After India lost two quick wickets on Day two in the rain marred Colombo Test, batting coach Sanjay Bangar spoke to the media at SSC at stumps.
Bangar insisted that India will try to play Day two session-by-session and also maintained that a few failures will not affect KL Rahul’s quality as a top order batsman.
Here are excerpts from that interview:
On KL Rahul’s dismissal on a wicket that assisted bowlers?
SB): Rahul has played lots of domestic cricket where the ball doesn’t do much. This was a track conducive to bowling and the Kookaburra ball was swinging around. We will work on how to iron out that aspect in his (Rahul’s) batting.
Will India’s batsmen bounce back on Day two?
SB): Our batsmen are adaptable, more open minded and can play in any given position. They will try to see off this phase and try and get runs on the board. The more set they get the easier the job becomes.
Did Cheteshwar Pujara miss out on valuable match practice prior to this game?
SB): Of course not. We tried to get him ready to tackle the Sri Lankan spinners and the idea is to get to the pitch of the ball. The same applies for other batsmen too. Our batsmen will try and tackle both pace and spin with equal adeptness.
The opening conundrum?
SB): Despite not doing well on Day one the aim is to play out the first fifteen overs in any Test match. Though Rahul could not click today there have been previous instances when he did well while opening the batting for the team.
Can India win this Test match?
SB): Too early to predict as only a full one session could be played out on Day one before rains interrupted. This may be a tightly contested Test match and we are looking to play it session-by-session come Day two.
Thoughts on the Day one wicket?
SB): A true sporting wicket since it has everything for the batsmen, spinners and pacers as well. We do hope that it retains the moisture till Day four which can be used to our advantage.
Any technical adjustments made by the Indian batsmen?
SB): Yes, many adjustments like playing close to the body, using softer hands for strokes and also playing under the eyes have been implemented coming into this game.
How did it benefit Rahane?
SB): Though Rahane is usually a number four or five batsman, playing close to the body helped him do well in the second Test. Also a number three batsman has to play strokes more under the eye than say the others, as the bowling length varies. Also the stride of a batsman at that position needs to be to get to the pitch of the ball.