Sanjay Bangar | Sportzwiki

Sanjay Bangar

World Test Championship, India
Virat Kohli[photo: Twitter]
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More Than Technical Aspects, Virat Kohli’s Aggressive Thinking Is Causing Him Problems: Irfan Pathan

Irfan Pathan believes aggressive instinct rather than any technical deficiency has led to Virat Kohli’s indifferent run in the series against England thus far. Virat Kohli has scored just 124 runs at a lowly average of 24.80 in the five innings he has played so far. The 55 runs he scored in his last knock is his only half-century of the series to date.

Across formats, the India skipper hasn’t scored a century since November 2019 and has also slipped to the 5th spot in the ICC Test rankings as a batsman.

Irfan Pathan (R) and a young Virat Kohli in 2012. (Getty Images)
Irfan Pathan (R) and a young Virat Kohli in 2012. (Getty Images)

Irfan Pathan: More Than Technical Aspects, Virat Kohli’s Aggressive Thinking Is Causing Him Problems

During an interaction on Aakash Chopra’s YouTube channel, Irfan Pathan attributed Virat Kohli’s underwhelming performance to his dominating nature.

Irfan Pathan said: “I feel more than the preparation, Virat Kohli looking to dominate is forcing him to play deliveries outside off-stump. It is just that small thing. More than technical, Virat Kohli’s aggressive thinking is causing him problems.”

Anjum Chopra: A multi-talented sportsperson who went to become one of the legends in Indian women’s cricket
Anjum Chopra was a basketball player, state-level swimmer, and one of the best-ever batswomen in Indian women’s cricket history © Getty Images

Anjum Chopra feels Virat Kohli’s pursuit of excellence has led to his downfall.

“He also knows that he has to score runs. But the thing about error-free batting, that he will make a statement is putting more weight on his shoulders and maybe not allowing him to move freely. I feel he needs to bring his standard slightly lower than the error-free batting he is trying to do,” said Anjum Chopra.

Virat Kohli has been targeted outside the off-stump by the English bowlers. They have played with his patience and eventually got him to poke at deliveries to be caught behind the wickets.

Irfan Pathan is a former Indian cricketer and actor. He was a bowling all-rounder and a member of the Indian cricket team that won the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 and 2013 ICC 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. Beginning his career as a fast-medium swing and seam bowler, Irfan Pathan broke into the national team soon after turning 19 and evoked comparisons with Pakistan’s Wasim Akram with his promising performances and prodigious swing.

Virat Kohli Has Lost Patience Against England Bowlers: Sanjay Bangar

Sanjay Bangar pointed out that Virat Kohli has lost the battle of patience against the England bowlers.

He observed: “The bottom line as far as I am concerned is that Virat Kohli has not shown the patience that England bowlers have shown against him. That was the only difference.”

The former Indian batting coach added that Virat Kohli’s mode of dismissals has been slightly different from the ones in 2014.

Bangar explained: “He has not got out defending a lot of times. He has gone towards the ball in all his dismissals. If you see his dismissals from 2014, he did not get out playing the drive as many times as he got out defending. I feel he is playing the sixth or seventh stump delivery, which is not required to be played.”

Sanjay Bangar | Twitter: ANI Digital
Sanjay Bangar | Twitter: ANI Digital

With the series tied at one apiece and all to play for, the Indian skipper will hope to rise to the occasion and play telling knocks in the remaining two Test matches.

In the 2014 England tour, the Indian skipper had a horrific series where he ended up scoring only 134 runs from four Tests. He averaged only 13, with scores of 1, 8, 25, 0, 39, 28, 0, 7, 6, and 20.

Virat Kohli had contrasting tours of England in 2014 and 2018. In 2014, he managed only 134 runs in five Tests at a poor average of 13.40. Four years later, he hammered 593 runs in the five-Test series. Virat Kohli averaged 59.30 with two hundred in 2018.

Sanjay Bangar | Twitter: ANI Digital
Sanjay Bangar | Twitter: ANI Digital
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“The Fewer Shots One Have, The Better It Is: Sanjay Bangar Recalls 2002 Leeds Test

Sanjay Bangar, the former Indian batting coach spoke about batting in English conditions ahead of the third Test. The 48-year-old was part of the Indian team that toured England in 2002.

India scripted one of their most dominant overseas wins during their visit to Leeds in 2002. Centuries scored by Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, and Sourav Ganguly paved the way for a famous win, but the platform was set up by a 170-run partnership registered by Sanjay Bangar and Rahul Dravid for the second wicket. Sanjay Bangar stood his ground in extremely challenging conditions and played out 236 deliveries for his 68-run knock.

