Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar has slammed the Indian fielders for giving two reprieves to Ben Stokes Enroute a blistering 82 in the first Test at Chennai. The Indian team which put up an inspired fight in Australia to win the series 2-1 has not been anywhere near to their best in the ongoing first Test against England. Losing the toss yesterday, India has been on the back foot considerably and it does not look like a good sign for India.
Joe Root and Ben Stokes resumed the day at 263 for 3 and put up a great partnership together to take England safely to lunch without losing any wicket in the session. Ben Stokes was the aggressor and he made an exciting 82 off just 118 balls. To make things worse, India dropped Ben stokes twice with R Ashwin dropping a caught and bowl while Pujara missed a tough chance.
Sunil Gavaskar Urges Indian Team To Do A Lot More Fielding
Sunil Gavaskar criticized the Indian fielders for dropping chances and he urged the Indian fielding coach to try to give ‘caught and bowl’ catches to the bowler to get him used to it like the Coach gives the fielder catches from the cut shot and pull shot. Sunil Gavaskar also stressed that the ‘caught and bowled’ is also an important prospect of fielding and should be practiced in the fielding sessions if possible.
“Just like they practice the pull shot, the cut shot in the nets, I think the fielding coach must also try and give them these caught and bowled situations as if the bowler has bowled and then he looks up and the catch comes. It is an important aspect. India have been missing a fair few caught and bowled opportunities. I don’t know how they will be able to practice that but they need to do that,” Sunil Gavaskar said on the post-lunch show.
“When He Does Give You A Chance, You’ve Got To Take It” – Mark Butcher
Former England Batsman Mark Butcher also commented on the dropped chance of Ben Stokes stating that India must hold on to their chances when the batsman offers it. He told Ashwin expected the ball to go to his left, and hence was wrong-footed making it tough for himself. He added that Ashwin was in no position to catch it.
“When he does give you a chance, you’ve got to take it. Ben Stokes was aiming that drive over mid-on because his body shape and the bat face was towards mid-on, Ashwin didn’t expect it to go to his right. He perhaps expected to go to his left so it wrong-footed him a little bit. He just stuck his hand out and was never in a position to catch it. That’s just the chance you desperately wanna take but unfortunately for Ashwin, he couldn’t,” said former England opener Mark Butcher on the show.
India needs to take quick wickets to stay in the game as Joe Root has become the first player to score a double century on his 100th Test.