India batting coach Sanjay Bangar defends the criticism over the Wicket-keeper batsmen MS Dhoni after India’s defeat over England by 31 runs. India’s chase for 338 was carried by Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma and after them, it became difficult to chase the runs.
Rishabh Pant, who replaces the injured Vijay Shankar and Hardik Pandya together added 28 runs for 18 balls. After Pant lent at 40th over, Pandya and MS Dhoni then could manage to add 41 for 34 balls.
When Kedhar Jadhav joined Dhoni in the middle, India needed 71 runs for 31 balls. However, the new batting pair didn’t seem to go well in the match against England. Their partnership couldn’t fetch much in the match.
The Criticism has raised from all the four corners, including the commentary box where Sourav Ganguly questioned lack of intent at the end but Bangar has strongly defended Dhoni.
“I don’t think so [there was a lack of intent] 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 last one or two overs, the difference between runs required and balls left was a bit too much. Had we tried bigger shots earlier, we might have ended a few runs short. It also helps the Net Run Rate a bit with the extra runs.” – Bangar said.
Addressing the pointed criticism towards Dhoni, Bangar said that the former captain has had a satisfactory World Cup thus far and made a very good play in the 7 out of 5 matches won by India.
“Except for one odd inning, he [Dhoni] has done the role always. Five out of seven games he has done the job for the team. 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.”
“In Manchester on a difficult track (against WI) he got a vital 56 for us. Here also he was striking the ball really well. 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,” – Bangar added.
Bangar pointed out that the line-up has impacted the way the middle order played and reckoned the likes of, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ravindra Jadeja who can order a batting bit of the down order.
“Yes it [the impact of long tail] does, when you don’t have major contributions from the lower order, wherein a Bhuvneshwar Kumar becomes vital. Or anybody who can be handy at No. 8, could be Jadeja. It gives a bit of freedom to somebody batting at 6 or 7, they could start going at the bowling a bit earlier rather than leaving it for the last 3-4 overs. From that point of view, it’s a tactic which we’ve been debating as a team combination. There will be a point in the tournament where we will have to reassess the combinations” – Bangar added.
“We have been flexible with Hardik. He’s been our first choice if we need to accelerate if the position dictates. He could go in in the 33rd or the 34th over and accelerate. If not, he can fall back and accelerate as he did in the previous game. That’s something we’ve spoken of – middle order being flexible and we’ll continue to be flexible in each match. The roles have been told to each and every player.” – he added.
Bangar has also praised Pandya for his smart play.
“He can assess situations far better. Earlier he used to depend a lot on the guy at the other end, now he is matured enough and ready to take on the bigger role. He has the ability not only to get a 30-ball 50 or a 20-ball 30 but he’s matured to an extent where he can play maybe a 40-ball 60 or 70 and fearlessly because that’s something that can be handy in a big match. He’s somebody in that mindset and phase of his career where he can take the opposition on and play fearlessly,” – Bangar said.