Former Indian batting coach Sanjay Bangar in a recent interview revealed why Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane appeared toothless against the New Zealand bowlers in the recently-concluded two-match Test series. Team India was handed a painful lesson by the Kiwis, as they stormed past the visitors.
The Black Caps won the first Test by 10 wickets in Wellington, where the Indian batsmen clearly failed to adjust as per the conditions of red-ball cricket in New Zealand. Then, it was more or less the same, in the second Test, as India offered little resistance to the likes of Tim Southee, Neil Wagner and Trent Boult who helped their team to a 2-0 series win.
Bangar, who has previously worked with both Kohli and Rahane in a post-match show shed light on the mistakes of Indian batsmen.
Sanjay Bangar opens up on Virat Kohli’s batting versus New Zealand:
Seasoned campaigners like Kohli and Rahane made schoolboy errors against the hosts and were made to pay for it.
In his interview, Bangar was highly critical of the Indian skipper and revealed what went wrong for him throughout the tour. He said that Kohli usually takes guard between the middle stump and the leg stump, but in New Zealand, the 31-year-old has been covering all the stumps.
This, in turn, had a knock-on effect, as the Delhiite failed to score runs substantially, as his point of contact of the eye was outside the off stump.
Ajinkya Rahane played into New Zealand’s trap: Bangar
The 47-year-old former Indian batting coach also criticised Rahane for his approach against the Kiwis. Bangar said that he was shocked to see such an experienced player get trapped in New Zealand’s plans.
“I am surprised to see Ajinkya Rahane play the way that he did. He was playing into the trap that New Zealand had set for him. All the field positions were also indicative of the fact that they will pepper him with short stuff. The need of the hour was to be defensive. He should have let a few balls go or duck under a few short balls,” said Bangar.
He further added, “You expect a player with such high experience to show more application. I am sure Rahane will be very disappointed with his innings.”
India will now try to move on from their nightmare in New Zealand and look forward to the three-match ODI series versus South Africa at home, that begins from 12th March.