‘Dropped catch syndrome’ continues to plague India in Nidahas Trophy T20

The Indian cricket team is having a great run in T20s but players have been guilty of dropping catches regularly and it was no different in Thursday’s win over Bangladesh in the Nidahas Trophy.

cricket Updated: Mar 09, 2018 20:35 IST
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Hindustan Times, Colombo
Indian cricket team,Sri Lankan cricket team,Nidahas Trophy
Suresh Raina drops a catch during the second T20 match between Bangladesh and India in Colombo on Thursday.(AFP)

India bounced back in style in the Nidahas Trophy 2018 T20 tri-series with a six-wicket win over Bangladesh on Thursday. After their loss to Sri Lanka, this win will help the Rohit Sharma-led side get back on track and build momentum.

However, the victory over Bangladesh hid a crucial issue which has been plaguing them since the series against Sri Lanka in December. The India players have dropped a total of eight catches in their last eight T20 games, four of them in the game against Bangladesh.

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Butter-fingers, no judgement

In the very first over of the game against Mahmudullah’s side, Liton Das top-edged a slog and it sailed to fine leg. Three fielders converged on the ball, one running back from backward square leg, two others running from deep mid wicket and fine leg. However, no one called for it and the ball landed safely in between the fielders, indicating the failure to call and a lack of judgement.

In the third over, Tamim Iqbal danced down the track to spinner Washington Sundar, but skipper Rohit Sharma failed to hold on to the catch at cover. In the seventh over, India’s fielding deteriorated. All-rounder Vijay Shankar was the unlucky bowler as he had two catches dropped in the same over, including one by Suresh Raina, one of India’s best fielders, at mid-off and by Sundar at fine leg. Shankar himself failed to latch on to a difficult catch off Sabbir Rahman in the 15th over.

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One dropped catch on average in the last eight games, yet India have won six of them. The side has been incredibly lucky that South Africa and Sri Lanka have not made them pay for the lapses. If India are to become a thorough unit, then the hours and hours of catching drills that take place before the game must be utilised on the field.

Youngsters spill chances

What might make India ponder is that youngsters in the side considered the most athletic and agile of the lot have dropped catches. In the series against South Africa, Shardul Thakur, the 26-year-old Mumbai bowler, dropped Heinrich Klassen in the Cape Town T20I. In the first match of the Nidahas Trophy, 20-year-old Rishabh Pant spilled a tough chance off Upul Tharanga as India lost the opportunity to build pressure following Kusal Perera’s blitz, going on to lose the game.

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“As cricketers, we know it is not easy to field under lights and with the white ball.” This was Vijay Shankar’s assessment of the dropped catches against Bangladesh. However, a time might come when the opposition can make India pay for their sloppy fielding. This tournament gives India the opportunity to tie up this loose end.

First Published: Mar 09, 2018 18:04 IST