'Fielding coach needs to give these situations': Sunil Gavaskar not happy after India drop Ben Stokes twice in two overs | Crickit
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'Fielding coach needs to give these situations': Sunil Gavaskar not happy after India drop Ben Stokes twice in two overs

Feb 06, 2021 11:32 PM IST

Legendary India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar and former England opener Mark Butcher were not pleased with India off-spinner R Ashwin for dropping the caught and bowled opportunity of Ben Stokes.

Ben Stokes got two chances in two overs as he rode his luck to pile on the misery of the Indian bowlers along with captain Joe Root to take England to a commanding position on Day 2 of the first Test match in Chennai.

India fielders during Day 2 of the India vs England first Test in Chennai(BCCI)
India fielders during Day 2 of the India vs England first Test in Chennai(BCCI)

Stokes was dropped twice in successive overs – the first one was a caught and bowled opportunity squandered by Ashwin and the next one was a difficult chance put down by Pujara.

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Legendary India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar and former England opener Mark Butcher were not pleased with Ashwin for dropping the caught and bowled opportunity of Ben Stokes.

India vs England 1st test live score Day 2

Gavaskar said India’s fielding coach should make sure the bowlers practice caught and bowled opportunities regularly to minimise such errors.

“Just like they practice the pull shot, the cut shot in the nets, I think the fielding coach must also try and give them these caught and bowled situations as if the bowler has bowled and then he looks up and the catch comes. It is an important aspect. India have been missing a fair few caught and bowled opportunities. I don’t know how they will be able to practice that but they need to do that,” Gavaskar said on the post-lunch show on Star Sports.

It happened in the 110th over of the England innings when Stokes came down the track wanting to work the ball towards the on-side and got a leading edge which went straight back to Ashwin. The India off-spinner was caught off guard by the velocity at which the ball came at him and could only stick his right hand out more in hope than anything concrete.

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Unfortunately for Ashwin, the catch didn’t stick and Stokes got a life.

“When he does give you a chance, you’ve got to take it. Ben Stokes was aiming that drive over mid-on because his body shape and the bat face was towards mid-on, Ashwin didn’t expect it to go to his right. He perhaps expected to go to his left so it wrong-footed him a little bit. He just stuck his hand out and was never in a position to catch it. That’s just the chance you desperately wanna take but unfortunately for Ashwin, he couldn’t,” said former England opener Mark Butcher on the show.

What hurt India more was the fact that Stokes was dropped again in the next over bowled by Shahbaz Nadeem. However, this was a much difficult chance and it could have gone down as an early candidate for the catch of the year had Pujara held on to it at mid-wicket.

England went to lunch at 355 for three with Stokes unbeaten on 63 off 98 balls and captain Joe Root eyeing a double ton with 156 already beside his name.

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