Prior to the fourth ODI of the ongoing five-match ODI series against the hosts New Zealand, the Indian fielding coach R Sridhar spoke about the team’s success. While he talked about the game-time for the reserves, he also spoke about the reason for their recent fielding success.
India has dominated in this ongoing New Zealand tour as they have won the first three games of the series comfortably and already have secured the series by leading 3-0 with two ODIs to go.
Talking about their winning habit, according to PTI, Sridhar told in the pre-match press conference, “See, winning is a habit which we would obviously want to continue. When you’re one-up or three-up against a team, you want to continue with the form; you want to don’t want to let down the intensity.”
Indian skipper Virat Kohli has taken rest from the remaining tour of the series. Sridhar believes that it is a good time to watch out the reserves who may go to the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup in England & Wales.
While the tournament is less than four months to go, Sridhar quoted, “At the same time, we also need to give game-time to our reserves. There’s just seven games remaining for us before we play our first World Cup game. We should not end up in a situation where the main eleven has played and the reserves have not got enough game time, and then suddenly they have to play an important crucial game in the World Cup.
“And that is what we would like to achieve from the remaining two games in this series and no better place than New Zealand to simulate the conditions in England in June.”
The recent fielding quality of the Indian cricket team is very top-ranked. Sridhar revealed two processes to improve it – ‘blindfold technique’ and ‘Teammate’.
Talking about the ‘blindfold technique’ that was used especially during their England Test series in last year, Sridhar said, “We have a feeder behind a curtain and the catcher doesn’t know from where the ball is coming from. We would slide it from under the curtain…It did improve their reaction time (reflex), we did that extensively in England throughout the Test series. It was specifically for red-ball cricket.”
On the other hand, talking about the ‘teammate’, Sridhar added, “We brought a different type of machine called ‘Teammate’ for slip-catching simulations. We did a lot of blindfold work or reaction work. By the time, we reached Australia, it was a well-oiled machine and if you see, Virat Kohli took some brilliant catches.”
Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya made his international comeback in the last ODI and his performance in that game has impressed many cricket fans.
Speaking about Hardik’s return to the squad, the Indian fielding coach said, “No one was more keen than Hardik Pandya to play that game. He’s been working very hard during the time he got back home and the kind of energy he brought into the team, the desperation he brought was magnificent to see. He’s always been a good fielder. He was just dying to get into the thick of things and be a part of this and get back to what he loves doing, that is to play cricket and play it best he can.”
Sridhar further praised Pandya for his stunning catch to dismiss the Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson. He further added that Pandya is one of the best fielders in the national squad.
The Indian fielding coach added, “That catch – he made a very difficult catch look easy. By no means an easy catch and then also the fact that it was Kane Williamson’s catch; the extra pressure of one of the best batsmen in the world. I think that was a turning point.
“I would say a piece of magic from Hardik Pandya. He’s known for that. He’s one of the best fielders as we have in the country. If you also notice, he hit the stumps on quite a few occasions in his comeback match, which was very pleasing to see.”