ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: KL Rahul can show versatility like namesake Dravid, says Sanjay Bangar

If KL Rahul could adjust to opening the batting in the absence of Shikhar Dhawan, it will provide much-needed balance to the side, says assistant coach Sanjay Bangar, citing history when Rahul Dravid excelled in a similar role.

Press Trust of India, Jun 12, 2019 19:41:08 IST

Nottingham: If KL Rahul could adjust to opening the batting in the absence of Shikhar Dhawan, it will provide much-needed balance to the side, says assistant coach Sanjay Bangar, citing history when Rahul Dravid excelled in a similar role.

Rahul Dravid's versatility as a keeper and a floater under Sourav Ganguly's captaincy helped India maintain balance in ODIs which is exactly what Bangar expects from Rahul in the current limited-overs set-up.

Cricket - ICC Cricket World Cup - India v Australia - The Oval, London, Britain - June 9, 2019 India's KL Rahul hits a six Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers - RC1BB2668540

KL Rahul will open for India in the absence of Shikhar Dhawan. Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

Rahul, who was supposed to fill-up the contentious No 4 slot and did a decent job against South Africa in bowler-friendly conditions, will now open with Rohit Sharma against New Zealand on Thursday.

"The advantages of playing in various situations is that you understand the game a lot better. If you are batting in the middle order and suddenly you go and bat in the top order, then you know how challenging it can be, wherein you need to negotiate two new balls but you also understand that there are all these boundary opportunities," Bangar said when asked how challenging it is to suddenly open the innings.

"So if a player is able to do that — and if you look across the history of the game, players have been very versatile, and here if you take (example of) his namesake Rahul Dravid back at the various positions, actually, it helped the team big time," Bangar said.

The coach is confident that challenges encountered by Rahul while batting in the middle-order will help him while facing two new balls.

"So if you are a top-order (batsman) and you get to bat in the middle order, then you get to know the challenges faced by the middle order," Bangar said.

"There are a lot of big gaps out there in the field, and if you are in the top-order batting in the middle-order, you suddenly understand, okay, the balls which you would have hit for four in the first 10 or 12 overs, you only get a single, the former all-rounder explained how the situation changes.

If Rahul can show mental fortitude and make quick adjustments, it will be a dual advantage the player builds his own reputation and the team gains from his contribution.

"So it's a mental adjustment, and any player who is able to do that requires a lot of skill, but ultimately it will enhance the position that he will bat in, and it will help the team's cause big time.

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Updated Date: Jun 12, 2019 19:41:08 IST


World Cup 2019 Points Table

Team p w l nr pts
Australia 7 6 1 0 12
New Zealand 7 5 1 1 11
India 5 4 0 1 9
England 7 4 3 0 8
Bangladesh 7 3 3 1 7
Pakistan 7 3 3 1 7
Sri Lanka 6 2 2 2 6
West Indies 6 1 4 1 3
South Africa 7 1 5 1 3
Afghanistan 7 0 7 0 0





Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5720 124
2 India 5990 122
3 New Zealand 4121 114
4 South Africa 4674 111
5 Australia 4805 109
6 Pakistan 4107 93
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
6 New Zealand 4056 254