India’s fielding coach, Ramakrishnan Sridhar, commonly known as R Sridhar, admits that Team India need to improve on their fielding after a disappointing show in the field on the Australia tour. India dropped about 31 catches on the tour which comprised of 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is, and 3 Tests.
Some of those drops proved costly: Steve Smith in the ODIs, and later Tim Paine and Marnus Labuschagne. who all were given reprieves by the Indian fielders made telling contributions with the bat for Australia. Sridhar feels that the visitors were better in the field post the Adelaide Test.
“There is definitely room for improvement. We have to believe in the process we are putting in and try to infuse fresh energy and do things which keep the boys in good shape,” R Sridhar told Times of India.
“We also have to balance the workload, monitor injuries, and practice sessions. It is a very tight rope walk. We made a distinct effort to focus on fielding after Adelaide and we did pretty well. Credit to the boys who did catch pretty well. We did drop a couple but it looks a lot easier on television,” R Sridhar said.
We tend to look at only the misses most: R Sridhar
R Sridhar, who played domestic cricket for Hyderabad, points out that several incidents where the Indian players took brilliant catches and induced run-outs throughout the tour. Led by Virat Kohli’s superb diving catch in Adelaide, other fielders as well improved their standards in the field later in the Test series.
“In the Adelaide Test, Virat Kohli took a brilliant catch diving to his right to get rid of Cameron Green. In Sydney, we saw (Cheteshwar) Pujara catch Smith at backward short-leg off (Ravichandran) Ashwin, which was extremely sharp. Then we saw Jaddu’s (Ravindra Jadeja) fantastic run-out of (Steve) Smith in Sydney. And Rohit (Sharma) took five catches in Brisbane, a record for an Indian fielder in Australia.”
“We got a run-out in almost every game. Matthew Wade was brilliantly run out by Wriddhiman Saha in the Adelaide Test. Because it was the second innings, it got swept away as they hardly had any runs to get. Even Rishabh (Pant) took two very good catches of (Tim) Paine and Wade in Brisbane,” he said.
The 50-year-old says that even though the Indian fielders took some superb catches more often, however, people will criticize them for missing a few – the Australians spilt numerous chances as well.
“Saha, substituting for Rishabh in the second innings in Sydney, pulled off a brilliant catch down the leg side to pack off Marnus Labuschagne. And Ajinkya (Rahane) catching Marnus at slip off Jaddu were all enthralling moments in the series.”
“These we can recall with so much joy but we tend to look at only the misses most,” R Sridhar felt.