Sanjay Bangar backs Rohit Sharma as an apt No.3 batsman
Indian batting coach Sanjay Bangar reckons that Rohit Sharma has lots to offer when he comes out to bat at No.3, even though he has failed on two occasions in the tour match in Colombo.
Sharma commenced his Test career by scoring 177 and 111 not out against West Indies in 2013, but has had a humble run since then with an average of 23.75 in 17 innings. He started batting at No.3 this year in January against Australia and has scores of 53, 39 and 6 coming in at that position.
"I think what Rohit definitely brings at No. 3 is the flair factor," Bangar said. "With the kind of cricket that this team is looking to play wherein we are wanting to at least go past 300 on each batting day, that's where somebody of his calibre can chip in and contribute in that manner."
The 28-year-old scored 8 and 7 at the Premadasa. He was dismissed in both the innings by deliveries seaming back at him. However, Bangar is confident that these issues would be subdued quickly.
"Somebody like a Rohit is an experienced campaigner. He has been on the international scene for a long period and he is hitting a lot of balls in the nets. Whatever absence of time that he has not been able to spend out in the middle, we are spending time in the nets. He is batting really well. It's just a matter of time that he gets a decent start and looks to convert that into a big one”, Bangar added.
Bangar on Saha
Wicketkeeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha also managed to score just single-digit scores in both innings in the tour match. Saha has played nine Test matches so for with an average of 17. Bangar was of the opinion that this start does not do justice to his potential.
"Saha is just at the start of his career. We need to be patient with him, give him time to settle. He is filling the boots, the huge void left by somebody like a Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He is a proven performer. He does bat really well, he is quite capable and versatile, and a good player against spin bowling. I think with time he will get more comfortable in this position and we are making all the efforts to ensure he clicks in that particular slot”, Bangar said.
Saha has a notable first-class average of 44.08 with nine hundreds to his name.
"He has put in some fabulous performances for his state - been one of the mainstays for Bengal as also for East Zone," Bangar said. "The beauty about him is that whenever the chips are down, he comes out and delivers. We need only go back to Sydney or the Adelaide Test where he did really play well. It's just that he couldn't convert those starts of 30 or 35 into match-winning innings. I think we need to give some time for him to mature and get accustomed to the kind of pressure that somebody like a wicketkeeper-batsman faces in a Test format”, he added.
Bangar on Murali Vijay’s fitness
In the Indian squad, Murali Vijay’s injury is a major concern. He had sustained hamstring strain during the ODI series in Zimbabwe because of which he has been rested for this tour match.
"The physio is putting in a lot of work on Vijay and we will have to wait and just assess how he turns up before the day of the match," Bangar said. "From a team perspective, having a fit Vijay is going to be a big asset. He does give a lot of solidity and plays the anchor role which is required in this format. We are all hoping that he turns up 100% fit."