Virat Kohli, Ravi Shastri
Virat Kohli, Ravi Shastri. (Photo: Twitter)

Former India fielding coach R Sridhar has said that former India head coach Ravi Shastri always made it a point to mention that he wants the 11 best fielders on the ground and India captain Virat Kohli always insisted that fielding is non-negotiable.

When R Sridhar joined India as a fielding coach he had a big job in front of him to improve India’s fielding as they had an awful outing in England where India lost the series by 4-1. The series witnessed a very poor fielding display from the Indian team, especially in the slip cordon.

Ravi Shastri, Virat Kohli, India
Ravi Shastri, Virat Kohli. (Photo: Twitter)

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In an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times, R Sridhar said that the immediate challenge for him when he joined as a coach was to improve the slip catching of the team. Sridhar revealed that India was a good fielding team in limited-overs cricket but improving India’s fielding in Test cricket was challenging.

 “The immediate challenge was to improve the slip catching. We were a very good fielding team in white-ball cricket even at that time. So it was easy for me to get things moving in white-ball (formats), but the red ball was a challenge. And in the shorter format, the challenge was to reduce the gap between the good and bad days.

 “For starters, our slip catch conversion rate was about 64-67% across various conditions. Today, it stands at 83-84%,” Sridhar said.

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My Job Was To Energize The Skills Of The Team And Marry Them To The Vision Of The Leaders – R Sridhar

Ravi Shastri Always Made It A Point To Mention That He Wanted 11 Best Fielders And Virat Kohli Insisted That Fielding Is Non-Negotiable – R Sridhar
Ravi Shastri, Virat Kohli and R Sridhar. (Credits: Twitter)

Former India fielding coach further added that his job was to energize the skills of the team and match them to the vision of captain MS Dhoni and captain Virat Kohli. He also told that Shastri and Kohli have clearly mentioned that they want the best fielding efforts from the players on the ground.

When I had joined, MS (Dhoni) was the captain and all that I needed to do was have a chat with him in regards to his vision and where he wants every player to be.

“Once I knew what his vision was and where his team should be for the 2015 (ODI) World Cup—although I was not sure whether I’ll be there myself—I started working on those lines. So it was not about my vision, it was about Dhoni’s vision. And when Virat (Kohli) took over, it was about his vision,” he asserted.

MS Dhoni, Ravi Shastri, Virat Kohli
MS Dhoni, Ravi Shastri, Virat Kohli. (Photo: Twitter)

My job was to energize the skills of the team and marry them to the vision of the leaders. Ravi (Shastri, head coach) always made it a point to mention that he wanted the 11 best fielders on the park. And Virat always insisted that fielding is non-negotiable,” he added.

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