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India vs England: Batting tweaks, discipline helped India turn things around, says Sanjay Bangar

Bangar said the 18.4 overs the openers played out against the Dukes new ball that encourages swing bowling made the difference as skipper Virat Kohli (97) and Ajinkya Rahane (81) cashed in later.

cricket Updated: Aug 19, 2018 08:41 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Nottingham
sanjay bangar,ajinkya rahane,virat kohli
Cricket - England v India - Third Test - Trent Bridge, Nottingham, Britain - August 18, 2018 India's Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane walk off the pitch for tea(REUTERS)

Indian batsmen made a collective impression on Day 1 of the third Test against England on Saturday and batting coach Sanjay Bangar praised them for putting technical tweaks into practice after the heavy loss in the Lord’s Test.

Opener Shikhar Dhawan made only 35 after being recalled in place of Murali Vijay but was a transformed version from the one who nicked twice walking into swing bowling in the first Test at Edgbaston. His 60-run stand with KL Rahul (23) set the tempo for India go on and reach 307/6 at stumps.

Bangar said the 18.4 overs the openers played out against the Dukes new ball that encourages swing bowling made the difference as skipper Virat Kohli (97) and Ajinkya Rahane (81) cashed in later.

“In the previous two Tests, we were losing two or three wickets inside the first 15 overs. Because of that the middle order batsmen were walking in early in difficult conditions. It was not just the start but also the way they were batting was good,” he told a media conference.

ALSO READ: India vs England, 3rd Test Day 1 at Trent Bridge, highlights - as it happened

“The way Shikhar made changes to his batting, the way he reduced his bat speed, the way he played the ball later, these adjustments he made in the last 6-7 days, and he should get credit.

“Rahul too was playing on the back foot, was reacting after the ball’s movement. These changes the batsmen have made make me hopeful for the rest of the series. With five more innings left, if our batsmen can play in the same way, their performance graph will carry on improving.”

“We all know conditions were pretty harsh at Lord’s and before that the Test we lost was by a gap of 31 runs. I agree the performances of the batsmen were not to our expectations. But certain adjustments were made, batsmen applied themselves, showed a lot of discipline in leaving balls.

“Batsmen used some shots square of the wicket, and overall, I think the discipline was far, far better.”

COACH UNDER PRESSURE

The batting collapses have put Bangar also under pressure.

“All of us understand there is no magic wand with which we can work on any batsman. Handling pressure is part and parcel of any professional’s job… And the players themselves are under tremendous pressure, they are playing for their careers. (But) at times when things don’t really work in your favour, it’s important to maintain composure.”

ON KOHLI, RAHANE MISSES

Bangar said Kohli and Rahane would rue missing out on big knocks when they had the England bowling at their mercy.

“Even at Lord’s Rahane was looking solid till the time he chased a widish delivery. He is a quality player, we all know that. Ravi Shastri coming out and saying he is our pillar, he is still a pillar of Indian batting, that might have done a whole lot of good for his confidence.

“He looked in terrific touch, the (159-run) partnership he had with Virat, they played with intent.

“Maybe in hindsight you could say that probably Ajinkya and Virat would be disappointed with the kind of shots they played (both nicked to slip). They could very well have carried on.

Cheteshwar Pujara was out playing an uncharacteristic hook shot off Chris Woakes. But Bangar backed the India No 3 for being positive.

“That was a ball which had to be hit; it only goes on to show that things are only going to turn around pretty quickly for him because he is just one knock away. Even at Lord’s he batted 80-85 balls (87) for his whatever score (17). Today, he didn’t look in any sort of trouble. That is the way the game goes and you have to take it on the chin.”

Bangar said India batsmen also played aggressively as the fast outfield at Trent Bridge gave good value for shots.

First Published: Aug 19, 2018 07:02 IST