India’s batting coach Sanjay Bangar on Thursday hit out at underperforming batsman KL Rahul for “finding new ways to get out”. Rahul was the only big name who didn’t have a decent score under his belt on the second day of the practice match against Cricket Australia XI.
KL Rahul, who is one of India’s potential openers for the Test series against Australia has had a torrid time in recent times with the blade and has failed to make the most of the opportunities that came by his way.
Bangar, adding that Rahul was no longer an inexperienced bloke said that the right-hander needed to be more responsible.
“He [Rahul] has been looking in good shape, including today. It is just that he is finding new ways to get out. Even today, the ball was quite afar when he played it away from his body and lost his wicket. But what we are reading he is playing the ball well and he is one hit away [from form],” Bangar said after the second day’s play.
“We know his ability and if he converts that to performances then it is important for the team. He is not a young player any more and he is on his second tour here. He has played 30 Tests and he has a responsibility. We expect him to play with that responsibility and play his role for the team,” he added.
He also said that the opener’s slot along with the place for the number six batsman was yet to decided and hence, is up for grabs. Bangar said that it would be the second innings which would help him figure out the line-up with the likes of Murali Vijay, Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Hanuma Vihari in contention for the two slots in the Indian batting line-up.
“I would say there are still some spots to be taken. We will keep a close eye on how the second innings goes and it gives some other batsmen a hit especially Murali Vijay and middle order batsmen, and see how they go.
“There are certain spots to be taken still. We are looking at the opening slot as well as the number six slot. Those are the positions we are still looking at, we have not decided yet,” he said.
As many as five Indian batsmen scored fifties on the second day’s play and this pleased Bangar, who alsp conceded the fact that the CA XI bowling attack was an inexperienced one.
“It was a pretty useful time in the middle. It was important that we switch to this format of the game because some of the guys are coming from T20s. Some Test guys, except for Cheteshwar Pujara, had a first-class game in New Zealand as well. All of them got to spend some time in the middle and get some runs.
“Some went to New Zealand [as part of India A] with intention of getting accustomed to the bounce in their first game in Australia fast-pace different conditions in Adelaide because this is not a fast-paced pitch as you would expect there [New Zealand] or in Perth. But we are out here to make most of whatever we get.
“From that perspective, Virat switching formats from T20 to four-day game, Pujara coming straight back in the groove, Ajinkya spending a lot of time. Hanuma Vihari played with a lot of confidence and clarity. Rohit came back and got a knock, spending some time in the middle. All in all pretty satisfying effort from our side,” said the 46-year old.
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