over like the Windies did. From one to seven, they've got quality batsmen," Doull said.
"Guys like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni will hurt you, whether it's pace or spin you bowl to them. Young India batsmen are a lot better than they used to be at facing pace."
Doull also credited the IPL for making India better against pace and bounce. "They've grown up playing on better surfaces, facing the likes of Mitchell Johnson and Dale Steyn in the IPL - so they are far better equipped to play good, quick, short-pitched seam bowling. Their ability to play spin is undoubted, so it will be a real mountain for the New Zealand bowlers to climb," Doull reckoned.
Elaborating on the pitches, Doull said India will enjoy, contrary to the belief that will found it difficult in seam-friendly conditions. "The decks in New Zealand will hold no concerns for the Indians. Look at Napier - a hard, fast quick surface that doesn't go sideways; same with Hamilton and Auckland - plenty of runs in both those wickets. They will love them."
Doull also pointed at a couple of new faces in the Indian team that the hosts should watch out for. "Stuart Binny is a genuine allrounder - a powerful hitter, who bowls some sneaky medium pace that could play well on the Kiwi pitches. He has warranted his selection with great performances in the Indian domestic scene and in the IPL.
"Varun Aaron is a quick for the Delhi Daredevils and should catch the eye. He has been having injury worries on and off for the past two years. A bit like Umesh Yadav, he's got genuine pace - and is a guy they've got an eye onto the future for seam bowling," the former pacer said.