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Rohit Sharma is in with a chance of playing: Sanjay Bangar

"Rohit, on the back of his performances across formats, is in with a chance of playing," he quoted.

Ravi Shastri & Sanjay Bangar
Ravi Shastri & Sanjay Bangar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Team India batting coach Sanjay Bangar oozed confidence on the eve of the first Test between India and South Africa. The South Africa tour is being tipped as the first major challenge for the high flying Indian team. The first Test commences on January 5 at Cape Town. Ahead of the game, Sanjay Bangar remarked that the visitors are all set to take on the Proteas challenge.

He remarked that the Indian team has had some really good practice sessions which has helped them to get familiar with the conditions. He stressed on the mental aspect of the game. Bangar noted that the opposition and the conditions do not really matter much if the players are mentally strong and in the right frame of mind.

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“We are very, very confident about our preparation because we got four-five days here before the first Test. And out of those days we made sure we got plenty out of it. All the boys are in a positive state of mind. It is a Test match and it is no different from any other Test match that we play wherein the opposition skills are taken into account,” quoted Sanjay Bangar.

“We really focus on our own inward processes, how our mental approach is and how our mindset is in terms of batting rhythm where we stand. So the opposition doesn’t really matter nor do the conditions. What we are feeling as a batting group is what matters more and we work towards achieving that sort of level that we desire to,” he added further.

On the team combination

When asked to comment on the playing combinations, Sanjay Bangar refrained from spilling any beans. He mentioned that it would all depend on how the surface looks on the match day. If the wicket looks bowler friendly, then the team will go ahead with an extra batsman. However, if the track looks batsmen friendly, then the idea of playing with five bowlers would stay.

“Whenever the wicket suits, if it’s a bowling-friendly track then obviously we might go with four bowlers and if conditions are perceived to be batting-friendly we might opt for five bowlers. Well, more or less that has been the pattern for the last 24 months or so wherein the team management has made the choices about the team composition. As of now the conditions we found, we expect the ball to seam around a bit on day one. On days two and three, they are going to be very good batting conditions. We will take into consideration the extent of moisture tomorrow on the surface and we will take it from there,” mentioned the former cricketer.

On Rohit v Rahane

In the recent times, Rohit Sharma has been in a phenomenal form in the limited overs cricket. In fact, he had performed exceedingly well in the Sri Lanka Test series as well. At the same time, Ajinkya Rahane could only accumulate 17 runs in 5 innings in that series. When asked to pick who would get a nod in, Sanjay Bangar reiterated that the decision will be taken on the match day.

“Again, it all depends on the team composition. All of them are batting really well. Rohit, on the back of his performances across formats, is in with a chance of playing. It boils down to the team balance and composition and we will take a call on the morning of the match who will get a nod,” mentioned Bangar.

On injury concerns

Lastly, commenting on the injury concerns, the batting coach remarked that Shikhar Dhawan is fit and is available for selection. At the same time, there is no major update on Ravindra Jadeja’s viral illness. His condition will be assessed on the match day.

“Shikhar had a minor ankle niggle. He has been cleared and declared fit, and is available for selection. Jadeja is still under observation and yet to recover (from viral illness). His condition is still being monitored,” Sanjay Bangar remarked.

Here are all the facts you need to know about India-South Africa rivalry:

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