Indian skipper Virat Kohli has described right-arm pacer Navdeep Saini as a "raw talent with bright future" after the latter's impressive spell during his debut against West Indies in the first T20I of the three-match series at the Central Broward Regional Park in Florida on Saturday.
The 26-year-old bagged a three-wicket haul while conceding just 17 runs to help the Men in Blue restrict the Caribbean side to a lowly score of 95 for nine in their stipulated 20 overs after opting to bowl first.
Besides Saini, Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked up two wickets while Washington Sundar, Khaleel Ahmed, Krunal Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja all chipped in with a wicket each as India chased down the score with 2.5 overs to spare to claim a four-wicket win.
Talking during the post-match presentation, Kohli praised the way the Indian bowlers as well as fielders performed during the opening T20I, with special mention to debutant Navdeep Saini.
"Bowlers were on top throughout, variations were superb. Navdeep is from Delhi, he's come a long way. Plays the IPL as well, had a great season. Raw talent, hardly any bowlers who can bowl 150 clicks, hopefully he builds on from here. We would've liked to chase it four down, but we wanted to take risks and take the scoreboard moving,""ESPNcricinfo quoted the 30-year-old Indian skipper as saying.
"As the ball got older, strike rotation became key. It's just about putting in solid performance, ensure the guys who play contribute in some way or the other," he added.
Though India made a heavy weather of the small run chase, Kohli admitted that the wicket conditions made it difficult to chase down the target.
"Bowling and fielding right up there, the pitch wasn't great. With the rain around, you couldn't do much, I guess. They did well to start the game on time," Kohli said.
India, who have taken a 1-0 lead in the T20Is, will look to clinch the three-match series when they lock horns with the Carlos Brathwaite-led side in the second T20I at the same venue on Sunday.