India vs Sri Lanka: Can’t really fault KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli for shot selections, says Sanjay Bangar

India found itself in a spot of bother after losing three wickets on the first day of the first Test at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

By: Express Web Desk | Updated: November 16, 2017 9:32 pm
Virat Kohli was adjudged LBW out on Suranga Lakmal’s delivery. (AP Photo)

After India’s top-order was left battered by venomous Sri Lankan bowling attack on the first day of the first Test match at Eden Gardens, assistant coach Sanjay Bangar said the side is happy to play on tricky conditions. Speaking to reporters after the day’s play, Bangar said, “We are happy to play on wickets like this. A team doesn’t really want to play in easy conditions. We challenge ourselves and most players are open to such challenges. We want to continue improving as a team.”

On a day curtailed by frequent spells of rain, India found itself losing three wickets in just 11.5 overs. Sri Lanka’s right-arm fast bolwer Suranga Lakmal used the bounce and swing offered by the conditions and took all the three wickets. KL Rahul and Virat Kohli were unable to open their accounts, while Shikhar Dhawan was sent packing after scoring 8 runs by Lakmal.

Praising the bowler’s efforts, Bangar said, “You can’t really fault them (Rahul, Dhawan and Kohli) for shot selections. All credit to Lakmal who put the ball in right place and let the wicket did the rest. He used the conditions that suited him.”

With only one hour of play possible due to bad lighting and a wet outfield, Bangar said the frequents stoppage did not help India. “The conditions were pretty tough for batting and what didn’t really help us was we did not get an extended passage for play wherein you had 15-20 overs bowled at a batsman in a particular fashion. It didn’t allow our batsmen to get into a rhythm,” the former all-rounder said.

But, in spite of going three wickets down, Bangar said the team can make a comeback. “It was a similar wicket last year after it was relaid. We played the Test really well and applied ourselves. We are ready for the challenge.”

The 45-year old further added that Indian bowlers have the capability to make the best of the pitch as the game progresses. “There would be dents in the wicket because of the dampness. There will be variable bounce which may come into play. Both spinners are really vital to us. We have got swing and seam and the pace that is required,” he said.

Cheteshwara Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane remained on the crease by the time the day was called off. Bangar believes India has enough batting talent down the order to sustain the innings in the coming days. “The quality of all-rounders gives a lot of depth in lower order batting and also bowling option to get 20 wickets in a Test. It has worked well in two and a half seasons and we have won mainly because of our composition,” he said.

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  1. L
    Nov 17, 2017 at 2:01 pm
    Why on earth flat track bully picked over Monk Murali Vijay ??? if we consider since 2013 south Africa tour our two best batsman are M. Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane not even Kohi or even Pujara come closer to both of them. see performances M.Vijay 97 in Durban, 146 in Trent bridge , 95 in Lords, 144 in Gabba . Ajinkya Rahane 96 in Durban , 103 in Lords, 147 in Melbourne, 118 in wellington . poor poor poor selection.
    1. P
      Nov 17, 2017 at 9:59 am
      What a great chum Bangar is! If he starts finding faults with the influential batsmen, his days will, obviously, be numbered. He learnt a hard lesson from lady Zinta.
      1. K
        Nov 17, 2017 at 9:32 am
        Bangar going politician way. Trying to please the Captain. Of course Dhawan's shot was irresponsible , while kholi missed the ball completely trying to play across. Their shot selection was wrong.
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