Expressing his disappointment, India batting coach Sanjay Bangar has said that he won’t be taking any offers outside the country immediately. Bangar’s five-year tenure as batting coach ended this month after the tour of the West Indies in which Team India completed an all formats sweep. Under his tenure, the Men in Blue registered thumping wins in T20Is, ODIs and Test series. The former India all-rounder added that he will use this much-needed break to “reflect, refresh and reinvent.”
“I have been travelling for five years, I don’t think I may take up roles outside India immediately,” Bangar told Cricbuzz on Wednesday. He said that despite being the only person among Ravi Shastri’s coaching staff who lost his place when their contracts were renewed, he does not have negative feelings about the situation and instead views his tenure at the helm with pride.
“Being disappointed is a natural feeling, which lasted for just a few days. But I thank the BCCI and all the coaches, Duncan (Fletcher), Anil (Kumble) and Ravi (Shastri), for giving me an opportunity to serve Indian cricket for five years.”
“I look back on the progress the team made since 2014 and being No. 1 in Tests for three years in a row with happiness. We won 30 out of 52 Tests played, 13 of them overseas. We also won consistently in ODIs in all countries. The only thing that eluded us was the World Cup,” he added.
One of the biggest criticisms that came Bangar’s way after India’s exit from the World Cup was the lack of a concrete option at the number four position in limited-overs. During the tournament, KL Rahul played in the position but after an injury to Shikhar Dhawan, the former was slotted to the fill the vacant opener’s spot. Later, all-rounder, Vijay Shankar played that role but an untimely injury to him opened the doors for Rishabh Pant to join the squad in England. However, Pant also failed to live up to the expectations thus making the muddle of number four goes unsolved.
“The entire team management and selectors were part of the decision making for the No. 4 spot. The choice relied upon current form, fitness criteria, whether he was a left-hander, whether he could bowl, etc.,” he said.
Under Bangar, Virat Kohli took rapid strides as the world’s leading best batsman across all formats. The rise of Rohit Sharma as one of the most destructive batters in white-ball cricket was one of the highlights of Bangar’s tenure. The opening pair of Rohit and Dhawan went from strength to strength in ODI format.
After an ordinary run in the longer format, Bangar’s guidance also worked brilliantly for Cheteshwar Pujara. Pujara took his game to the next level in Tests and his role in guiding India to a maiden series win in Down Under was crucial. But Bangar’s time also saw some lows as well as the international careers of batsmen like – Murali Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane nose-dived.