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India need to cross the spilling fields

Asked about India’s fielding in the Leeds ODI, Rahul Dravid says, "I have been saying it every time that we are not fielding well," reports Amol Karhadkar.

india Updated: Sep 04, 2007 23:39 IST
Amol Karhadkar

Sunday at Headingley was slightly peculiar in one way. On one hand, the innumerable fielding lapses, the team’s most visible feature of this series, continued.

On the other, Mahendra Singh Dhoni showed a different side to the wary wicketkeeper we have witnessed in England and grabbed every chance that came his way to equal the world record for most dismissals in an innings.

But Dhoni’s performance could not make up for the worry over the others — at least three clear chances went abegging and 20 runs were probably given away again.

In the third over, Sachin Tendulkar at first slip gave Prior a reprieve. While the wind seemed to have changed the ball’s direction after it took the edge, it should have been a regulation catch for Tendulkar.

Then Ganguly at second slip dropped Bell off the first ball he faced. Ganguly never really looked like he would catch the edge that sped towards him. He clutched at the ball, which duly went through and down.

Later, Ajit Agarkar was guilty of erring. In the 35th over, Paul Collingwood, the only real threat for India then, finally mistimed one after hitting four sixes.

Piyush Chawla had started celebrating his first wicket as Agarkar, one of the reliable fielders in the outfield, ran in towards the ball. But suddenly, Chawla saw the ball pass between Agarkar’s palms, skim his head and bounce once before crossing the ropes.

What could Rahul Dravid say when asked about India’s fielding for the nth time? "I have been saying it every time — the fact is that we are not fielding well," said Dravid, only lightening up when Dhoni was mentioned. “That was nice,” he said. Probably sending up a silent prayer.