Sanjay Bangar
Sanjay Bangar

Sanjay Bangar: The Fewer Shots One Have, The Better It Is In Headingley

Sanjay Bangar noted that keeping things simple was one of the things that worked in his favour.

While speaking on Brad Hogg’s YouTube channel, Bangar said: “What happens at Headingley or in conditions which are seaming and swinging, the less shots you have, the better it is. And I never had too many shots in my book so that worked to my advantage, when you know, I sort of was restricted or very limited in my range of scoring or the range of shots that I had.”

Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly (Photo Credits: Twitter)
Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, and Sourav Ganguly (Photo Credits: Twitter)

In the Leeds Test in 2002, Sanjay Bangar (68 in 236 balls) and Rahul Dravid (148 in 307 balls) joined hands after the fall of the first wicket and stitched a patient 170-run partnership for the second wicket after playing 414 balls. The duo showed immense application, composure, and grit to counter the English bowling attack in the challenging overcast conditions on Day 1 to give India the upper hand in the encounter.

Later Sachin Tendulkar (193) and Sourav Ganguly (128) cashed in on the perfect platform set by the top order and helped India reach 628/8 before declaring the innings.

England came in to bat after 180.1 overs on the field. Indian bowlers bowled impressively and bundled out the hosts for just 273 in their first innings. The bowling figures read – Zaheer Khan (2/59), Ajit Agarkar (2/59), Anil Kumble (3/93), and Harbhajan Singh (3/40).

England went on to bat again after Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly enforced a follow-on. Things did not change much this time either as the home team got all-out for 309 runs and lost the match by an innings and 46 runs.

Sanjay Bangar Don’t Think The Conditions Determine The Choice Of Openers

One of the positives for the Indian team so far has been the stability provided at the top of the order by Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. Sanjay Bangar noted how Rohit Sharma cemented his place following a good run of performances and KL Rahul’s credentials justified his place at the top of the order.

“I think it was a bit of a chance for KL Rahul that he got a nod in, in the first place because all along Rohit Sharma has been nurtured as an opening batsman since the last two years, since he played a lot of home Test matches and that is a great place to begin for any opener.

“I don’t think the conditions determine the choice of the openers as such but it was basically what was available and who were the personnel were and both of them were very very well adept at doing that particular role,” Sanjay Bangar said.

KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

Following a lengthy break after events at Lord’s, India and England will meet at Headingley, Leeds for the third Test of the series, starting today-25th August.

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid - K. MURALI KUMAR
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Rahul Dravid Taking Over As Full Time Coach Is Likely To Happen: WV Raman

WV Raman, a former Indian batsman said it is perhaps a matter of time before Rahul Dravid takes over as the full-time coach. Speculations are rife that Rahul Dravid will take over as India’s head coach when Ravi Shastri’s tenure comes to an end at the end of the T20 World Cup slated in the UAE later this year.

Reports of Rahul Dravid being the head coach of a young Indian side minus the top experienced stars set to tour Sri Lanka started doing the rounds before the confirmation from the BCCI came a month before the Sri Lanka series. Full-time head coach Ravi Shastri’s future was now being looked at through a prism of doubt.

WV Raman PC: Twitter
WV Raman PC: Twitter

Rahul Dravid Was Reluctant To Be India Team’s Coach For Travel Duties

Under Ravi Shastri’s tenure, an ICC trophy may have eluded India so far, but the Virat Kohli-led Indian side has reached stratospheric heights in all three formats. Ravi Shastri was not even confirmed as the Indian side’s head coach when Rahul Dravid agreed to coach the India A and U-19 sides back in June 2015. In fact, the MS Dhoni-led Team India did not have a designated head coach after Duncan Fletcher had parted ways post India’s semifinal exit in the 2015 World Cup.

Rahul Dravid was the first choice of the BCCI advisory committee (now defunct) comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman to replace Duncan Fletcher but ‘The Wall’ Rahul Dravid was reluctant because of the travel duties that the job would bring.

Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Till then, Ravi Shastri had had a couple of stints as a Technical Director with the Indian side. Former captain Anil Kumble was suddenly named full-time head coach of the side only to be replaced by Ravi Shastri after India’s loss to Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final in 2017. Meanwhile, Rahul Dravid had started to reform the junior cricket structure. His name again cropped up when Anil Kumble quit as coach.

Sourav Ganguly had in fact announced that Rahul Dravid will be working as a batting consultant along with newly-appointed head coach Ravi Shastri which didn’t happen due to BCCI regulations which give full freedom to the head coach to select his own support staff. Ravi Shastri went ahead with Bharat Arun as bowling coach and Sanjay Bangar was retained as the batting consultant.

