Our focus is on Australia: Bangar

One more match is left for India to complete their five-match one-day series against Sri Lanka, but the focus seemed to have shifted unequivocally to the tour of Australia. Sanjay Bangar, the assistant coach of the Indian team, admitted as much.

“We have been practicing simultaneously for the longer format also. Players who are part of the Test team have also been with the team, so we have been practicing with the Test matches in mind as well. So preparations are happening simultaneously,” said Bangar on Saturday in an interaction with the media.

Pace bowlers will have to chip in massively Down Under if India are to make an impact there, and Bangar said they have the best set of pacers. “As you must have seen there is a lot of rotation happening, and bowlers who have been worked in the past – somebody like a Bhuvi has got rest. Shami has got rest. 

“The rotation policy is being followed and that is with the intention of having an all-fit pace attack in Australia. The preparations are spot on. Their workload is monitored properly, and I think we may probably have the best seam attack going to Australia for a number of years now,” said Bangar.

The former India player said he was quite satisfied with the effort of the batsmen as well. “The reason we have done so well in the 10-11 matches after the England Test series, is that a lot of our batsmen have actually managed to get a big score. We’ve seen seven hundreds being scored already and all are from basically different batsmen.

 In a way, it’s great that everybody is chipping in with those contributions when the team requires it.”

Indian top-order batsmen have hit the right notes in this series against Australia, and Bangar said their form has given the side a lot of confidence. “Definitely we would like to keep as many wickets in hand as possible going into the later half of the innings. That is a conscious effort, and especially with two new balls and the conditions we expect in Australia, it is definitely going to be vital to us that we have as many wickets in hand as possible for the later half of the innings.”

Lahiru Thirimanne, the Sri Lankan vice-captain, said it was tough to cope with their modest performance against India. “It is very difficult, because losing four matches in a row is very tough for any side. But our team spirit at the moment is good. But when it comes to the game,it’s really tough. As professional cricketers, you have to adapt to conditions. We hadn’t played any matches for a while before coming here and had no preparation, but that’s not an excuse.”

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