After India’s loss in the ICC World Test Championship final against New Zealand, the Indian team is expected to take some tough decisions. Former Indian batting coach Sanjay Bangar feels that Team India should invest more in middle-order options for Test Cricket.
In the WTC Final, India’s middle-order batsmen struggled to get past the 50-run mark. The likes of Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, and Rishabh Pant did get starts but failed to convert those. While Hanuma Vihari and KL Rahul are the likely replacements, Sanjay Bangar reckons Karun Nair could be in the queue for India’s middle order.
“Vihari has been a good investment because of his fine contributions in the past. More recently, it was his solid effort in Sydney (2021) in drawing that Test. He is a very capable batsman but one player who is in the queue for the middle order could be Karun Nair because of his Test match record and also his overall first-class numbers. Karun had one or two average Test matches and he was sidelined.”
Karun Nair smashed a triple hundred against England in the 2016 Test series at Chennai. He became only the second Indian batsman to hit a triple hundred in Tests after Virender Sehwag. He was then dropped from the playing XI to accommodate Ajinkya Rahane, who was returning after an injury break.
Ajinkya would want to have a big series in England: Sanjay Bangar
Sanjay Bangar also stated that Indian Vice Captain Ajinkya Rahane would want to have a ‘big series’ in England. Rahane was India’s leading run-scorer in the ICC World Test Championship cycle. But, the middle-order batsman hasn’t been able to dominate Test Cricket, as he would like to. The upcoming Test Series against England could be his best chance feels Bangar.
“Ajinkya has always performed when India has won a Test abroad but even he would like to have himself a big series, something which has eluded him so far in his career. He has been a keen student, a very motivated player besides a thinker of the game. And, I hope in future he can score heavily in an entire series and things can get better from there for him,” Sanjay Bangar added.