Under Rahul Dravid, India even went on to lift the U19 World Cup in 2018 while Ravi Shastri did a fantastic job with two series wins in Australia under his belt. It was only recently – with the Sri Lanka tour and BCCI’s decision to prepare two separate Indian teams to minimize travel – that the debate once again started gaining steam.

WV Raman: Rahul Dravid Will Be The Coach When He’s Ready To Travel

WV Raman said it is perhaps a matter of time before Rahul Dravid takes over as the full-time coach.

“I won’t want to talk about the time frame but that (Dravid taking over as full-time head coach) is likely to happen, maybe sometime in future. I can’t be indulging in crystal ball glazing and say when it will happen but it will happen whenever Dravid is ready. In fact, there has been a lot of talk going around for the last four-five years. It’ll happen when he feels he’s ready to take the travel,” said WV Raman, the former India women’s head coach.

WV Raman, who will be a part of the Tamil commentary team for the India-Sri Lanka series, said Rahul Dravid can work and mould the cricketers better if he gets a longer tenure rather than a month-long tour.

“He can make them aware of the talent they possess. And he can also help them utilize that talent towards achieving the optimum. He’s anyway worked with most of these youngsters for a period of three-four years.

“But if he’s there with them regularly for a period of say two years, it will be easier to make changes as both the players and he will stick together and chalk out a plan or a routine on how to go about things. So a lot depends on the tenure that a coach works with the players,” WV Raman added.

Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI

The former left-hander WV Raman said the presence of Rahul Dravid in the dressing room will reassure the young cricketers whenever they go through a rough phase.

“The very presence of Rahul Dravid will give these cricketers reassurance because he’s a calm person by nature and he’s also one of those who believe that failures are part of a cricketer’s career.

“He can sit with them, make sure they don’t get dejected, which is very important because when a cricketer is doing well, the entire world will be behind him. It’s only when they are having a bad day that they need somebody to have a chat. Rahul Dravid is someone who is very good at it, he can pick the players up,” WV Raman added.

Rahul Dravid will start his journey as an India head coach on July 18 when India takes on Sri Lanka in the first ODI at Colombo.
Karun Nair scored a triple century in only his third Test match (Courtesy: Reuters)
Karun Nair scored a triple century in only his third Test match (Courtesy: Reuters)
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Karun Nair Deserves A Test Comeback, Says Sanjay Bangar

Sanjay Bangar, former Indian all-rounder and batting coach believes Karnataka batsman Karun Nair deserves a comeback into the Indian team. Sanjay Bangar feels Karun Nair’s record in domestic cricket is outstanding and that he could be in with an eye in the near future as India will have a hectic schedule after 5 Tests against England.

India’s disappointing batting performance in the WTC final against New Zealand has raised a lot of doubts about the places of a few batsmen including middle-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara. Reports have emerged that the team management wants to try out alternatives like Hanuma Vihari in the Test series against England.

Sanjay Bangar
Sanjay Bangar

Sanjay Bangar explained why Karun Nair deserves a chance to once again feature in the Indian team. He also spoke about Hanuma Vihari as a viable alternative.

“Vihari has been a good investment because of his fine contributions in the past. More recently, it was his solid effort in Sydney (2021) in drawing that Test.

“He is a very capable batsman but one player who is in queue for the middle order could be Karun Nair because of his Test match record and also his overall first-class numbers. Karun had one or two average Test matches and he was sidelined,” Sanjay Bangar opined.

File photo of Karun Nair (Source: Twitter)
File photo of Karun Nair (Source: Twitter)

Karun Nair was at the top of the world in December 2016 as he became just the second Indian after Virender Sehwag to smash a triple-hundred in Test match cricket. After his heroics against England in Chennai, Karun Nair played five more Tests for India but lack of returns in the following series against Australia saw him lose his place in the team.

He was, however, picked in the Indian squad for the tour of England in 2018 but he did not get a single game and was dumped from the set-up after the series.

Karun Nair made the debut for India in 2016 against but after playing six Test matches and two ODIs, he was dropped from the team. In 2017, he last played for the Indian team. In six Test matches he has scored 374 runs while in two ODIs, he has amassed 46 runs. In 82 FC games, he managed 5631 runs averaging an impressive 48.12.

Sanjay Bangar Hopes Ajinkya Rahane Will Find Some Form

Ajinkya Rahane’s sensational Boxing Day hundred that won India the MCG Test seems to be a distant memory now. He has since been inconsistent and there have been talks about him getting dropped for the England series. However, Sanjay Bangar believes Ajinktya Rahane is a capable player and that he is hopeful that the Indian Test vice-captain will find some form.

