Playing Risk-Free Cricket Makes India Unique: Sanjay Bangar

Written by Vishwas Gupta

India’s assistant coach Sanjay Bangar has made it clear that his team isn’t “obsessed” with boundaries and are more focused on strike rotation and playing risk-free cricket.

“We’ve our own internal parameters as to how to approach ODIs. If we come close to those parameters, we should be fine,” Bangar told Bangalore Mirror.

“What makes the Indian team unique is that it’s consistently playing risk-free cricket. And that’s because we emphasise on the ones and the twos. As a batting group, we are not obsessed over the number of boundaries we’ve hit. But we discuss strike-rotation a great deal. Which is why we’re able to eschew risks.”

All the players were involved in the recently concluded IPL and Bangar wants his batsmen to come out of that T20 mode.

“In T20, you’re all the time expecting what the bowler will bowl. You end up planning beforehand looking at field placements… The go-to balls for most bowlers are analysed in detail. Batsmen start expecting such deliveries,” said Bangar, who wants his team to take forward the batting rhythm, fitness and match temperament they gained from IPL.

“In 50 overs where you have more time and are getting 300 deliveries instead of 120, you need to be mindful of not premeditating shots for the major part of the innings.”

Despite England and Pakistan constantly raking up totals above 350 in the ongoing ODI series in English conditions, Bangar said it’s important to not rely too much on numbers as things can change pretty quickly in the World Cup.

“Don’t go by stats. Data serve as mere tool. By all means analyse stats, but don’t make your conclusions based on them. It’s how to react to a situation on a particular day that matters…everything counts from making smart decisions to adapting to situations that are unforeseen. You can’t go with a rigid mindset. Be open. Absorb pressure. Respond to situations, overcome challenges and get the job done. As a team, we’re tilted in that direction instead of being over-reliant on numbers.”

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Vishwas Gupta