Team India faced a 1-0 defeat in the three-match ODI series against New Zealand after the third and final match was abandoned due to rain in Christchurch. It was a poor batting outing for India in the game as the team was folded on 218, and the hosts looked set for a convincing victory when rain interrupted the game with New Zealand on 104/1 in 18 overs. Kane Williamson’s side had registered a seven-wicket win in the first ODI, that remained the only completed game throughout the series.

However, despite the poor outing from the Indian team, Washington Sundar‘s comeback was a rare positive for the side on the tour. The young all-rounder made important contributions in India’s batting innings in the first and third ODI, registering scores of 37* and 51 respectively.

Also read: ‘All the seniors are going…’: Shikhar Dhawan issues strong statement after India’s 1-0 ODI series defeat to Williamson

Former Indian opener Wasim Jaffer believes that Sundar should be groomed for the 2023 World Cup as India have a lack of all-round options in their squad. Sundar was named in the Indian team after Ravindra Jadeja was ruled out with an injury.

“He’s the bright spot of this tour. He came back after the injury and put in a show. He batted beautifully in both ODIs, and he can bowl in the Powerplay as well. He is very young, he can mature and become a better cricketer,” Jaffer said on ESPNCricinfo.

“If you see the team in 2010s and before, a lot of batters used to bowl. India had that luxury where Sachin, Sehwag, Yuvraj, Ganguly used to bowl. In this team, you don’t see a lot of batters do that. It is unfortunate when Jadeja and Pandya don’t play, India find their sixth and seventh option missing. If the bowlers don’t perform, India find themsleves wanting in that department. So, India do need to look at this going into the 2023 World Cup,” Jaffer further said.

Hardik Pandya was rested for the ODI series against New Zealand, and will remain absent from the side’s upcoming three-match series against Bangladesh. Sundar, meanwhile, has retained his place in the squad.

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