Team India coach Ravi Shastri heaped praise on upcoming stars Shubman Gill and Prithvi Shaw and said that 'sky is the limit' for the two. With both Shaw and Gill fighting for the opener's slot in the Wellington Test, Shastri sounded upbeat about their chances of making the XI but didn't give anything away as to who will partner Maynak Agarwal at the top.
India are without Rohit Sharma for the two-match Test series and either of the former U19 World Cup winners will open the batting with the Karnataka opener.
"Both are supremely exciting talents. Regardless of who gets into the XI in Wellington, the fact of the matter is they're here, part of India's national squad, and from here on they should know that the sky remains the limit," Shastri told Times of Inda.
While Shaw has already made his Test debut for India against West Indies at home, Gill is yet to play red-ball cricket for the senior side. However, Shastri feels that he is phenomenally talented and his positive mindset will take him places.
"He's phenomenally talented. His approach to batting is very clear and he exhibits a very positive mindset. That's very exciting for a boy who's just 20 going on 21," said Shastri.
However, he didn't give away who will play in the first Test just yet.
"They're all from the same school, you know. They love facing the new ball, enjoy a challenge. Rohit is unfortunately out (with a calf muscle injury) so that puts Shubman and Prithvi in contention to open with Mayank. That competition is necessary and that's what makes a bunch of 15 look strong and stable," Shastri said.
The 57-year-old also spoke about the World Test Championship and the need for India to get 100 more points. Virat Kohli's men currently lead the charts with 360 points and are unbeaten so far in the competition.
India will play six overseas Tests this year and the plan is to win at least two and put one feet in the final at Lord's, scheduled to take place in 2021.
"We need 100 points to be in contention to play at Lord's (in the World Test Championship final). Two overseas wins out of six Tests will keep us in good stead. We play six Tests overseas this year (two in NZ and four in Australia). So, that's one objective. The other is to play like the world's No. 1 Test team - because that's what this team believes in more than anything else. On the Test front, that's what we're looking at."