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India vs Bangladesh | We Are Going to Persist With Rishabh Pant: Bangar

India batting coach Sanjay Bangar explained that Rishabh Pant was drafted in to the XI to add a left-handed option in the middle order, and said they will stick with him for the upcoming games.

Cricketnext Staff |July 2, 2019, 12:35 PM IST
India's Rishabh Pant bats against England at Edgbaston. (Pic: AP)

Birmingham: India batting coach Sanjay Bangar defended MS Dhoni's approach in the chase against England in Birmingham, saying he's happy with Dhoni's intent and form through the tournament.

"Except for one odd innings, he has done the role always. Five out of seven games (this World Cup) he has done the job for the team," he said ahead of India's match against Bangladesh.

"If you see the earlier games, against South Africa he stitched together a partnership of 70 with Rohit Sharma. After that what was required of him against Australia he did that. In Manchester, on a difficult track (against West Indies) he got a vital 58 for us. Here also he was striking the ball really well. I'm surprised that this question continues to come up every now and then. He's doing the job for the team and overall we're very happy with the intent he's batting with.

"I don't think (there was lack of intent), because if you look at the way they bowled towards the end, they used the dimensions really well and created difficult angles for our batters to hit. In those large boundaries and with the type of balls they were bowling - slower bouncers, a lot of into the wicket deliveries, slower balls, I just felt maybe last one or two overs, the difference between runs required and balls left were a bit too much. Had we tried bigger shots earlier, we might have ended a few runs short. It also helps the net run-rate a bit with the extra runs," the Indian assistant coach added.

Bangar explained that Rishabh Pant was drafted in to the XI to add a left-handed option in the middle order, and said they will stick with him for the upcoming games.

"The team management has been feeling the absence of a left hander after Shikhar was injured. It was a ploy to use right-left combination in the middle overs to upset the bowling plans a bit. Because of that Adil Rashid couldn't bowl the number of overs he'd have usually bowled," Bangar explained.

"I felt he had a decent innings, played a couple of good shots and a partnership going. So yes we are going to persist with Rishabh.

"He's been on the sidelines for sometime. It's not like he has just joined. He's spent two weeks with us, he's a player who has done really well at international level especially in Tests. ODI format is slightly newer to him, the team management and senior players are trying to help him with various mindsets and roles that come with the middle order job, and importance of right-left combination. As also, marrying that thought process with the ability that he possesses. So he can straightaway put pressure on the spinners and it can help the team in a big way."

Bangar threw some light into possible team compositions for the upcoming games, saying the loss to England would make them more open to various combinations.

"This game, what it throws up, is that, the team management will be open to various combinations which can be played at looking at the venue, dimensions and conditions," he said.

"We're open to all combinations where the three seamers can play along with Hardik. We're also looking at (Ravindra) Jadeja coming in, all players are up and figure in the team combinations we're thinking of.

"We're playing on the same track (against Bangladesh), we know the wicket and the dimensions well. We also have to assess from the bowling perspective on how to improve there. In the last 6-7 overs we gave plenty of runs, whether that's an area where the game slipped up, we'll also have to look at that. We also have to try and get those learnings into the next game. Every game is going to be crucial, we'll assess the things that went wrong and correct those," he added.

Bangar said the length of the tail in Bhuvneshwar's absence was a factor in the middle order's cautious approach, and said that could be looked into in the forthcoming matches.

"Yes it does (play on the batsman's mind)," he said when asked about the length of the tail.

"When you don't have major contributions from the lower order, wherein a Bhuvneshwar Kumar becomes vital. Or anybody who can be handy at No. 8, could be Jadeja. It gives a bit of a freedom to somebody batting at 6 or 7, they could start going at the bowling a bit earlier rather than leaving it for the last 3-4 overs. From that point of view, it's a tactic which we've been debating as a team combination. There will be a point in the tournament where we will have to reassess the combinations."

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