Sanjay Bangar is a former batting coach of the Indian cricket team.(Getty Images)
Sanjay Bangar is a former batting coach of the Indian cricket team.(Getty Images)

‘He has done great service to the Indian team’: Sanjay Bangar picks India’s opening pair for Australia T20Is

India vs Australia: Former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar has his opening pair for India in T20Is, saying the team has benefitted a lot from the batsman’s contribution.
By hindustantimes.com | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 06, 2020 07:47 AM IST

Contrary to the ODIs, the Indian team management tinkered their opening combination for the T20Is against Australia. At the Manuka Oval in Canberra on Friday, venue for the first T20I, India made KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan open the batting, leaving out Mayank Agarwal, who opened with Dhawan in the ODIs. The move worked well as Rahul hit a 37-ball half-century even as wickets tumbled around him.

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However, former India batsman Sanjay Bangar feels Agarwal is better suited to open in T20Is, while Rahul can be utilised better in the middle order.

“It’s going to be a toss-up right because Rohit Sharma unfortunately isn’t available for the team, so I believe they will have to go with Mayank Agarwal and Shikhar Dhawan. Shikhar Dhawan is going to be a consistent factor, but whether they opt to go with KL Rahul, who has again been in fabulous touch, is something that needs to be seen,” Bangar said on the show Gameplan on Star Sports.

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Rahul has been useful for India batting in the middle order and that is the reason Bangar, a former batting coach of the Indian team, believes India can benefit a lot by playing him in the middle order. In the 2019 World Cup, Rahul started batting at No. 4 before an injury to Dhawan prompted his promotion. Later in the year, with Rishabh Pant struggling to make the most of his opportunities and Agarwal making his ODI debut in January of 2020, Rahul was given wicketkeeping duties and moved to No. 5 to offer more solidarity to India’s middle order.

But when it comes to T20 cricket, Rahul has proved his mettle as an opening batsman. Look no further than the IPL 2020, where Rahul scored 670 runs and bagged the Orange Cap. “KL Rahul has done great service to the Indian team in the recent past when he’s batted at No. 5, but I believe that Mayank Agarwal may just open with Shikhar Dhawan.” Bangar added.

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