Indian Assistant Coach Sanjay Bangar on Sunday highlighted the lower order collapse as one of the areas the team can improve going ahead in the Test series against Australia and said it is now about “crossing the line”.
The visitors lost their last seven wickets for 73 runs, and the last five for 25 runs, as they were bowled out for 307 runs in the second innings of the opening Test at the Adelaide Oval.
Chasing 323, Australia finished day four at 104 for four. Bangar said the expectation was of another 25 runs from the lower order, which collapsed as soon as Rishabh Pant holed out after an attacking inning.
“We were expecting at least 25 runs. That’s an area where we are continuously looking to improve. And we hope the lower order, especially number 9, 10 and 11 show more application than they did today,” he said.
“When Rishabh Pant walked in we were 260-odd. Immediately he released the pressure and gave us those quick 30-35 runs. Once he had put us in that position, we expected that with time, with a better approach and calculation, tactically he could have done better,” he said.
“But you don’t want to take the fearlessness away from him otherwise. Hitting against the turn and getting those boundaries are high percentage shots. Those are the shots that many courageous players have played.”
Bangar said that it bodes well that Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane had started this series well and that they had batted in some very difficult conditions in South Africa and England.
He added that there had been some tough conditions in previous tours, and the criticism at times can be unreasonable.
Talking further about Pujara, Bangar said that he had achieved his set targets.
Bangar said that Rahane had been batting well on the previous tours and is very close to scoring a big hundred again.
The coach also praised the top-order for an improve showing in the second innings.
“In the second innings, we had a better start. It gave us a base. That is what we expect from the opening partnership,” he added.