Working On Getting Better At Defending Targets: India Batting Coach Vikram Rathour

India's death overs bowling is hitting them hard since the Asia Cup super 4 games against Pakistan and Sri Lanka. In fact, the bowlers let India down in the first T20I despite putting up their highest total of 208/6 against Australia.

Working On Getting Better At Defending Targets: India Batting Coach Vikram Rathour
India batting coach Vikram Rathour (Photo: ANI)

Ahead of the first T20I against South Africa, India batting coach Vikram Rathour has admitted that defending targets is one of the areas where team needs to be better.

India's death overs bowling is hitting them hard since the Asia Cup super 4 games against Pakistan and Sri Lanka. In fact, the bowlers let India down in the first T20I despite putting up their highest total of 208/6 against Australia.

"We are working on that area of getting better at defending targets. But to be fair to our bowlers, toss plays a vital role and every time we have not been able to defend are the places where there has been dew, so it gets easier to chase," Rathour said on the eve of the first T20I against South Africa in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.

"I won't be harsh on bowlers as they have been able to push the match till last over, every time, when we are looking to defend. It's one ball here and there but of course we are doing pretty well but hopefully we will get better," he added.

The batting coach also didn't agree that India aren't putting big enough targets when asked to bat first.

Asked if the batters in the middle decide on a possible target, the coach replied, "Definitely, it depends on the surface that we are playing on but when you say we haven't been able to put up good scores, I don't agree with that.
"I think batting first that was one of the concerns during the last T20 World Cup but since then, we have been putting up par or par plus scores every time that we have batted first. So I don't think that's an issue."

Rathour further told that players have been given freedom by the management to execute their own plans.

"At this level, we are not telling them anything. Arsh (Arshdeep Singh) has done extremely well in IPL in death overs, so we just support them to follow plans. They know where to bowl to each batter and follow their plans," he said.

"We expect them (bowling unit) to back their strengths. There are no specific areas I want Arshdeep to improve and he has the composure to handle pressure in difficult conditions."

While giving optimum game time to the first team starters in the T20 World Cup is a priority, the other challenge will be to adapt to the Australian conditions.

"Adapting to Australian conditions will be the biggest challenge that we have. We want to give as much opportunities as possible to those playing in the World Cup but how that will happen depends on game situation," Rathour said.

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