India's former batting coach Sanjay Bangar became the biggest casualty of their elimination from the 2019 ODI World Cup at the hands of New Zealand in semi-finals. While head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar retained their spots, it was Bangar who was asked to make way for the former India cricketer Vikram Rathour as the new batting coach for Virat Kohli and Co.
One of the biggest reasons behind Bangar's removal, despite him being part of the Indian team's setup for five years, was touted to be his failure to create reliable and consistent middle-order options in the ODIs as India suffered due to the lack of a solid No 4 batsman. The team management tried out over a dozen players for the spot and ended up playing KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar and eventually Rishabh Pant at No 4 during their unsuccessful World Cup campaign.
While Bangar was directly responsible for fixing the middle-order muddle, the former India opener, reacting for the first time since leaving Team India, said in an interview with Times of India that all decision makers were part of the search for the elusive No 4 batsman.
"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.," said Bangar.
The 46-year-old said it was natural for him to feel "disappointed" after his contract was not renewed but reflected fondly upon his time with the Indian side.
"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," Bangar said.
After spending a lot of time on the road, Bangar is in the mood to "reflect, refresh and reinvent" and said that he may not take up any other coaching assignment immediately.