Bangar blames batsmen for loss to Windies in 4th ODI
The pitch was slow and shot-making difficult but India batting coach Sanjay Bangar said these factors cannot cover up for the fact that batsmen "let the team down" in the lost fourth one-dayer against the West Indies here.
Chasing a modest 190 for win, the Indian willow-wielders found the going tough on a two-paced Antigua pitch to lose the fourth ODI by 11 runs and allow the West Indies to stay alive in the five-match series.
India, however, lead the series 2-1 after the first ODI was abandoned due to rain.
"It (the pitch) kept getting slower and shot-making wasn't really easy. Those have been the nature of wickets we have seen so far. But we didn't really bat to our potential.
It was a gettable score. I just felt the batsmen let the team down," said Bangar.
"We encountered this situation even in the previous game when we lost a couple of wickets in the first 10 overs but we still managed to get 260 on a wicket which was very very damp. Suffice to say we have been playing on wickets which have been difficult.
"Credit to them (West Indies). They executed their plans really well but I just felt it was a very very gettable score," he added.
Chasing the modest target, India lost three wickets, including that of Virat Kohli, inside the 50-run mark before Ajinkya Rahane (60 off 91) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (54 off 114) steadied the ship with a crawling but crucial 54-run stand for the fourth wicket.
But India couldn't finish off the chase as they witnessed another collapse towards the end with Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja and Dhoni departing in quick succession.
"The plan was for somebody to bat deeper into the innings. That's what Ajinkya did till he got out. Till that time we were on course but suddenly we lost couple of wickets. Those wickets in the middle overs actually pushed us back. The run rate just kept on creeping higher and higher," Bangar said at the post-match press conference. The batting coach rued the shot-selection of Indian batsmen and said the platform was ideal for the lower middle-order to prove its worth.