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‘India are the best in ground fielding’, believes R Sridhar

R Sridhar said slip-catching has been slightly erratic for India. This happened because key players picked up injuries.

R Sridhar
R Sridhar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Indian fielding coach R Sridhar believes that the Indians are the best unit as far as ground fielding is concerned at this moment. However, he also insisted that before India became the world best in ground fielding they had to do lots of practice which ultimately resulted in a world-class fielding squad for India.

The Men in Blue got some acrobatic fielders in skipper Virat Kohli, all-rounder Hardik Pandya and wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who is the fastest keeper in the world at this moment. But there were times when Indian fielders were sloppy and had butterfingers, but Team India doesn’t want to look back at those days instead they worked hard on their fielding which has helped them build pressure on the opposition and convert half chances into wickets.

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According to Sridhar the conditions of ground fielding has changed since the Indian Premier League (IPL) became the most famous T20 tournament in the world. During the franchise based T20 league, acrobatic fielding helped a team save runs that proved to be the winning margin.

“The IPL is a major contributor as fielding is given more importance. (Resultantly), not only have fitness levels vastly improved but also the awareness around it. Nowadays you can’t hide on the field. If you are playing a game of eight overs then even one small fumble can decide the match,” he was quoted as saying by Indian Express. The classic case was the truncated eight-over-a-side T20I in Thiruvananthapuram.

Slip-catching is slightly erratic

However, in recent time slip-catching has been slightly erratic for India. This happened because key players picked up injuries, hence it forced Kohli to make a frequent change in the position. The skipper himself tried his luck but failed to do the best.

“If we have the same men consistently (without injuries) in the squad then we can always have a settled slip cordon. Going into the next series we will see who we have – Ajinkya Rahane, Murali Vijay, KL Rahul or Shikhar Dhawan. We will take a look and go according to what we have,” says Sridhar.

Among the slip fielders, who can keep a vigil eye, Ajinkya Rahane is the best fielder. The former fielding coach Sridhar also said that Rahane is the best fielder with the spinners in the attack. The right-hander even comes to training with a set to plan.

Meanwhile, talking about close-in fielders he said they must have a big heart apart from usual qualities such as reflexes, anticipation and hand-eye coordination, he feels they should have a big heart.

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