Catches win matches. It is cricket phrase that has been proven right for many years. However, in the ongoing series between India and England, both teams are determined to prove this phrase wrong. (UPDATES)
Although India are leading the five-match series 1-0, the catching has been abysmal. In the Rajkot Test, India dropped five catches while England suffered from the Butter-fingers syndrome in Vizag. (SCORECARD)
In the Rajkot Test, England skipper Alastair Cook was dropped twice and he went on to score a gritty 81. India dropped Ben Stokes twice and he went on to score a hundred as England drew the match. In Vizag, Adil Rashid dropped Virat Kohli and effectively the match as the Indian skipper smashed 167 to give India a 246-run victory.
Speaking in the post-match press conference after Rajkot, Kohli had emphasised that India needed to improve in certain areas. “We could have been much better on days one and two. We dropped five catches and that makes a huge difference.”
It looks like the Indian players are not listening to Kohli as they have carried the Butter-Finger syndrome even to the Mohali Test. In the second over of the day, Cook edged a good length ball that straightened on middle but the edge flew past Ravindra Jadeja at gully who failed to get a hand on it.
This incident drew comparisons with the Southampton Test in 2014 where India, leading 0-1 after the Lord’s win, came into the Test and Jadeja dropped Cook early in his innings off Pankaj Singh. The skipper went on to make 95 and England regained the initiative to win the match and the subsequent series 3-1.
It got even worse for India in the 11th over. It was Shami who suffered again. Cook clipped a full ball to mid wicket where Ravichandran Ashwin put down a simple catch. However, the two dropped catches did not prove costly and Cook fell to Ashwin for 27.
India are on top in Mohali and are leading the series 1-0. However, their catching has been abysmal and in the long run, it could hurt Kohli’s team.