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Australia vs India: Sanjay Bangar backs Shikhar Dhawan despite his lean patch with bat

"He has been an important player"

Sanjay Bangar
Sanjay Bangar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

One of India’s growing concern ahead of the ICC World Cup starting in May is the form of Shikhar Dhawan. The southpaw hasn’t scored an international fifty since January 26 while his last hundred came against Pakistan in the Asia Cup in September. He was the highest scorer in that tournament and was picked as the Man of the Series but his current form has kept the experts worried for it is his opening partnership with Rohit Sharma that will be a key determinant of India’s success at the mega event.

In the current series against Australia which is India’s final international assignment before the WC, Dhawan has managed zero, 21 and one so far. He had a golden opportunity in the third game in Ranchi to hit some form and also took the strike but managed a solitary run off 10 balls. He played it towards the point region off Jhye Richardson where Glenn Maxwell took a good diving catch.

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India’s batting coach Sanjay Bangar though hasn’t given up on Shikhar Dhawan yet. Speaking at the post-match conference, Bangar said Dhawan was connecting it well in the second game in Nagpur till he fell to part-time bowler Maxwell for 21 off 29 balls (four fours).

“In the previous game, he (Dhawan) was batting really well till he erred in shot selection. But from our point of view, he has been an important player,” Bangar said. “If we know that he gets going, he can give us that solidity as it is vital to have that right-left combination going. He is a hugely valuable player for us and he is expected to come good very soon.”

Dhawan, according to former India cricketer Aakash Chopra, is a good player in multi-side tournaments and that certainly will make Dhawan’s fans hopeful about his performance in the WC. In the 2015 edition of the showpiece tournament in Australia and New Zealand, Dhawan was India’s highest scorer with over 400 runs and two centuries – a record only a few Indian players have.

Ambati Rayudu has also having a poor form

Middle-order batsman Ambati Rayudu also fell cheaply in the Ranchi ODI, lengthening his list of non-productive games. The No.4 has also not scored a fifty since his 90 against New Zealand in Wellington though Bangar backed him as well after the Ranchi match, saying the delivery that took his wicket could dismiss any batsman.

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