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World Cup 2019: Team management very happy with MS Dhoni’s intent, says batting coach Sanjay Bangar

India's batting coach Sanjay Bangar joined the chorus in defending MS Dhoni and also stated that the frequent criticism for his strike rate surprises him.

MS Dhoni scored 42 off 31 balls against England. (AP Photo)

India’s batting coach Sanjay Bangar joined the chorus in defending MS Dhoni and also stated that the frequent criticism for his strike rate surprises him. Despite scoring 42 off 31 balls against England, several pundits and fans questioned the former Indian skipper’s approach as the Virat Kohli side endured their first defeat at the ongoing World Cup.

“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,” said Bangar in the media interaction ahead of India’s clash against Bangladesh.

He further said, “Except for one odd inning (28 off 52 balls against Afghanistan), he has always performed his role. Five out of seven games he has done the job for the team.”

To justify his defense, Bangar also pointed out the innings when Dhoni helped rescued the team in difficult situations. “If you see the earlier games, against South Africa he stitched together a partnership of 70 with Rohit. After that what was required of him against Australia he did that.”

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“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,” Bangar added.

Denying that the duo of Jadhav and Dhoni, who only managed 39 in the final 31 balls against England, the batting coach said, “I don’t think so, 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 in the last one or two overs, the difference between runs required and balls left were a bit too much.”

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He also mentioned that the team management will persist with Rishabh Pant at number four. “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 bowled,” the batting coach said.

Speaking on Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s availability and Ravindra Jadeja’s chances to be included in the playing XI, Bangar said that the team management are open to various combinations keeping the venue in mind.

“The team management will be open to various combinations which can be played at looking at the venue, dimensions and conditions. We’re open to all combinations where the three seamers can play along with Hardik. We’re also looking at Jadeja coming in, all players are up and figure in the team combinations we’re thinking of,” Bangar said.

First published on: 01-07-2019 at 21:23 IST
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