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  5. Naturally disappointed: Sanjay Bangar reflects on coaching snub

Naturally disappointed: Sanjay Bangar reflects on coaching snub

Former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar said that he was disappointed but it lasted for a few days and he is thankful to the people, who allowed him to work with Team India.

India TV Sports Desk India TV Sports Desk
New Delhi Published on: September 11, 2019 11:30 IST
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File photo of Sanjay Bangar

Sanjay Bangar's contract was not renewed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and was eventually replaced by former opener Vikram Rathour late last month.

Bangar's snub remains twofold. He was not only the only member of the support staff not be retained but also not given any role with India A, National Cricket Academy (NCA) or the India U-19s. Therefore, the disappointment is justified but Bangar looks at his five-year tenure and is happy to be a part of the process, where India won 30 out of 52 Tests played, 13 of them came overseas and also reached the zenith of the ICC Test rankings.

"Being disappointed is a natural feeling, which lasted for just a few days. But I thank the BCCI and all the coaches, Duncan (Fletcher), Anil (Kumble) and Ravi (Shastri), for giving me an opportunity to serve Indian cricket for five years," Bangar said.

The former India batting coach however received some flak for the team's inability to find a No.4 in the 50-over format, which some believe cost India in the 2019 World Cup, where they lost to New Zealand in the semi-finals. 

India tried around 10 players over the last five years in the No.4 spot and looked to have finally settled with Ambati Rayudu before the World Cup but to much of people's dismay, he couldn't find a place and Vijay Shankar went to the World Cup. Even in England, India used Shankar, KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant at two-down without much success. But, Bangar feels it's not his fault alone.

"The entire team management and selectors were part of the decision making for the No. 4 spot. The choice relied upon current form, fitness criteria, whether he was a left-hander, whether he could bowl, etc," Bangar explained. 

However, there have been positives too and loads of them. Under Bangar's watch, India developed a fearsome threesome at the top of the order in limited-overs cricket in Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. Kohli became half the batsman he is over the last five years and smashed 43 centuries across formats while Rohit scored 28 and Shikhar Dhawan 18. Cheteshwar Pujara also improved leaps and bounds and recorded 12 in Test cricket.

And, Bangar revealed how he ironed out some of the flaws in their techniques over the years.

"Virat always looks to iron out deficiencies. We worked on his alignments, positioning on the crease, his approach in seaming conditions. Shikhar was initially considered to be an off-side player, he used to stay beside the line of the ball. We worked on how he could get behind the line and open up scoring areas and overcome his dismissals against the short ball.

"With Rohit, we worked on his head position to overcome problems against incoming deliveries from right/left arm angles. In Pujara's case, we worked on reducing the width of his stance and being more upright. It is to their credit that they worked to unlearn old methods," the 46-year-old said.

He also added that teaching the stars in the team despite not being at their level during his time as a cricketer, never made him feel unwanted or awkward.

"Never. My experience in dealing with players is that once they trust you, they are more concerned about their future rather than the coach's past," Bangar cleared the air.

The former Railways player also mentioned Rishabh Pant and his habit of playing big scoring shots. Pant has come under fire for his inability to stay at the crease and go for glory shots all the time. But, Bangar believes people need to understand that he is young and will get better with time.

"Rishabh has surpassed all expectations in Tests. He is a thinking cricketer and very courageous in playing the quickest of bowlers, but it takes time for any stroke player who is so young to understand his game in ODIs, where that urge to control the aerial shot gets him out. A lot of times middle-order batsmen have to play as per the needs of the team. We worked on how he could play along the ground initially and strike rotation," the ex-batting coach said.

He also cleared the air regarding his verbal spat with selector Devang Gandhi, saying that the reports were fictitious.

"The contents of that report were fictitious. I had a very cordial discussion relating to my presentation with Devang, three days after the selection process got over," Bangar clarified. Has he received an offer from other outfits? "I have been travelling for five years, I don't think I may take up roles outside India immediately."

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