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Bangar backs Indian middle-order after Hamilton debacle



Wellington, Feb 2: After India suffered a humiliating eight-wicket defeat in the fourth ODI of the five-match series against New Zealand, assistant coach Sanjay Bangar has backed the middle-order batsmen saying they step up whenever it is needed.

Speaking on the eve of the fifth and final contest of the rubber, Bangar said: "The middle order has risen to the occasion many times and delivered. Yes some situation has been trying but it is not that the middle order hasn't performed."

Backing the middle-order batsmen by giving examples of previous occasions, the 46-year-old said: "When required, more often than not whenever it has been put in a situation, it has delivered, may be the last game was an aberration."

With the Indian top-order comprising Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, and regular skipper Virat Kohli scoring the bulk of the runs in the recent times, Bangar said: "If they (top-order batsmen) are batting well then the middle order doesn't get the opportunity required to maintain the groove." 

"It is also one of those series where our top order hasn't got a hundred, so it has given a lot of time to the middle order to go out there and play situations… and they have finished games when they have got an opportunity."

India, who already lead the rubber 3-1, will take on hosts New Zealand in the final contest here on Sunday.

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