“Ajinkya has always performed when India has won a Test abroad but even he would like to have himself a big series (with complete dominance) something which has eluded him so far in his career.

“He has been a keen student, a very motivated player besides a thinker of the game. And, I hope in future he can score heavily in an entire series and things can get better from there for him,” Sanjay Bangar signed off.

Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo Source: Getty Images)
Ajinkya Rahane. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Sanjay Bangar went on to add that Ajinkya Rahane has always performed for India but is yet to have a mega-series where he can have his full dominance. He has done great for India in overseas conditions but is yet to have a series that will be fully able to highlight his career. However, Ajinkya Rahane was one of six batsmen to have registered more than 1000 runs in the WTC cycle 2019-21 (1095 runs).

India’s second assignment in the Test Championship (2021-23) will be against defending champions New Zealand at home. Their third assignment will be against South Africa in December-January in the Rainbow nation before hosting Sri Lanka in a 3-match Test series.

After a lengthy break from the longest format of the game, India will meet Australia in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which will take place in the second half of 2022. The team’s second WTC campaign will conclude with a 2-match Test series against Bangladesh.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
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Virat Kohli Would End Up Captaining The Most Matches In Cricket History: Sanjay Bangar

Sanjay Bangar, former India batting coach believes that the Indian skipper Virat Kohli will break all the captaincy records, and he would end up captaining more than any other cricketer in the history of the game.

Former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar backed Indian skipper Virat Kohli to smash all the captaincy records. Despite the fact that Virat Kohli is India’s most successful Test captain ever so far, he is yet to win an ICC trophy.

Virat Kohli-led India suffered a comprehensive eight-wicket loss against New Zealand in the recently-concluded World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.

Sanjay Bangar
Sanjay Bangar

Sanjay Bangar: Virat Kohli Will End Up Being Probably Captaining More Than Any Skipper In Cricket History

Sanjay Bangar, who worked with Team India till the 2019 World Cup, said Virat Kohli would end up captaining more than any other cricketer in the history of the game.

“If as leaders, you have the opportunity to actually dictate the way the culture of the team is and the outcomes that the team derives, then, in that case, all of them (nominees) were in quest of excellence. So is Virat, I do not doubt that he’ll end up being probably captaining more than any other captain in the history of the game,” Sanjay Bangar said in Star Sports’ show ‘Cricket Live.’

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source: AP IMAGE

Virar Kohli, who was handed the reins for the final Test match against Australia on the 2014-15 tour, has led India in 61 Tests which is the most by an Indian skipper so far. Under Virat Kohli, India has won 36 Test matches.

In the One Day Internationals, Team India has registered 65 victories from the 95 matches. Virat Kohli has captained the T20I side 45 times, and India has won 27 matches. Under Virat Kohli, India has been the most consistent Test side over the past five years.

Virat Kohli’s Predecessor MS Dhoni Has Captained In Most International Matches

MS Dhoni has led India in 332 international matches and India won 178 of those. The likes of Ricky Ponting (324), Stephen Fleming (303), Graeme Smith (286), Allan Border (271), Arjuna Ranatunga( 249), and Mohammed Azharuddin (221) have captained in more international matches than Virat Kohli (201).

Virat Kohli’s predecessor MS Dhoni has captained in most international matches from 2007 to 2018 before retiring on August 15, 2020, from international matches.

Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni. Aijaz Rahi / AP
Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni. Aijaz Rahi / AP

While MS Dhoni won 27 Test matches as captain and lost 18 in his 60 games in charge, Virat Kohli is also India’s most successful Test captain with 36 wins and 14 losses.

Virat Kohli is also the longest-serving Test captain for any Asian country with Sri Lanka’s Arjuna Ranatunga and Pakistan’s Misbah-ul-Haq behind him as they captained their respective teams in 56 Test matches each. Virat Kohli has led India to victory in all the 11 Test series at home since taking over and has won in West Indies, Sri Lanka, and twice in Australia. He has a win percentage of 63.68.

IPL 2021: Ravindra Jadeja to join CSK camp today. (CSK/Twitter)
IPL 2021: Ravindra Jadeja to join CSK camp today. (CSK/Twitter)
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IPL 2021: Ravindra Jadeja Had Improved As A Batsman, Says Sanjay Bangar

Sanjay Bangar, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batting consultant reflected on all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja’s evolution after the 19th match of IPL 2021.

Sanjay Bangar, who was the Indian cricket team’s batting coach until 2019, believed Ravindra Jadeja had improved a lot as a batsman. He added that the team management always knew Ravindra Jadeja could make it big with the willow, and Sanjay Bangar was happy to see him perform well.

