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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to retain the services of batting coach Sanjay Bangar and fielding coach R Sridhar for the Champions Trophy next month. Both their contracts had officially concluded in March and were scheduled to come up for discussion again in June. There will be only a single change in the team’s support staff in England with Kapil Malhotra, who was with the team during their limited-overs tour to Australia last year, taking over from Anil Patel as the team manager.
“It is decided that the support staff will remain the same at the Champions Trophy with the only change being Kapil Malhotra taking over as manager. Bangar and Sridhar have been asked to extend their services for the duration of the tournament and then it will be decided what needs to be done,” BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary told The Indian Express. The committee of administrators (COA) has spoken about bringing in annual contracts for all BCCI-appointed coaches, which will also mean they can’t be linked with an IPL franchise from next season.
Bangar has had a strong influence on Virat Kohli & Co since becoming an integral part of the backroom staff in mid-2014, when he was brought in alongside then team director Ravi Shastri. His run has also coincided with the progress of a number of young batsmen, who have come into their own, starting with the Indian skipper. Kohli in fact had credited the former Railways all-rounder, who played 12 Tests and 15 ODIs for India in the early 2000s, for having “transformed” Indian batsmen since joining the team, during the Test against Bangladesh in Hyderabad.
“I think all the batsmen apply a lot of thought. They put in a lot of effort. They want to excel and they want to breach their own benchmark. They are in their quest for excellence. Our job is to just give them some pointers so that they remain on the right track,” Bangar had said then.
Before Bangar, most Indian batsmen had adopted former India coach Duncan Fletcher’s pet technical strategy of the “wide stance”, which was brought to an end in the Bangar era. It has resulted in Kohli & Co going back to being dominant against spin and producing some stellar performances with the bat during the lengthy and successful home season.
“A lot of batsmen have gone back to narrower stance purely because mobility is a crucial aspect in batsmanship. That is a crucial factor and we being Indians using feet has always been our strength and going over the top and not being afraid lofting the spinners. We are always sending the message to spinners that we are coming at you has always been a strength of Indian batsmanship, over a number of years,” he’d said in that regard back in February.
While India has suffered the odd blip due to their inconsistent catching, Sridhar has come in for rave reviews at various points during his stint with the Indian team. Unlike Bangar, who took over as interim head coach for the short tour to Zimbabwe last year, Sridhar was replaced by Abhay Sharma for the African sojourn and the tour to the West Indies. He then returned at the start of the home season.
Rai invites Manohar for IPL final
Meanwhile, COA head Vinod Rai has invited ICC chairman Shashank Manohar to watch the IPL final game at Hyderabad. Manohar, a former BCCI president himself, has been looked at as the main architect behind the abolishment of the Big Three revenue model that has seen the BCCI now having to be content with a significant drop in their share of the pie.