In a recent statement, former Indian batting coach Sangar Bangar has opined that a seam-bowling all-rounder would be ideal for the Indian Test team in New Zealand conditions considering the helpful conditions for swing bowlers.
Bangar largely retained the same squad that played against Bangladesh at home in November. However, he backed Tamil Nadu all-rounder Vijay Shankar to be part of the two-match Test series in New Zealand.
Notably, Shankar was part of India’s ICC Cricket World Cup squad before an in injury ruled him out of the World Cup in the United Kingdom.
“If they go in with 17 players, then there is place for a reserve batsman and all-rounder. Now New Zealand conditions are ideal for seam-bowling all-rounders,” Bangar said on ‘ESPNcricinfo’ as quoted by PTI.
“You see what an impact Colin de Grandhomme has had on the New Zealand team. So someone like Vijay Shankar can be an ideal candidate for that slot, given he is fit wherein it gives the right balance to the squad if he bats at Number 6.
“It will also give India a batting depth and a fifth bowling option,” he added.
The series will be part of the ICC World Test Championship and a series win here will help India increase their chances of reaching the finals in 2021.
As far as the reserve batsman is concerned, Bangar had suggested Prithvi Shaw’s name. However, Shaw picked up an injury and it is now being speculated that Shubman Gill may be the preferred choice for the reserve slot.