Ranchi: India's assistant coach Sanjay Bangar termed out-of-form Shikhar Dhawan as a vital cog, saying the team management wants the right-left combination to fire at the top of the order with the World Cup round the corner.
Dhawan has failed in 14 out of his 16 innings but Bangar feels that more than anything else, it's his shot selection that has let him down.
"In the previous game, he (Dhawan) was batting really well till he erred in shot selection. But from our point of view, he has been an important player," Bangar said after India's 32-run loss against Australia in the third ODI here Friday.
"If we know that he gets going, he can give us that solidity as it is vital to have that right-left combination going. He is a hugely valuable player for us and he is expected to come good very soon," the former India all-rounder said.
He was also sympathetic for Ambati Rayudu, who got a brilliant delivery from Pat Cummins.
"These games are valuable opportunities for all players concerned and even for us so that the players are at their utmost best when we go into the World Cup. Don't forget that in the last game in New Zealand, Rayudu scored a match-winning 90," Bangar said.
"Today's delivery that he got, could have gotten out any batsmen with that pace and low bounce. Players are expected to take chances and that's what we are expecting of every player."
Bangar heaped heavy praise on Virat Kohli who was once again at his usual best. The Indian captain scored 123 but lacked support from the other end.
"He is somebody who always looks to improve. That's the reason he has raised his game to such a level. Taking no credit from the way Australians batted, Khawaja and Finch batted really well but from our point of view, the constant quest for excellence that Virat possesses is a phenomenal factor and it's an example for any inspiring youngsters to follow," said Bangar.
When asked about is India over-reliant on Kohli, Bangar said: "I don't think so because many times various players have chipped in. In Adelaide, Dhoni chipped in and helped Kohli. Even Karthik played well in that match. Even in the first match of this series, Jadhav and Dhoni got together. So, we are not over-reliant on Virat, but the level he has raised his game to, the other performances don't seem special."
Bangar also revealed that their decision to bowl first was based on the dew and that made a big difference.
"We wanted to chase because we thought there will be a lot of dew. We checked with the groundsman as well and that's why we opted to bowl. The ball was keeping low as there was no dew. It made a lot of difference."