Former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif was known for his remarkable fielding skills and a handy batsman in the middle-order. He and Yuvraj Singh were the trendsetters for India’s fielding unit in the early 2000s, saving plenty of runs and bagging remarkable catches inside the 30-yard circle. In an interview with Times of India, Mohammad Kaif has described what is required to become a top-quality fieldsman.
Despite India boasting the highest standards of fielding today, Mohammad Kaif earlier expressed concerns about the lack of good fielders. The likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Manish Pandey, and Ravindra Jadeja are part of India’s fielding unit – the best a team could ask for. The addition of Ajinkya Rahane in the Test team is also an invaluable one.
Mohammad Kaif said that becoming an excellent fielder entailed long hour of practice. The retired batsman said that it is all about quantity through which the reflex, the technique, and the hand-eye coordination improves. The 39-year old furthermore remarked that it also depends upon the player’s will and commitment to spend long hours on the field.
“To become a good fielder one has put in long hours of practice. The fielding drills should not be about quality but quantity, only then one can become a good fielder. One should be obsessed about becoming a good fielder,” Mohammad Kaif said.
Because a match doesn’t have a 30-minute time span, so you should have the fitness of staying on the ground. A catch can come anytime even if you are tired, you may have to dive, you may have to slide to catch the ball. That ability comes through the practice of quantity, not quality. You should also have a good technique and good hand-eye coordination,” he added.
But if you make up your mind that you have to spend long hours at the field, then you can become a good fielder. One cannot become a good fielder by looking at the time and an hour-long practice. Keep the time aside and give emphasis on effort and commitment, only then you can become a good fielder.”
Ravindra Jadeja is setting a good example: Mohmmad Kaif
Mohammad Kaif hailed all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, saying he leads by example for the fielding unit and improving by age. The middle-order batsman feels that fielding is analogous to batting, adding one needs to know how to run fast, endurance, and have a good aim even after stopping the ball diving.
“Jadeja is improving by age and is setting a good example. Just like a complete batsman is the one who can play the bouncer well, is able to drive, play the cut and the pull well and play spin also comfortably and has patience to stay at the crease,” Kaif stated.
All these things add up to make a good batsman. It is the same in fielding. You should know how to slide, you should be able to run fast, you should have endurance, you should have a good aim even after stopping the ball with a dive. All these things add up to make a good fielder,” he concluded.