India's assistant coach Sanjay Bangar termed out-of-form Shikhar Dhawan as a vital cog, saying the team management wants the right-left combination to fire at the top of the order with the ICC World Cup around the corner. Dhawan has failed in 14 out of his 16 innings but Bangar feels that more than anything else, it's his shot selection that has let him down.
"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 after India's 32-run loss against Australia in the third ODI here Friday.
"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," the former India all-rounder said.
He was also sympathetic for Ambati Rayudu, who Friday got a brilliant delivery from Pat Cummins."These games are valuable opportunities for all players concerned and even for us so that the players are at their utmost best when we go into the World Cup. Don't forget that in the last game in New Zealand, Rayudu scored a match-winning 90," Bangar said.
"Today's delivery that he got, could have gotten out any batsmen with that pace and low bounce. Players are expected to take chances and that's what we are expecting of every player," Bangar explained.
Meanwhile, Usman Khawaja who was playing his 24th game in the coloured jersey for Australia slammed maiden ton. However, he also registered an unwanted record at least from a batsman’s point of view.
Khawaja, who is 32-years and 80 days old became the 2nd oldest Australian to score his maiden ODI century. Adam Voges was 33y 129d old at the time for his maiden ODI ton in 2013.
With one unwanted record, he also made it to the books for good reasons as Khawaja’s century is the first individual ODI century for Australia to result in a victory since the start of 2018. Each of the previous seven individual ODI tons by Australians resulted in defeats.
Further, the game is scheduled to be played in Mohali on March 10. On one hand, India will look for redemption and take an unassailable lead in the series, Australia, on the other, will look to square the series.
This remains to be seen if the rain gods let the game happen as the forecast suggest that it will rain tomorrow.