Injuries to KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan have brought Gautam Gambhir back into the picture and batting coach Sanjay Bangar says the Delhi batsman will be a vital cog in the Indian Test team in long home season.
Gambhir returned to the Indian Test squad after more than two years after Rahul suffered a hamstring injury. He did not play in the Kolkata Test but Dhawan sustained a finger injury in that game and now the team has little choice but to field him in the third Test, starting Friday.
"Gautam Gambhir is a quality player. What he has done really well for the time he was out of the team was that he kept on performing for his (IPL) franchise and the state side. And when he got his opportunity in the Duleep Trophy, he was among the top run scorers and that too against the pink ball which certain batsmen found difficult to pick. He has ticked all the boxes," said Bangar.
"I think the untimely injury to KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan makes it sure there is a place for him. He has a proven record against spin bowling. And the number of Test matches we are going to play in India, he becomes a very important player at the top of the order," said Bangar.
India play against England, Bangladesh (one off game) and Australia after the ongoing three-match Test series against . Bangar also brushed aside the perceived lack of big runs from captain Virat Kohli in the two games against the Kiwis so far. "He had a tremendous tour of the West Indies where he hit a double hundred.
Even in Jamaica he was batting well and the Trinidad game was rained off. If you look at it, his innings (of 45) at Kolkata was match defining. India were tottering at 45 for 4 (in the second innings) when he and Rohit (Sharma) got together and stitched a brilliant rearguard partnership."
"Obviously, at times, the volume of runs don?t come, but even smaller contributions can help. Thats been something he has been doing. I am pretty sure he will also be eager to convert those into bigger ones. He has been making substantial contributions," Bangar said. The coach also emphasised on self-confidence with which the team face the difficult situations.
"The current group which has been playing Test series together over the last 12-15 months have a great belief in their abilities. We never think losing from any situation. That?s something which has transformed into on field performances."