‘Haven’t lived up to standards’: India fielding coach criticises Kuldeep’s drop catch, acknowledges downward curve in fielding
India’s fielding was one of the main reasons why Virat Kohli’s men went down to New Zealand in the first ODI. In fact, the overall fielding standards of Team India in the ongoing New Zealand has been cause of concern for the Indian team management. Ahead of the must-win 2nd ODI against New Zealand at Auckland, India’s fielding coach R Sridhar agreed that they need to put up a good show in the field if they want to make a comeback in this three-match series.
Talking about the poor moments in the first ODI, the coach said, “Overthrows, I mean, you are talking about Manish (Pandey) -- he took a chance. He had to do it, and we needed a wicket at that time.
“You can bargain four runs for a wicket and it was the best player who was there at that time. These things happen, you can’t look too deep into that.” But Sridhar minced no words in his criticism of Kuldeep Yadav’s dropped catch of centurion Ross Taylor. “...that catch should have been taken. Probably it was after his first over, maybe he was thinking about his previous over, could be anything. It could not be a technical aspect at all.
“We are trying to get better but we were average. There is no doubt about that. We can get better,” he said.
Kuldeep Yadav dropped Ross Taylor when he was batting on 10 and he went on to smash an unbeaten 103 to guide New Zealand to victory.
“We keep reminding the players about attention to basic detail...In a T20 game, each fielder has to be his own captain. He need not wait for the captain to move him or the bowler to move him in a certain direction or to a certain position,” Sridhar said. “We try and tell them to think ahead of the game, you as a fielder captain yourself, see which way the breeze is, which way the batsman’s tendencies to hit are, what’s the bowler’s plan and position accordingly,” he added.
Sridhar also said that the downward curve in India’s fielding has been from the West Indies series. He said fatigue could be a contributing factor to losses during this time period, including the one in the first ODI against New Zealand at Hamilton on Wednesday.
“...the West Indies series at home was somewhere we really dropped. We were average, to say the least. But definitely we have not lived to the standards as we did in the world Cup or even in the build-up to the World Cup in the last couple years,” said Sridhar on the eve of the second ODI at Auckland.
“We empower the fielders so that they can become their own captain and they can take decisions on their own because the captain has got too much on his plate at certain times. That’s what we speak about,” he added.
India’s fielding regime has been impacted by the constant travelling on this tour. There was only one full session before the T20 International series whereas the other three sessions have all been optional.
“That’s the nature of the current schedule, we have to take it. We have to play around it but we hardly had a session during the entire T20 schedule. There is not much we can put in terms of technical work on the ground...,” he pointed out.
“Apart from that, we do have a look at the videos and see what led to an error. It need not always be a technical error every time there is a fumble or a dropped catch. We need to know whether it could be a tactical position error or the mind not being in the right place, so many things that can lead to it,” he explained.
“It is a tight schedule but it is not a complaint and it is not an excuse at all. We need to be better.”
India face New Zealand in the 2nd ODI at Auckland on Saturday.
(With inputs from PTI)