Despite India’s batting collapse in the fourth ODI against New Zealand, assistant coach Sanjay Bangar said that he had faith on the middle-order which has mostly done well in tough situations.
“The middle order has rose to the occasion many times and delivered. Yes some situation has been trying but it is not that the middle order hasn’t performed,” Bangar said ahead of the fifth and final ODI in Wellington.
“When required, more often than not whenever it has been put in a situation, it has delivered, may be the last game was an aberration,” he added.
Bangar further said that the middle order doesn’t get much opportunity if the top order batsmen are batting well. “If they (top order batsmen) are batting well then the middle order doesn’t get the opportunity required to maintain the groove,” he said. “It is also one of those series where our top order hasn’t got a hundred, so it has given a lot of time to the middle order to go out there and play situations and they have finished games when they have got an opportunity.”
Bangar said that the visitors need to put the fourth match behind them and focus on the next one. “It was an one-off game for us. We know we played well below our potential and our expected levels, the boys realise it and we just need to put that game behind and look to the next game,” he said.
“It gives us an opportunity to reflect in case if we miss out players due to fitness issues. World Cup will be a long tournament, there will be injuries and players are going to miss out and it gives us a reflection as to how players will cope up in their absence and we were found wanting in that situation in the last game.
“But they are quality players, even in the third game, Dinesh Karthik and Ambati Rayudu had stitched a partnership of 82 to finish the game, so we can’t really draw too many conclusion after one-odd failure,” he added.
Talking about the World Cup squad, Bangar said: “Probably the selectors have got that list down to 20, most of them are going to be part of the world cup squad and we have assessed potential of lot of players. Selectors are also watching intently and going forward we will settle into a nice team which covers all bases.”
After the ODI series, India face New Zealand in a three-game T20I series.