Now Bangar comes to the defence of Dhoni

Sanjay Bangar

India vice-captain Rohit Sharma and assistant coach Sanjay Bangar, who is essentially is a batting coach, defended MS Dhoni’s batting in the last 10 overs of the chase against England here on Sunday.

India hardly made a push for victory in the last five overs once Hardik Pandya departed and instead looked at extending their total so as to ensure their net run-rate isn’t affected. Chasing 338 for victory, India finished at 306/5 in 50 overs. While it looked like five more wickets were in hand, the truth is the last four just make up the numbers.

“Yeah, when you lose the game, there will be a lot of possibilities of why we lost the game,” said Rohit when asked if India could have shown some urgency in the first and last 10 overs. “Losing an early wicket always puts you under pressure, and we lost KL (Rahul) right at the start, and they bowled pretty well in the first ten overs. Good channels. So it is important that the guy who is in form must bat as long as possible. That was between me and Virat. We wanted to make that partnership big, and we wanted because we knew the longer we bat, the closer we’ll get to the target. So that was the idea. We took our time, yes, but the condition was such that it didn’t allow us to just come and bat and put pressure on the bowlers that bowled in the right channel.

“When MS and Kedar were batting, I think they were trying to hit, but they were not able to because of the slowness of the pitch. Towards the end, it got pretty slow. Yes, you’ve got to give credit to English team because they used the conditions really well. They used the longer boundary really well. They mixed up their variation quite nicely and kept us guessing all through the game,” he offered.

Bangar too felt the same and gave credit to England bowlers while never faulting Dhoni’s approach.

“I thought MS was striking the ball really well,” he noted. “He had good intent. It’s just that the English bowlers stuck to their task really well. They used the angles and used the large boundaries to their advantages. They were bowling a pretty good line. I mean, I didn’t really find anything wrong in MS’s innings. He was batting beautifully. He had struck a few big blows, and it’s just that in the last four or five overs, the difference between runs required and balls left just kept on creeping up.”

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