Ravindra Jadeja
Fans enjoy Sir Ravindra Jadeja running around the whole ground against Rajasthan Royals, Twitter

Sanjay Bangar Thinks Ravindra Jadeja Who Has Fantastic Potential Has Grown As A Batsman Contributing To The Team’s Cause

Ravindra Jadeja left everyone shell-shocked when he helped CSK from 117/3 in 15 overs to 191/4 in 20 overs. Ravindra Jadeja smashed 37 runs in the final over of the innings, against current Purple Cap holder Harshal Patel, and finished unbeaten on 62 off 28 balls.

Virat Kohli admitted that his side Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) was single-handedly beaten by Chennai Super Kings’ (CSK) all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja in match 19 of IPL 2021 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday.

Replying to Sportskeeda’s question in a virtual press conference after the side’s game against the Chennai Super Kings, RCB batting consultant Sanjay Bangar said: “He’s gained a lot of confidence. Right from 2016, he started playing regularly in Test format and then he kept on making contributions to the team’s cause, even overseas. I think he has grown as a batsman.

“We all knew that he had fantastic potential because he is someone who has already scored three triple hundreds in domestic cricket. So, it is good to see he is contributing to the Indian team’s cause and for CSK as well because he was the game changer today and all credit to CSK for having outplayed us.”

Sanjay Bangar
Sanjay Bangar

Ravindra Jadeja played one of the best knocks of his T20 career to end the Royal Challengers Bangalore’s winning streak. He smashed four fours and five sixes in his incredible 28-ball 62*.

Ravindra Jadeja Won The Man Of The Match Award For His All-round Brilliance

Ravindra Jadeja was adjudged the Man of the Match obviously for his excellent performance in the match against RCB. After scoring a fifty in the first innings, Ravindra Jadeja picked up three wickets with the ball and executed a brilliant run out to turn the game entirely in CSK’s favour.

Other bowlers soon completed the formalities as the Chennai Super Kings rose to the number one position in the IPL 2021 standings.

Ravindra Jadeja, CSK
Ravindra Jadeja. Image Credits: Twitter

In the second half, Ravindra Jadeja rocked RCB’s chase with an exceptional spell of 3/13 in 4 overs, which included the key wickets of Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers. RCB suffered their first defeat of the season after winning their first four matches and allowed CSK to displace them from the top of the standings.

Ravindra Jadeja smashed an unbeaten 62 off 28 deliveries including 37 runs off the final over and then picked 3/13 with the ball, along with a direct hit as CSK, after scoring 191/4, restricted RCB to 122/9 to seal a 69-run win.

CSK’s next assignment is against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at Delhi, on April 28. On the other hand, RCB locks horns with Delhi Capitals (DC) at the Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium, Ahmedabad, on April 27.

Brief Scores: Chennai Super Kings: 191/4 (Ravindra Jadeja 62*, Faf du Plessis 50; Harshal Patel 3/51) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 122/9 (Devdutt Padikkal 34, Glenn Maxwell 22; Ravindra Jadeja 3/13) by 69 runs. 

Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan - SPORTZPICS
Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan - SPORTZPICS
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Suryakumar Yadav And Ishan Kishan Should Be In T20I WC Squad: VVS Laxman

VVS Laxman, former Indian batsman is impressed with how Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav have capitalized on the opportunities presented to them and feels the duo deserve to be in India’s squad for the T20 World Cup.

Both Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav made their T20I debut for India in the second game of the five-match series against England.

VVS Laxman and Suryakumar Yadav. (Photo Source: Getty Images)
VVS Laxman and Suryakumar Yadav. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

VVS Laxman: Both Suryakumar Yadav And Ishan Kishan Should Be In My 15 Member Indian Squad For T20I World Cup

Ishan Kishan scored 56 runs off just 32 balls while the latter did not get a chance to bat in the match. Suryakumar Yadav got the chance to bat in the fourth T20I and went on to play a knock of 57 runs from 31 deliveries before scoring a rapid 32 off 17 balls in the series decider T20I and was inducted in the ODI squad.

VVS Laxman correctly believed India put together a balanced side in the first ODI against England as they went on to beat the World Champions to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series. VVS Laxman, former Indian batsman felt that in-form Suryakumar Yadav may not find a place in the playing XI for the opening 50-over game. Skipper Virat Kohli made a bold choice, giving debuts to all-rounder Krunal Pandya and fast bowler Prasidh Krishna.

VVS Laxman correctly felt that in-form Suryakumar Yadav will not find a place in the playing XI for the opening 50-over game as there are others who have performed exceedingly well in the format in recent times.

