Sydney, NOV 29 :
KL Rahul is a strong contender for the opening slots for India’s first Test against Australia next week but his knack of “finding new ways to get himself out” has not gone down well with assistant coach Sanjay Bangar.
Rahul was the only prominent batsman to miss out on a significant score in India’s 358 all out on day two of the four-day tour game here. He was out for three runs while playing a loose drive on the up and was caught at mid off within the first hour of play.
As many as five different Indian batsmen, including Virat Kohli and Prithvi Shaw, scored half-centuries in what Bangar termed as a satisfactory outing.
Bangar said Rahul was no longer an inexperienced player and he ought to shoulder more responsibility. “He (Rahul) has been looking in good shape, including today. It is just that he is finding new ways to get out. Even today, the ball was quite afar when he played it away from his body and lost his wicket. But what we are reading he is playing the ball well and he is one hit away (from form),” Bangar said after the day’s play.
“We know his ability and if he converts that to performances then it is important for the team. He is not a young player any more and he is on his second tour here. He has played 30 Tests and he has a responsibility. We expect him to play with that responsibility and play his role for the team,” the coach said.
Bangar made it clear that the opening combination as well as the number six slot for the first Test in Adelaide beginning December 6 are still up for grabs.
He said the second innings will help decide about the composition of the batting line-up, with Rahul, Murali Vijay, Rohit Sharma and Hanuma Vihari in focus for the opening and number six spots.
Sydney, NOV 29 :