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Indian batting coach urges patience with Gill, Iyer

Indian batting coach urges patience with Gill, Iyer
The likes of Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer deserve patience amid their current poor run, according to Indian batting coach Vikram Rathour who has urged his wards to tackle England's aggression with intelligence in the second Test at Vishakhapatnam. The Indians lost the opening Test in Hyderabad by 28 runs despite having a 190-run first innings lead. England managed to shock the home favourites with their 'Bazball' approach with Ollie Pope scoring a match-winning 196.

The second Test starts here on Friday.

"There are young batters in our team who have not played much Test cricket. So, we need to be a bit patient with them. Batters like (Shubman) Gill, (Yashasvi) Jaiswal and (Shreyas) Iyer will eventually start getting big runs, I'm sure of it," Rathour said at a press conference here.

Although Jaiswal played a knock of 80 in the first innings of his fifth Test, Gill and Iyer failed to fire, continuing their struggles in the format. While Gill has played 21 Tests, Iyer has appeared in 13 five-day games.

Gill hasn't scored a 50 in his last nine Test innings. Iyer has been similarly off-colour.

Rathour said he expects better application from the side's batters in second Test where the home team will once again miss the services of the redoubtable Virat Kohli.

"There's a difference between playing with intent and playing attacking cricket. I want them to play with intent. If there is the opportunity to score some runs, they should take it," Rathour said.

"They need to decide by looking at the surface and conditions. So, the batters need to possess that intelligence as to which is the best or safest shot on the surface," he explained.

Rathour felt India's batting performance in the second innings of the Hyderabad Test probably lacked discipline.

"Could they have batted with more discipline? Maybe they could have. That's what they need to decide and come up with their plans," he observed.

"But, they need to score runs by playing their shots, as you need to back your strengths. Batting is always about scoring runs. It's not about not getting out but how many runs you put on the board," he said.

England used the sweep shot quite well to blunt the effectiveness of Indian spinners but Rathour said it's not a stroke that can be added overnight to a player's repertoire.

"...you need to be prepared for that by practising it. If you add more shots to your game, it's always beneficial. We played traditionally. The strength of strong areas is going straight when it comes to using our feet.

"We can keep doing that, and of course, if we can add more shots and score through the square of the wicket, that's always an addition," he said.

Rathour also heaped praise on the English batters for playing brave cricket, especially Pope, effectively taking the game away from Rohit Sharma's men.

However, he maintained that England's strong showing has not put his team under any additional pressure.

"They (England) were brave. They took their chances, which worked for them. The kind of innings Pope played was exceptional. I haven't seen too many playing such a knock against our bowling attack," he said.

"I don't think (there's any pressure). We are expected to win while playing in India, and the boys are used to that by now.

"The message to them from the support staff is to play good cricket and not bother about results too much. The other teams also come well-prepared. Since we have won Test matches in Australia, England and South Africa, we also expect them to win a Test in India."

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