“Well, it’s a very tough question because what we have seen in this series is that lot of youngsters have capitalized on their opportunities. But the way Ishan Kishan played in his debut innings and then also the way Suryakumar Yadav played, I think both of them will definitely be in my squad of 15. It’s a tough choice, but I think both of them deserve to play in the Indian squad come to the World Cup,” VVS Laxman said on Star Sports show Cricket Connected.

Ishan Kishan. Photo Credit: (Twitter)
Ishan Kishan. Photo Credit: (Twitter)

Suryakumar Yadav has played two T20I innings. He has scored 89 runs at an average of 44.50 and a strike-rate of 185.41. When asked to pick between Suryakumar Yadav and Shreyas Iyer, VVS Laxman said he will go with the latter for the number six role in 1st ODI as he has scored runs consistently in the past. But Shreyas Iyer was injured in the opener which will pave the way for Suryakumar Yadav’s inclusion in the remaining 2 ODIs.

The 22-year-old Ishan Kishan made his debut in the second T20I against England on Tuesday in Ahmedabad and smashed 56 runs off 32 balls which was studded with 5 fours and 4 sixes. He became the second Indian batsman, after Ajinkya Rahane, to score a fifty on his T20I debut. His tally of four sixes is the highest for an Indian batsman on debut in a T20I.

Sanjay Bangar: Bhuvaneshwar Kumar Sealed His Place In The T20 World Cup Squad

On the other hand, former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar lavishly praised pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has taken the center stage in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah and guided the team to several crucial wins against England.

Talking about whether Bhuvneshwar has already sealed his place in the T20 World Cup squad, Bangar said: “Without a doubt, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, if he is fit and is in the form… because this team has displayed that it is obviously going to go on a form. There is a lot of time remaining from now to the start of the World Cup. In between, there is an IPL tournament as well. “

Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar Kumar Photo: BCCI

“So, taking into account how the decisions have been made, I believe that there are still a lot of spots that are up for grabs. Players who were been sidelined still have a big season lined up between the World Cup selection. So, I would not like to count anybody out of the World Cup contention as yet.”

Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked up two important wickets in the fifth and deciding T20I, giving away 15 runs in four overs at an economy rate of 3.80. The 31-year-old returned with figures of 2/30 in nine overs in 1st ODI, proving to be extremely economical and helping the hosts vastly in controlling the run-flow when it was most needed. India is currently gearing up for the second ODI against England, set to be played on Friday, 26th March.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (AP Photo)
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (AP Photo)
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Sanjay Bangar Reckons Bhuvneshwar Kumar Has Sealed His Place In The T20I World Cup Squad

Sanjay Bangar, the former India batting coach, feels the fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar has already sealed his place in the squad for the T20I World Cup.

The T20I World Cup might be a few months away but India already seems to be in a hurry finalizing the squad that will represent in the World Cup.

Sanjay Bangar
Sanjay Bangar

Sanjay Bangar: Undoubtedly Bhuvneshwar Kumar Has Sealed His Place In Team If He Is Fit And In Form

Prior to the England T20Is, batting coach Vikram Rathour had pointed out how by the end of the series, the management would finalize and get an idea of the final squad that will play the T20I WC. However, with the IPL and a few more T20I matches left between now and then, things could well and truly change.

The Indian team looks one of the strongest on paper, boasting big-hitting batsmen and game-altering bowlers. The likes of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are expected to be automatic picks, while Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami are likely to be picked to spearhead the fast-bowling department as well, provided the latter is fit. However, the toss-up will remain for the third fast-bowling option, a position for which Bhuvneshwar Kumar has produced a strong case.

Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah
Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah Credit: AFP Photo

Sanjay Bangar, the former India batting coach, feels the fast bowler has already sealed his place in the XI, provided he can keep his form and fitness intact.

“Without a doubt, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, if he is fit and is in the form… because this team has displayed that it is obviously going to go on a form. There is a lot of time remaining from now to the start of the World Cup,” Sanjay Bangar said on The Cricket Connected Show on Star Sports.

A sports hernia meant the pacer didn’t play any international cricket in 2020 before the COVID-19 break, and he only played four games in IPL 2020 as his tryst with injuries extended further. He picked four wickets in the 5 T20Is against England at an impressive economy of 6.39 averaging 28.75. In the five games, he bowled 18 overs in which he gave away just 115 runs.

