India vs New Zealand 2016: Sanjay Bangar hints at Gautam Gambhir's inclusion in the starting XI
Injuries to KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan have brought Gautam Gambhir's name back into race for the vacant opening slot in the Indian Test team ahead of the third Test at Indore. Indian batting coach, Sanjay Bangar seemed to be confident about Gambhir making it to the starting eleven in the third and final Test against New Zealand.
"Gautam Gambhir is a quality player. What he has done really well for the time he was out of the team was that he kept on performing for his (IPL) franchise and the state side. And when he got his opportunity in the Duleep Trophy, he was among the top run scorers and that too against the pink ball which certain batsmen found difficult to pick. He has ticked all the boxes," said Bangar.
Gambhir was roped in as a replacement for the injured KL Rahul before the start of the second Test at Kolkata. However, he didn't make it to the first team as Shikhar Dhawan replaced Rahul in the starting eleven.
“I think the untimely injury to KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan makes it sure there is a place for him. He has a proven record against spin bowling. And the number of Test matches we are going to play in India, he becomes a very important player at the top of the order,” said Bangar.
Bangar also brushed aside the perceived lack of big runs from captain Virat Kohli in the two games against the Kiwis so far. He said that although the Indian team has wrapped up the series, it will still go into the third game with the motive to win.
He said, "Whatever be the score-line, our intent will remain the same."
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Bangar said that though the Indian batsmen were not converting half-centuries into centuries, the more important aspect is that the team’s interest was always kept on top more than personal landmarks.
“A lot of our batsmen get out after making 60, 70, 80. Every batsman thinks he has to cross the century landmark, but more important is that they keep the team’s interest in mind, more than personal landmarks.”