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ICC World Cup 2019 | Playing Risk-Free Cricket Makes India Unique: Sanjay Bangar

Sanjay Bangar has made it clear that his team isn't "obsessed" with boundaries and are more focused on strike rotation and playing risk-free cricket.

Cricketnext Staff |May 19, 2019, 12:20 PM IST
ICC World Cup 2019 | Playing Risk-Free Cricket Makes India Unique: Sanjay Bangar

While most of the teams are looking to smash as many sixes and fours as possible in the 50-over format, India's assistant coach Sanjay Bangar has made it clear that his team isn't "obsessed" with boundaries and are more focused on strike rotation and playing risk-free cricket.

"We've our own internal parameters as to how to approach ODIs. If we come close to those parameters, we should be fine," Bangar told Bangalore Mirror.

"What makes the Indian team unique is that it's consistently playing risk-free cricket. And that's because we emphasise on the ones and the twos. As a batting group, we are not obsessed over the number of boundaries we've hit. But we discuss strike-rotation a great deal. Which is why we're able to eschew risks."

All the players were involved in the recently concluded IPL and Bangar wants his batsmen to come out of that T20 mode.

"In T20, you're all the time expecting what the bowler will bowl. You end up planning beforehand looking at field placements... The go-to balls for most bowlers are analysed in detail. Batsmen start expecting such deliveries," said Bangar, who wants his team to take forward the batting rhythm, fitness and match temperament they gained from IPL.

"In 50 overs where you have more time and are getting 300 deliveries instead of 120, you need to be mindful of not premeditating shots for the major part of the innings."

Despite England and Pakistan constantly raking up totals above 350 in the ongoing ODI series in English conditions, Bangar said it's important to not rely too much on numbers as things can change pretty quickly in the World Cup.

"Don’t go by stats. Data serve as mere tool. By all means analyse stats, but don’t make your conclusions based on them. It’s how to react to a situation on a particular day that matters…everything counts from making smart decisions to adapting to situations that are unforeseen. You can’t go with a rigid mindset. Be open. Absorb pressure. Respond to situations, overcome challenges and get the job done. As a team, we’re tilted in that direction instead of being over-reliant on numbers."

Bangar has been with the team as batting coach since 2014 and said it's important to earn the players' trust, citing an example about how skipper Virat Kohli turned around a horrible Test tour of England in 2014 to a fantastic one in 2018.

"What worked for Virat was he played close to the body. He showed great discipline outside off stump in tough English conditions," he explained.

"He was playing close to his front pad and very late. That required individual discipline. The thing Virat did differently was he stood outside the crease to reduce the extent of swing. Some of our batsmen tried to use his gameplan but erred in reaching out towards the ball.

"Whether you stand outside the crease or inside, the key to batting is playing the ball late and close to the body. It could also have been a fallout of going to Test matches straight from T20Is where you're always expected to get bat on ball. In the longer format, with challenging conditions and a slip cordon around, batsmen have to react to the ball instead of pre-determining their shots."

Bangar also shed light on how he helped KL Rahul recover from a horrid Test series in Australia in 2018-19.

"After his debut, he scored prolifically in each part of the world before the drought of runs hit him. We had to assess whether anything in his game had changed drastically. And if anything had indeed changed, the key was to get the player back to the methods he'd been following when he was successful," he said.

"So we showed KL a lot of videos of the times he had been batting beautifully. He was getting across in his initial movement, which had to be changed a bit. Also, when a player goes through a bad patch, self-doubts tend to creep in. Advice comes in from all quarters. For KL, the challenge was to remain confident of his own methods."

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2 New Zealand 2829 109
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2 India 7071 122
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4 Australia 5543 111
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2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4720 262
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5 Australia 5471 261
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