Sanjay Bangar: There Are A Lot Of Spots Still Up For Grabs

After spending more than a year recovering from injuries, Bhuvneshwar Kumar finally played his first international match for India during the first England T20I. In the decider, he bowled a terrific spell up first, eventually finishing with 2/15 from four overs and playing a crucial part in India’s win. Later, in the first ODI, Bhuvneshwar Kumar dazzled with the ball picking up 2/30 from nine overs.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar Kumar starred for India in the final T20I against England with figures of 2/15 in a game where 412 runs were scored | Photo: BCCI

Although with the IPL 2021 lined up, Sanjay Bangar feels there are plenty of positions that are up for grabs as far as selecting India’s T20 World Cup squad is concerned.

“In between, there is an IPL tournament as well. So, taking into account how the decisions have been made, I believe that there are still a lot of spots that are up for grabs,” Sanjay Bangar said.

“Players who were been sidelined have still have a big season lined up between the World Cup selection. So, I would not like to count anybody out of the World Cup contention as yet,” Sanjay Bangar said.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked up two important wickets in the fifth and deciding T20I, giving away 15 runs in four overs at an economy rate of 3.80. He carried his form in the 1st game of the ODI series at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune.

The 31-year-old returned with figures of 2/30 in nine overs, proving to be extremely economical and helping the hosts vastly in controlling the run-flow when it was most needed.

The likes of T Natarajan, Rahul Chahar, Suryakumar Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar,  Khaleel Ahmed, Siddharth Kaul, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, and Mohammed Siraj justifies the fact that India’s bench strength is also tremendous and can make the most of the opportunity when the need arises.

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma Twitter
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Sanjay Bangar Backs Virat Kohli-Rohit Sharma Opening Combination, Believes It Will Be Fruitful For India

Sanjay Bangar, former all-rounder credited India’s new opening combination of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, which was successful in the 5th and final T20 international against England on Saturday. India’s new opening combination of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli batted with an aggressive mindset as India scripted a 36-run victory in the series-deciding 5th and final T20I against England in Ahmedabad on Saturday.

KL Rahul’s repeated failures at the top prompted skipper Virat Kohli to promote himself up the batting order and the decision paid rich dividends immediately as the Indian captain and his deputy Rohit Sharma took the England bowling attack apart by laying a partnership of 94 runs for the 1st wicket.

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma put on a 94-run opening stand on Saturday.
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma put on a 94-run opening stand on Saturday. @BCCI

Sanjay Bangar: Virat Kohli Thrives On Timing And Finding Those Gaps And He Should Open With Rohit Sharma To Play Lot Of Balls

India’s opening partnerships registered scores of 2, 0, 7, 21 in the first four T20Is before Rohit Sharma (64) and Virat Kohli (80 not out) teamed up to add 94 runs in the series-decider, as a result of which the hosts managed to post 224 for 2 after being put in to bat by England captain Eoin Morgan.

Sanjay Bangar
Sanjay Bangar. Photo Credit: BCCI.

The hosts then rode on superb bowling performances from pacers Shardul Thakur (3 for 45) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2 for 15) to restrict the visitors to 188 for 8 and eventually win the game by 36 runs. India clinched the 5-match series 3-2.

“He (Virat Kohli) thrives on timing the ball well, he thrives on finding those gaps. He was doing all those really well. In the longer run. If he decides and if the team management decides that it’s going to be the way forward as to Virat Kohli and Rohit will open the innings, it means that two of their best batters are going to get a lot of balls to play.

“And this template is actually ideal for somebody like Virat Kohli who literally takes off once he passes that 30-ball phase,” Sanjay Bangar said on Star Sports.

Sanjay Bangar reckoned that since Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are two of India’s best batsmen, they should open to ensure they face a lot of balls. The two teams will now clash in the upcoming three-match one-day international series in Pune from March 23.

Sanjay Bangar had earlier said the Indian team will need a few more matches to figure out if an ultra-aggressive batting approach is suited to them in the T20Is. India lost the 1st T20I and the 3rd T20I but won the 2nd and 4th to level the series 2-2 before winning the decisive T20I by batting in an aggressive intent.

Virat Kohli Wants To Open In T20I World Cup And IPL Too

India dropped KL Rahul in the fifth T20 International (T20I) against England at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad to accommodate an extra bowler in the form of T Natarajan.

Captain Virat Kohli moved up to open the inning alongside Rohit Sharma, and the pairing gave India a blistering start. Their 94-run partnership in nine overs set India up for a mammoth total of 224/2, with Rohit Sharma taking on the role of aggressor, blazing 64 off 34 deliveries. It was his 22nd T20I half-century and put India in a strong position in the series decider. It was Rohit Sharma who dominated the partnership as Virat Kohli dropped anchor.

Talking about his role as an opener, the captain said, “I am going to open in the IPL as well. I have batted in different positions in the past. But I feel we have a solid middle-order now. I would like to partner Rohit Sharma through to the 2021 World Cup.”

