Dhawan is a hugely valuable player for India, says Bangar

Shikhar Dhawan failed for the third match in a row, coming under increasing pressure with only two ODIs left before the World Cup.

Shikhar Dhawan fell for 1 in Ranchi after scores of 0 and 21 in the first and second ODI respectively.   -  PTI

Team India assistant coach Sanjay Bangar defended out-of-form opener Shikhar Dhawan and said he is a "hugely valuable player" for India.

Dhawan's poor run with the bat continued as he was dismissed for 1 by Jhye Richardson. "In New Zealand series, he had two good innings and whatever target we had to get, he remained not out in one of them scoring 75 odd and got another innings. Even if you see here, he has got good starts. In the previous game, he was batting really well till he erred in shot selection, but our point of view, he has been an important player and 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," Bangar said.

When asked about Rayudu's dismissal, Bangar said: 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, he scored a match-winning 90, so today’s ball 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."

Over-reliance on Kohli

Bangar was quick to dismiss the question of the team becoming over-reliant on Kohli in stiff run-chases.

"At various junctures, various players chipped in. In Adelaide, we had 300 to chase, Dhoni chipped in and helped Virat chase that score and even DK (Dinesh Karthik) contributed in that match. Even if you see the first match of this series, Kedar Jadhav and M. S. Dhoni contributed, so it's not that we are over-reliant on one particular individual but the thing is that the level that Virat has raised his game to, the performances of other players don’t seem to be that special since what he has been doing."

Khawaja makes it count

Usman Khawaja, the star of Australia's win, is happy to be back in his team's ODI setup.

"I scored a hundred six months back in Australia's 'A' series. I have worked the extra yard to be back in Australia's one-day side and it is very satisfying to get the three-figure score."

The Australian opener credited the batters and bowlers for setting up the win really well. "We could not win the last game which went to the wire. Here, we started off well with the bat and bowled beautifully with the ball and were in control of the game all the way through. Virat obviously batting exceptionally well now and getting his wicket was massive," Khawaja said.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :