R Sridhar is looking to improve India’s close-in catching
By Sandy - Mar 6, 2018 9:04 am
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While Indian cricket team is performing well in most of the cricket aspects even in outside Asia, their slip fielding and close fielding are still needed to improve. In the recently concluded South Africa tour, where India performed very well and won both the limited-overs bilateral series, close-in catching were still in concern specially in the Test series.

R Sridhar

Indian fielding coach R Sridhar is totally aware on that matter and he is looking to improve in that place before the beginning of India’s next big tour in England which will begin in this July.

Speaking about that, Sridhar told TOI, “One area I would definitely want (us) to improve is the close-in catching for the Test team. On wickets in South Africa, every fourth wicket that falls is a catch in slips or gully. We expect the same on pitches in England as well. We are going to address that and plan some tough training regime before the England tour. Slip catching is an area where we are going to go hard.”

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Indian bowlers are also doing a great job in the fielding. In the recently concluded South African tour, Indian bowlers provided some great performances on their fielding. Sridhar was looking very pleased to see the fielding of the Indian bowlers as he said, “The best example for this is Jasprit Bumrah. There is 100% improvement in his fielding. His running and diving efforts during the Johannesburg Test and the ODI in Centurion were noteworthy. We worked with him on his catching technique, on his anticipation and what position he must be in when the ball hits the bat, where to look at and also on his throwing technique. Each player in this team takes his fielding seriously. Bhuvneshwar’s catch on the boundary ropes to dismiss Amla in the fourth ODI was magnificent. All this stems from Virat who wanted fielding to be each player’s secondary skill. Also, our players back each other at all times on the field.”

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Indian wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel, who kept wicket in the last two Test matches during India’s South African tour due to Wriddhiman Saha’s injury, missed some important catches during the Test series. When Sridhar was asked about that, he said, “On the field, players ensure that the one who dropped a catch — his body language doesn’t drop and he is able to concentrate on the job at hand. In the case of Parthiv, it was a case of more self-belief, more positivity and some more visualisation which the support staff ensured he received before going to the field again. He came back and did a good job for us in the Johannesburg Test till he got injured.”