The mood in team India is upbeat before the first Test against West Indies at Antigua. To be played at the iconic Sir Vivian Richards stadium . Highlighting the team’s preparations , was India’s batting coach Sanjay Bangar. The batting coach firmly believes that the team has had ample time and good number of practice matches to prepare for the all-important four-match Test series against hosts West Indies starting here on Thursday.
“We have had very good preparation, both in the camp in Bangalore and in the last two practice matches in St. Kitts. I don’t remember the last time we had got so much time to prepare for a Test series in the past 2-3 years,” Bangar told reporters.
“We have prepared for different conditions and situations that we can encounter in a match, and we have discussed our plans and execution. We have tried to work out all angles possible and the time we have had has been very useful in terms of preparation as well as team bonding,” he added.
Both practice games against West Indies Board President XI resulted in a draw with the visiting batsmen and bowlers getting chance to test their skills ahead of the Test series and Bangar said one can expect some grass on the pitch for the first Test.
“We are seeing some grass cover on the pitch now and we won’t be surprised if there is some grass left on the pitch when the match begins. But how much of it remains on surface remains to be seen. We have also prepared keeping in mind that some grassy wickets slow down as the game progresses. So, we are aware of that and have prepared accordingly,” he said.
WIBP’s XI off-break bowler Rahkeem Cornwall picked up 5-118 to expose Indian batsmen’s weakness against spin in the second warm up game but Bangar played down the issue.
“If a good delivery gets you out, it does not matter whether it is from a spinner or a seamer. We need to accept that and worry about the quality of the delivery instead, whether the ball was a wicket-taking delivery or not. That is something we have discussed. I don’t find an inherent weakness against either spin or seamers for any particular batsman. It is more to do with the kind of deliveries they get,” the 43-year-old said.
“During the camp and in practice matches, we said that if you bat two sessions, you can return. Or, if it was a two-day game if you are happy with the way you have coped and happy with yourself mentally, the batsmen were free to come back,” Bangar added.