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India vs Australia: Opening and Number Six Spot Still Up for Grabs Ahead of First Test, Says Bangar

Cricketnext Staff | November 29, 2018, 5:32 PM IST

India assistant coach Sanjay Bangar has said that the opening and number six slot is still up for grabs ahead of the Adelaide Test against Australia.

“I’d say there are still some spots to be taken. We also want to see how the second innings goes and we might give some other batsmen a hit, specially using them up the order and seeing how it goes. So there are certainly some spots to be taken," said Bangar, talking to the reporters after Day 2 of the warm-up tie against Cricket Australia XI.

“We’re looking at the opening spot and also the number six spot. So those are the positions where we are looking, we are still not decided about yet,” he added.

India were bowled out for 358 runs on Day 2, with Prithvi Shaw (66), Cheteshwar Pujara (54), Virat Kohli (64), Ajinkya Rahane (56) and Hanuma Vihari (53) all scoring half centuries.

“Yea it was important time in the middle, and it was important that we switched to this format of the game because some of them are coming from the T20 format,” said Bangar.

“I’m pretty happy that all of them got to spend some time in the middle and get some runs under their belt as well. All in all, it was a pretty satisfying effort from our side.”

However, opener KL Rahul was dismissed for three runs off 18 balls, and Bangar spoke about what he needs to do with regards to his role in the team.

“He was looking in good shape today, just that he seems to be finding new ways to get dismissed. Today as well, the ball that he got dismissed to was quite wide. But the way he is playing the ball, our reading is that he is just one hit away (from being back in form).

“We know how much ability he has. And if he would want to transform that ability into performances, it will be good for the team. He is on his second tour (of Australia) and has played 30 Test matches. So there is responsibility on him, our expectation is only that he plays with that responsibility, and fulfils his role towards the team.”

Bangar also spoke about the form of Prithvi Shaw, who impressed once again against the Cricket Australia XI attack.

“In whichever format he has played, he has made a mark straight away – be it the Ranji Trophy, the Duleep Trophy or the Irani Trophy or India A. Wherever he has played, he’s shown he could adapt to the conditions and stage very well.

“He plays with a lot of clarity and what is impressive about him is he gets into good positions and with clarity of mind.

“It’s important that he doesn’t go away from his natural game because sometimes too much advice cannot really help. He is one who seems pretty sure of what he wants to do, and that’s a great thing for me,” said Bangar.

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