Calcutta: More than the successful opening partnership that he has forged with Virender Sehwag, it is Sanjay Bangar’s ultra-defensive approach that has been the talking point in this home series.
“You want to know about the slow batting,” he will tell you with a sheepish smile even before you can bring up this much-debated topic in his room at the Taj Bengal.
“I really don’t know. I always make a conscious effort to play positive cricket. But if things need to be speeded up, I will play accordingly,” Bangar told The Telegraph this afternoon.
“It has to be that way. If we start playing strokes from both ends and one of us get out, the opposition will get an early opening.
“We obviously don’t want to give them that opportunity,” Bangar said.
In Mumbai he took 187 balls to make 55 while in the second Test his 40 and 20 came off 171 balls and 69 balls, respectively.
The Railways allrounder says he is not playing under any specific instructions from the team management. “There has been no direction to play defensively. Just to stay for long at the wicket.
Bangar is in no hurry to change his style of play. “I always knew my game. I know my strengths and weaknesses and never try to exceed my limitations. My batting is suiting the needs of the side, so why change'”
Religious-minded Bangar escaped public glare to visit the Kalighat temple late Monday evening with a few friends. He may not be superstitious but has no explanation to the ‘lucky’ label — of the nine Tests he has played, India have won seven while the rest have been drawn — that has come to stay with him.
“It’s not that I’m very happy about the tag but if that is the case let’s go on. There are certain things you can’t explain in life. I have probably got the break at the right time. I am finding my feet now and one always develops with time.”
He does not think he has been underbowled in this series. “I bowled a couple of loose overs in the last Test. I have to work on my bowling to be of more utility to the side. Just a bit of variety will be helpful.
“I got plenty of opportunity in the two Tests in England. It was because of my bowling that I got the chance at Headingley. The captain knows what is best for me. He has always backed me when I’ve not been doing too well,” Bangar explained.
Wednesday will be his first international appearance at Eden Gardens.
“It will be a huge occasion for me to play at the Lord’s of Indian cricket. There will be a great sense of accomplishment if I can leave a mark. A personal milestone will be a lifetime achievement.”
The useful allrounder that he is, Bangar has been sportingly about his not being able to make it to the one-day side.
“One always keeps trying. I have the Test place in hand. There’s nothing I can do about the one-day team. You’ve got to take it at a time.”
Despite enjoying the fruits of success, Bangar still doesn’t possess the traits of a ‘star’ cricketer. “I don’t see myself as a part of it. There is obviously certain joy at the success but I don’t get carried away.
“I know this will not last forever and so try and lead a normal life,” the down-to-earth Bangar signed off.