Former Australia all-rounder and legend Shane Watson has heaped high praises on the New Zealand batter Daryl Mitchell for his stellar run in the recently concluded three-match Test series against England.
He stated that it has been incredible to see the right-handed batter stepping up on occasion and dominating the English bowling attack.
The 31-year-old hammered three back-to-back centuries in as many games against England to keep New Zealand in the fighting position on all occasions. The Blackcaps might have suffered a 0-3 white-wash against the hosts, but Daryl Mitchell stole all the limelight in the series.
The Kiwi all-rounder emerged as the top-scorer of the series and was adjudged the Player of the Series, mustering 538 runs in 3 matches at an average of 107.60 and a strike rate of 50.42 with the help of three centuries and two half-centuries.
Watson on batting in English conditions
Watson, hailing the right-handed batter for his impressive performance throughout the series, asserted that batting in the extreme and challenging conditions of England isn't easy by any means and Daryl Mitchell, who was batting in England for the first time in the longest format, nailed it from every corner.
"It has been incredible to see Daryl Mitchell come into this England series and just dominate," Watson was quoted as saying to Sanjana Ganesan in The ICC Review.
"I know how hard it is to be able to score runs over in England and for him to play his first Test in England at Lord's and bat the way he did, where it can be one of the most challenging places to bat because of the slope alone, was special. Daryl Mitchell just ate it up as he did throughout the series," he added.
Watson further added that making a late Test debut has been a blessing in disguise for the Kiwi batter. Notably, Daryl Mitchell made his debut in the red-ball cricket at the age of 29, back in November 2019, but it was the recently concluded Test series against England that helped Mitchell snag the spotlight in the cricket world.
"It can work in your favour by debuting later. If you debut early in your career, especially in Test cricket, you are still working through your technique, gameplan, and mindset, and you can get exposed in your early to mid-20s. But when you get more of a chance halfway through your career, then you've typically got all the facets (of your game) together," he added.
"You've got a deep understanding of your game, what works, and the appreciation that hasn't always been there. He is just going out there and enjoying himself, the competition, the changing room and being with his mates as well. Nine times out of ten that's when you play with freedom and access all the skills you've got and Daryl Mitchell has certainly shown that," he concluded.
Daryl Mitchell has so far played 12 Tests for New Zealand, in which he has garnered 941 runs at an average of 62.73 with four centuries and five half-centuries to his name.