Indian cricket team’s batting coach Sanjay Bangar praised Ravichandran Ashwin for “brilliantly” fitting in the role of a No 6 batsman in the current Test squad stating that the Tamil Nadu all-rounder has now given more option to management in terms of combination.
After a century in the first Test, Ashwin again bailed India out of trouble with an unbeaten 75 after a top-order collapse that saw India reeling at 126 for five on the first day of the third Test.
“It is just his 3rd innings at No 6 and he has never batted there before the start of this series, so it is just brilliant to see. He is someone we knew had a great potential with the bat but never did so at No 6. Plus having the knowledge that he is someone who started off as a top-order batsman at the start of his career and contributed immensely for his state team as well,” Bangar said.
“So it gives us options and the type of contribution the lower order is making, puts us in a confidence position whenever the team finds itself in a tight corner,” said the batting coach.
Bangar also praised Wriddhiman Saha’s fighting 46 not out and termed him a “fabulous team player”.
“Saha got a 40-odd in both the Tests and he has been making contributions in the lower-order against Sri Lanka and South Africa as well. He has been a fabulous team player and is willing to do anything required of him. And he has consistently proved that he is a good enough player to contribute consistently,” he added.
Furthermore, the batting coach seemed satisfied with the batting effort put in by the team as a whole on Tuesday.
“I think it is quite a challenging Test wicket and not easy for the batsmen to straight away play their strokes. They have to be very watchful and play the ball under their eye. It was seaming a bit and it was stopping a bit as well. It was a very challenging wicket for the first day for batting, and overall I am very satisfied with the batting effort,” he said.
Bangar’s assessment about the pitch is that it would ease out in the next two days.
“The pitch should ease out on days two and three. That’s what we assess because whatever moisture there was would have dried up. Then there would be a better carry as match goes as opposed to what we saw on Day 1,” he added.
He said that it is not always easy to bat on the first day of a Test match.
“Batting on the first day of any Test match is quite challenging, and especially the first session. We got to 87 in the first session and we would have ideally wanted to lose one wicket less but we still thought that we handled the first session pretty well,” he said after the day’s play.