India batting coach Sanjay Bangar has said that Gautam Gambhir did all the right things to make a comeback to the Test side after two years. The former cricketer said that the unfortunate injuries to KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan can be a blessing in disguise for the southpaw as he is now the favourite to partner Murali Vijay at the top of the order in the third 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.
Bangar said that Gambhir’s ability to play spin well will be important for the Indian team who are scheduled to play 11 more Tests at home.
“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.
He also said that Kohli’s poor form is not an area of concern for the team. Bangar said that the captain is getting the starts and he will be converting them into big scores.
“He had a tremendous tour of the West Indies where he hit a double hundred. Even in Jamaica, he was batting well and the Trinidad game was rained off. If you look at it, his innings (of 45) at Kolkata was a match-defining innings. India were tottering at 45 for 4 (in the second innings) when he and Rohit (Sharma) got together and stitched a brilliant rearguard partnership.”
“Obviously, at times, the volume of runs don’t come, but even smaller contributions can help. That’s been something he has been doing. I am pretty sure he will also be eager to convert those into bigger ones. He has been making substantial contributions,” Bangar said.
The coach said that the young team has gelled well in the past one year and are brimming with confidence after playing some good cricket in last 12 months.
“The current group which has been playing Test series together over the last 12-15 months have a great belief in their abilities. We never think losing from any situation. That’s something which has transformed into on-field performances,” Bangar said.