The catch is in those that have gone abegging | india | Hindustan Times
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The catch is in those that have gone abegging

india Updated: Dec 13, 2013 00:41 IST
Khurram Habib
India tour of South Africa

With an average age of just over 26, this India side is among the youngest, most athletic and the chirpiest. While they've been on the ball, literally, over the past few months, barring this odd outing here, they've been failing regularly on the 'catching' front.

On Wednesday night, Ishant Sharma was asked about Quinton de Kock. Even before he could speak about the 20-year-old's special talent, he termed him 'lucky' what with dropped chances and edges helping him to a record-equalling third ODI century in a row.

That reaction gave vent to feeling India's bowlers are beginning to have for their fielders. De Kock was dropped twice, once by Yuvraj Singh and then by Ajinkya Rahane, one of the youngsters in the side.

Lucky, happy
De Kock laughed off Ishant's comment, saying, "I think he (Ishant) is right." The young South African, of course, wasn't able to appreciate the frustration of an Indian bowler.

Over the past few months, India have been winning series after series. Before this hiding in South Africa, they had won six on the trot, including the Champions Trophy.

While batting has been their strength, bowling has come under scrutiny often. The worst aspect however has been the catching. They have looked pretty strong as far as ground fielding is concerned but catching has suffered.

Grassing them
Vice-captain Virat Kohli, who is one of the better fielders, has been guilty on occasions while MS Dhoni's glovework too has come up short.

Kohli has dropped at least four catches in the last couple of series in India while Dhoni also wasn't able to hold on to chances, the second ODI against West Indies in Kanpur for instance. On Wednesday too an edge flicked his gloves before going down.

No wonder, most of the former players in South Africa were surprised to see India's catching on Wednesday with Herschelle Gibbs, one of the best fielders in the world at his peak, too expressing surprise.

A problem
R Ashwin, generally confident and always ready to take on tough questions, admitted rather politely that it has been a problem.

"It is important what we do over the next few weeks in terms of catching. The ball has been travelling faster and some catches, which we don't expect to reach us back home, are reaching us here. We will have to hold on to a lot of catches over the next week or so."

Except that by the time they get used to South African conditions, they'll be out of here. Problems of acclimatisation are visible here too!