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Sanjay Bangar, the silent crusader of Indian cricket team

Sanjay Bangar, who played for Railways and India, has been the national team’s batting coach in August, 2014 – a time which saw India performing poorly overseas.

cricket Updated: Jun 21, 2017 21:58 IST
HT Correspondent
Anil Kumble (L) and Indian cricket team batting coach Sanjay Bangar return after inspecting the ground at the National Cricket Academy (NCA).
Anil Kumble (L) and Indian cricket team batting coach Sanjay Bangar return after inspecting the ground at the National Cricket Academy (NCA).(AFP)

Anil Kumble’s exit from the Indian dressing room has put all the focus on captain Virat Kohli and their ego clash. One person who has been their constant companion and may have seen the ego war from close quarter, however, continues to remain in the shadows.

That figure is Sanjay Bangar. He is the batting coach and will be the go-to man for the Indian players in the West Indies tour. He will also have the help of MV Sridhar, who will look over the team management.

READ | Anil Kumble’s successor to be appointed before India’s tour of Sri Lanka: Rajeev Shukla

The soft-spoken all-rounder, who played for Railways and India, has been the national team’s batting coach in August, 2014 – a time which saw India performing poorly overseas.

Since then, the 44-year-old Bangar has been part of a big transition – the stepping down of Dhoni and the rise of Kohli as captain. The latter handled the situation pretty well with Ravi Shastri and then Anil Kumble being the guiding factor.

Bangar again finds himself in a transitional phase – a sudden one. Kumble’s statement about an ‘untenable’ relationship with Kohli has put the Indian dressing room in bad light and the players are bound to feel the heat.

READ |  Anil Kumble says ‘untenable’ relationship with Virat Kohli led to his resignation

It is here that Bangar’s cool demeanour is needed the most now. Performance-wise, the Windies team doesn’t look to pose a major threat to Indian team, but the off-field developments have come as a let-down.

The strongly-worded statement of Kumble is bound to put Kohli and players under pressure. And it is here that former Kings XI Punjab coach Bangar should play a proactive role.

The towering presence of Shastri and Kumble may have always kept Bangar, a veteran of 165 first-class matches and 12 Tests, in the background but his work has garnered praise from Kohli himself.

The India captain, after his team’s win against Bangladesh in the ICC Champions Trophy, had credited Bangar for the development in his batting.

READ | Anil Kumble vs Virat Kohli – The great Indian cricket drama

The lauds and the praises are good but will Bangar, who has been honest with his efforts, just be satisfied with it or will he maintain his own keep the team together in time of crisis may decide how Bangar will be remembered.

Bangar has been the most consistent figure among the support staff in the past couple of years. He has the respect of players but will it be enough to keep all the current negativity away from the dressing room is the question.