SL Board President's XI v Indians, Colombo, 3rd day August 8, 2015

'Rohit brings flair at No. 3' - Bangar

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'Matter of time before Rohit converts a big score' - Bangar

India's batting coach Sanjay Bangar believes Rohit Sharma has plenty to offer at No. 3 despite two failures in the tour match in Colombo.

Rohit began his Test career with scores of 177 and 111 not out against West Indies in 2013, but has had a more modest run since then, averaging 23.75 across 17 innings. He began batting at No. 3 against Australia, in January this year, and has scores of 53, 39 and 6 in that position. His ODI returns have been impressive, however.

"I think what Rohit definitely brings at No. 3 is the flair factor," Bangar said. "With the kind of cricket that this team is looking to play wherein we are wanting to at least go past 300 on each batting day, that's where somebody of his calibre can chip in and contribute in that manner."

Rohit collected scores of 8 and 7 at the Premadasa, and was dismissed in both innings by deliveries that seamed back at him. Bangar, however, was confident these setbacks would be quickly overcome.

"Somebody like a Rohit is an experienced campaigner. He has been on the international scene for a long period and he is hitting a lot of balls in the nets. Whatever absence of time that he has not been able to spend out in the middle, we are spending time in the nets. He is batting really well. It's just a matter of time that he gets a decent start and looks to convert that into a big one."

Wicketkeeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha also picked up two single-figure scores in the tour match. Saha has a Test average of 17 in the nine innings he has played so far, but this start does not do justice to his potential, Bangar said.

"Saha is just at the start of his career. We need to be patient with him, give him time to settle. He is filling the boots, the huge void left by somebody like a Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He is a proven performer. He does bat really well, he is quite capable and versatile, and a good player against spin bowling. I think with time he will get more comfortable in this position and we are making all the efforts to ensure he clicks in that particular slot."

Saha has nothing more substantial than three Test thirties - two of which came in the recent tour to Australia. However, he does have a first -class average of 44.08, with nine hundreds.

"He has put in some fabulous performances for his state - been one of the mainstays for Bengal as also for East Zone," Bangar said. "The beauty about him is that whenever the chips are down, he comes out and delivers. We need only go back to Sydney or the Adelaide Test where he did really play well.

"It's just that he couldn't convert those starts of 30 or 35 into match-winning innings. I think we need to give some time for him to mature and get accustomed to the kind of pressure that somebody like a wicketkeeper-batsman faces in a Test format."

M Vijay is the major injury concern in the India camp. He had suffered a hamstring strain during the team's recent ODI series in Zimbabwe, and was rested for this tour match as a result.

"The physio is putting in a lot of work on Vijay and we will have to wait and just assess how he turns up before the day of the match," Bangar said. "From a team perspective, having a fit Vijay is going to be a big asset. He does give a lot of solidity and plays the anchor role which is required in this format. We are all hoping that he turns up 100% fit."

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

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