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"He’s a clever cricketer, always eager to better his technique."- Bangar

By Sahil Mehan -

India's batting has really come of the age in the ongoing Test season which will end after Australia's tour of India. From openers to lower order everyone has contributed with the bat. Along with Team management, and Players, a lot of credit goes to India's batting coach Sanjay Bangar.  After resigning from the position of Kings XI Punjab's head coach, Bangar had an exclusive chat with Indiatimes. 

Every time, England posted a huge total of 400 or above 400, there was a scoreboard pressure, but despite that, everytime someone raised his hand and contributed with the bat, which not only took pressure from specialist like Murali Vijay, Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara but also helped Management to rotate the youngsters throughout the series, speaking on the magical effort to England's huge total throughout the series, Bangar said, "The right mindset definitely contributed to it. This journey began in Australia. Even when Australia scored over 500, we responded with 400-plus totals, probably the only team to do so in each of the first innings there. That continued in the West Indies. This team has a quiet confidence of having done it in the past, the belief to overcome any totals."

He further adds, "With the team management playing only five batsman, each frontline batter has taken the responsibility. And he’s not satisfied with a hundred. The thing within the team is every batsman wants to convert that ton into a 150-160 kind of innings. And because the workload on the bowlers has reduced, they are also pitching in with the bat." 

Speaking on the role of data analytics in Cricket, Bangar explains while thanking BCCI and Anil Kumble for the initiative to add Data analytics, "Thanks to the BCCI and Anil (Kumble) we were able to get real-time analyses owing to Hawk-eye technology. If somebody is having a bowl, he will definitely have a predictable pattern. Like the way he bowls in his first spell and then in the second spell. How many short balls he uses? The contact points for batsmen. At what angles the ball is being released? What are the speeds of the spinners when they use their variation balls? Data like that."

Talking about the difference between England's bowling line of 2012 and 2016, Bangar said, "I thought England’s medium-pacers came with a clear game-plan of bowling a restricted line in order to let their spinners attack us. They were bowling the sixth-seventh stump line which restricts run scoring. Our batsmen showed intent to walk across the crease so that their plans to contain us were limited. On various occasions we forced their bowlers to get away from this strategy." 

Speaking on what helps transform lower order batsman to front line batsman, Bangar explains, "I believe the only way to polish your skills is to train in a correct manner with a lot of quantity and a clear plan. Your body must get into right positions such that you are able to execute all the shots you want to. So you are always in control of yourself. From that perspective we ensured that our lowerorder got the same amount of batting practice as our frontline batsmen. Then there’s a clear plan if a number seven or eight batsmen is batting with the tail" 

Bangar credits Virat for Ashwin's success but reckons he is a clever cricketers, "He’s a clever cricketer, always eager to better his technique. He has a cool head, his technique is superb, and he allows the ball to come to him. And you can’t tie Ashwin down. He has the cut, he will drive you down the wicket, and even against spinners he’s a very busy player. Credit to Virat and the team management for putting him at No.6. With his experience he could control the innings there considering Wriddhiman Saha was relatively new, just settling in Tests." 

Speaking on what exactly is the kind of help batsman who is not getting runs seeks from a batting coach Bangar concludes, "It starts with what is going on in his mind, whether he’s doubting his ability. The best help is clearing the cobwebs in his mind if there are any. One has to be very vigilant of the technical changes that might creep in and if there’s anything like that, it has to be communicated to the player."

Sahil Mehan

Cricket, Music and Travel. Did I mention I am an Engine