KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer
KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer Image Credit: AFP

Hamilton: India batting coach Vikram Rathour on Tuesday heaped praise on KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer, saying it was great to see the two youngsters coming off age and showing the world that they are match winners.

Rahul and Iyer played instrumental roles in the first two T20Is against New Zealand which India won comfortably to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

"The more opportunities that these guys get, they are showing that they are capable. They are showing that they are match-winners on their day. That will help the team, of course, but it will also help their confidence," Rathour said speaking to reporters on the eve of the third T20I.

"Having seen KL (Rahul) and Shreyas as young cricketers coming through, in my mind, I have absolutely no doubt that they are match-winners. They are getting their opportunities now and they are showing the world what they are capable of, that is great to see," he said.

According to the batting coach, Iyer's biggest strength is his positive frame of mind which helps to play in tense situations.

"Apart from having those (batting) skills, I think the mind set is amazing. He (Iyer) believes he is a big player, and he is, without any doubt. He genuinely believes that he is a match-winner and he is here to stay. And that mindset I think helps him, that is the biggest advantage he has," he said.

For the next three games which will be played on bigger grounds in Hamilton, Wellington and Mt. Maunganui as compared to the Eden Park, Rathour said there won't be many changes in terms of their planning and approach and the team would look to continue with the same game plan which saw them win the first two T20Is.

"You look at the conditions and go. It (Seddon Park) is a bigger ground, it is a regular ground, but we are still looking to play normal cricket, good cricket. I don't think it alters anything. Maybe for the bowlers with their lengths, but with the batters, doesn't make any difference," said Rathour.

"On bigger grounds (like in Australia), running between wickets will cover the game plan. A good game plan is about players who look at the situation, conditions and accordingly bat. If we play on bigger grounds, I am sure this team is capable of running twos and threes and adjust their game accordingly, he added.

The batting coach was also impressed with the young crop of cricketers coming from A tours and contributing to the team's success.

"A-tour helps a lot. In case of any injuries, if you are looking for any replacements, we know players are here, just a city away. They can immediately come in and they are already acclimatised to the conditions. I think that's a great idea and that's working really well for our team," said Rathour.

"The foreign pitches are getting more even and even. There is not that vast a difference now like it used to be earlier. And the amount of cricket these guys are playing, as a coach you can't do anything about not having practice sessions but they are adjusting beautifully.

"Nobody is cribbing, no one is complaining. You don't see anyone talking about grass on the wicket, moisture, etc," he added.

Rathour also said that the team management has already identified the core of players who would be there in the squad for the T20 World Cup slated to be played in Australia in October-November.

"Adjustments will keep going on till the last minute. But as far as I am concerned and the team management is concerned, we have the core. We know what our team is going to be. Unless there is a case of injury or really bad loss in form, I don't see many changes happening," said Rathour.

With one eye on T20 World Cup in Australia, India have been on experimentation mode since the start of the home season in September last year, giving opportunities to host of a youngsters including Shreyas Iyer, Washington Sundar, Deepak Chahar and Shivam Dube.

India will go in Wednesday's game with an aim to register their first ever T20I series win over New Zealand in their own backyard whereas the Black Caps will hope to clinch victory in order to keep the series alive.