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Dhoni went out of the way to make the youngsters comfortable: Sanjay Bangar

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© Twitter - Zimbabwe Cricket

Dhoni went out of the way to make the youngsters comfortable: Sanjay Bangar

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Arun S Kaimal


After India clinched the T20 series 2-1, India’s head coach for the series, Sanjay Bangar, praised Dhoni’s mentoring skills, and said that the Indian captain made an effort to make the youngsters feel comfortable. Bangar also made a special mention of Axar Patel for his consistency with the ball.

In a nail-biting thriller at Harare on Wednesday, India defeated Zimbabwe by three runs to win the T20 series 2-1. Batting first for the first time in the tour, India had got off to a terrible start losing three wickets for 27 runs. But, Ambati Rayudu and Kedar Jadhav formed a 49-run partnership to take the team out of trouble, before the latter took the responsibility on his shoulders to take India to a respectable total of 138/6 with his maiden T20 half-century. In return, Zimbabwe put on a memorable show in front of the home fans and came close to clinching a memorable series win, before Barinder Sran thwarted their chance by claiming a wicket on the last ball when four runs were required for a win.

Speaking after India’s T20 series win, India’s head coach for the series, Sanjay Bangar praised the leadership skills of MS Dhoni, who captained India for the 324th time in international cricket. The former India all-rounder said that Dhoni went out of the way to make the youngsters comfortable, and shared his experiences with the team.

"I definitely felt that he opened up quite a bit," Bangar said. "He had a lot of interactions with the players. He made that effort to go out and mingle with them, he probably invited them for dinners and they [spent time] over Playstations together.

"He went out of the way to make them comfortable, shared his experience with the younger guys, probably emphasised on the value of how to handle pressure, under match situations what are the things that are required to be done. So I think those were enormous learnings.

"What he also did fantastically was he passed on the tradition of Indian cricket, because these younger lot are the future of Indian cricket, and the way he shared his experience was very, very similar to how the earlier generation used to pass on the knowledge and the experience and just make a younger player comfortable in the dressing room, so he made all that effort and it was great to see," Bangar said, reported ESPNcricinfo.

Also read: Twitter reacts to blackout of India-Zimbabwe telecast and Dhoni's flop show

The 43-year-old also praised Kedar Jadhav, who scored 58 off 42 balls, and said that Jadhav has grabbed the opportunities with both hands, mentioning his ODI century on India's previous visit in 2015 as another example.

I definitely felt that he opened up quite a bit,"

"The last time he played for India, probably it was again a year ago, he got a hundred in the series," Bangar said. "He didn't get too many opportunities in this series, this was only the second time that he could go out and bat, and he played an amazing innings, because he was having some issues.

"As he went in, he wasn't feeling too good, but he hung in and fought through, and the kind of innings he produced on a difficult wicket, I felt that showed the quality of the player, so he's doing all that he can in the opportunities that he's getting.

"Age doesn't really matter because, nowadays, most of the guys are keeping themselves very fit, they have fantastic work discipline," he said. "It's just a matter of some individual getting a couple of opportunities simultaneously, and consecutively, so that he feels comfortable in match situations. These are quality players and they're bound to come good," Bangar said, when asked about the 31-year-old’s late inclusion into the Indian team.

Also read: Why BCCI's dramatic head coach selection process is nothing but a farce

 © Twitter - Zimbabwe Cricket

Bangar also made a special mention of left-arm spinner Axar Patel for his consistency, and for his finishing skills with the ball. Axar was India’s most-economical bowler in the ODI series, and his finishing skills also came to the fore during the T20Is.

"I think not only today, but throughout the series, he kept the pressure on," Bangar said. "Probably, he was our most economical bowler. I don't really know the exact stat, but he was very, very consistent. He maintained that pressure throughout, and not only his bowling, but generally, the way he fielded, a couple of catches that he took, and the way he finishes the innings. He got an opportunity in two T20s, the first and the third game, and he is proving to be a very good developing player at No. 7 or No. 8, who is capable of hitting the big shots. That's really encouraging for Indian cricket,” said Bangar, reported ESPNcricinfo.  

Also read: Who will win the race for the India coach’s post?

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