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (BCCI)

With opening batsman KL Rahul scoring 15 runs in four innings at an average and strike rate of 3.75 and 48.38 respectively, he was highly likely to miss this match. Virat Kohli has amassed 278 runs averaging 39.72 with 2 fifties in 8 innings atop the order.

Apart from Rohit Sharma’s 64 and Virat Kohli’s unbeaten 80, Suryakumar Yadav scored 32 off 17 balls and Hardik Pandya played a cameo towards the end by being unbeaten on 39 off 17 balls. Virat Kohli’s unbeaten 80 was laced with 7 fours and 2 sixes and came off 52 balls. All the Indian batsmen had a strike rate of above 150.

Virat Kohli was the highest run-getter in the series and was awarded Man of the Series for scoring 231 runs averaging 115.5 in 5 games. Shardul Thakur was the leading wicket-taker with 8 scalps averaging 21 in 5 games.

VVS Laxman and Suryakumar Yadav. (Photo Source: Getty Images)
VVS Laxman and Suryakumar Yadav. (Photo Source: Getty Images)
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Suryakumar Yadav Astonished Both Me And Jofra Archer: VVS Laxman On Suryakumar’s First-Ball Six

VVS Laxman has said that Suryakumar Yadav’s first-ball six off Jofra Archer left both him and the bowler dumbfounded. He pulled the first ball he faced in international cricket for a six over fine leg, doing so against the express pace of Jofra Archer.

It was one of the many breathtaking shots he played during his enterprising 57-run knock. Suryakumar Yadav hit his maiden fifty in international cricket, on Thursday, in only his 2nd match in Indian Blues after not getting a chance to bat in his debut game-the 2nd T20I of the series.

Suryakumar Yadav poses in the India T20I jersey ahead of the series against England (BCCI)
Suryakumar Yadav poses in the India T20I jersey ahead of the series against England (BCCI)

VVS Laxman Was Left Astonished By The Spectacular 6 By Suryakumar Yadav

While reviewing the fourth India-England T20I on Star Sports, VVS Laxman lauded Suryakumar Yadav for his positive mindset, while terming his six against Jofra Archer a ‘spectacular’ shot.

“Spectacular, he astonished both me and Jofra Archer. His mindset is praiseworthy. He even told Murali Kartik that he wanted to keep it simple. If you complicate things too much, you forget at times what your strengths are and what is your template of scoring runs,” said VVS Laxman.

VVS Laxman
VVS Laxman. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The former veteran batsman spoke in glowing terms about Suryakumar Yadav’s shot selection and his ease against the English pacers.

“The timing we saw today, the way he placed the ball and the manner in which he was coming behind the line of the ball while playing the pacers and playing creative shots according to the field,” added Laxman.

Suryakumar Yadav’s 57 runs came off just 31 deliveries and were studded with six fours and three sixes as he looked comfortable against both pace and spin. He was, however, unlucky to be given out, as there was no conclusive evidence against Dawid Malan taking a clean catch, which could have overturned the on-field decision of ‘out.’

VVS Laxman Praises Suryakumar Yadav Who Played Some Fantastic Shots And His Favorite Was The 6 Hit Over Extra Cover Off Adil Rashid

VVS Laxman was particularly effusive about the inside-out six Suryakumar Yadav smacked off Adil Rashid while praising the right-hander for his all-round game.

“When the spinners came, (he played) fantastic shots. My favourite was the maximum he hit over extra-cover against Adil Rashid. He can play the sweep as well, so he is an all-round player and because of that, his strike rate is always high, and he is a match-winner,” said Laxman.

Sanjay Bangar
Sanjay Bangar. Photo Credit: BCCI.

“His knock shows how much confidence he has in his ability. And when a ripened player comes, because he has spent so many years in domestic cricket and in the IPL, his skills are sharpened and when you have the full self-confidence then only you can play such shots and that too against Jofra Archer, who is one of the world’s fastest and best bowlers,” said Sanjay Bangar.

Suryakumar Yadav has amassed 3624 runs in 172 T20s. He particularly rose to prominence with his exploits for the Mumbai Indians in the last three IPL seasons. He scored more than 400 runs in each of the last 3 IPL editions which were hailed by fans and he felt disappointed when his name wasn’t in the Australian tour’s limited-overs squad. So a maiden India call-up for the ongoing T20I series against England was a just reward.

Suryakumar Yadav has been handed a maiden ODI call-up after an impressive show in the ongoing T20Is while fast bowler Prasidh Krishna and spinner Krunal Pandya has been added to the 18 member squad which will be led by Virat Kohli.

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