Former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar on Virat Kohli’s form

Virat Kohli scored only 57 runs in two innings in the WTC final.
Virat Kohli scored only 57 runs in two innings in the WTC final.

Former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar believes Virat Kohli will get over his century drought in the upcoming five-Test series against England. The Indian captain hasn’t scored a hundred in international cricket since November 2019.

India lost the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand at Lord’s earlier this week. Virat Kohli’s extended lean patch with the willow continued in the vital clash, as he managed 44 and 13 in the game.

Sanjay Bangar was India’s batting coach when the team last travelled to England in 2018. Though India won the T20I series, they lost the ODI series and the Test series 4-1. Kohli top-scored in the Test series, amassing almost 600 runs.

“He has already scored close to 7,500 Test runs, and this is a format where he just simply gives it his all. It’s not that he doesn’t value T20 or ODI cricket; he plays with equal intensity, but the job satisfaction that he derives (in Tests) – because this is the toughest format. And in modern times, because there are no dead rubbers, so every Test match is valued, and every team is playing for a result. This means that whatever is on offer -- from a batting perspective -- is always challenging for the batsman.

Bangar continued:

“So to excel in each and every Test match, and obviously, to get over the drought of the three-figure – which may have been playing on his mind – I think this is something that he would look ahead to. The way he batted in the first innings was a clear indication of the kind of touch and the kind of rhythm he was in. So I think it augurs well for the Indian team,” Sanjay Bangar said on a Star Sports show.

The WTC win helped New Zealand consolidate their position in the ICC Test Rankings as they received the Test mace. It’s New Zealand’s first ICC trophy after their 2000 Champions Trophy triumph.

Frequent rain breaks disrupted concentration: Sanjay Bangar

The WTC final saw two entire days washed out, with frequent rain and bad-light interruptions on the second day. Sanjay Bangar believes the match could have headed differently if it wasn’t played under such inclement weather conditions.

“Yeah, definitely it could have been different. With the threat of rain looming over all the time, it doesn’t really give players the freedom to go out and play for extended amounts of time. Because obviously, there’s a break in concentration, as well as the normal wear and tear of the wicket -- that it generally undergoes if it has completed 450 overs of play. Those are the other challenges as well. So, from that perspective, I feel yes, it does rob away some excitement, some challenges that you would want to see in a Test match,” added Sanjay Bangar.

A star all-rounder for the Railways, Sanjay Bangar, played for India between 2001 and 2004. He became the batting coach of India and enjoyed a five-year-long stint with the team.

Sanjay Bangar is currently a popular analyst and is also the batting consultant of the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the IPL.

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Edited by Bhargav
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