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India’s fielding coach R Sridhar reveals why Ajinkya Rahane dropped catches at slip in the Bangladesh series

R Sridhar hailed Rahane as one of the best slip-catchers in contemporary cricket.

Ajinkya Rahane
India’s Ajinkya Rahane during the net practice. (Photo by Gurpreet Singh/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Team India has been absolutely ruthless in Test cricket ever since their 1-4 defeat to England in 2018. Since then, the Men in Blue have dropped just one Test (vs Australia in Perth) and have won 11 out of their last 12 Tests which includes a historic series win in Australia (2-1), pounding of the West Indies in the Caribbean (2-0).

That dominance increased multifold as soon as the No.1 ranked Test side in the world returned home. Kohli’s men proceeded to swat aside South Africa (3-0) and Bangladesh (2-0) with absolute disdain to extend their streak to 12 successive series win on home soil. 

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The reason behind India’s sustained dominance in Test cricket is relentless of their pace attack, ably backed up by their two champion spinners and their peerless batting. However, one thing that has still a lot of scopes is their slip-fielding. Yes! There have been some absolute blinders from the likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and others but the drops can’t really be ignored.

And, when it Ajinkya Rahane- one of the best slip fielders in the modern era- drops them, everyone takes note! So, what’s happening with Rahane? The premier slip-fielder dropped two catches off Ravichandran Ashwin in Indore and Kolkata Test against Bangladesh. R Sridhar, India’s fielding coach, and one who has been a key figure when as far as improvement in the sides’ fielding is concerned has said it always surprises him when Rahane drops a catch, considering the amount of hard work he puts in his catching.

R Sridhar explains why Rahane dropped catches at slip in Indore and Kolkata

In an exclusive chat with the New Indian Express, Sridhar hailed Rahane as one of the best slip-catchers in contemporary cricket. S0, what according to him is the reason behind Rahane dropping catch off the bowling of Ashwin in back-to-back Tests? Sridhar alluded to the fact that Indore track had a lot more bounce on it and according to him, Rahane was standing just-a-little-bit forward and consequently the ball was coming to his chest and a lot quicker than he would have anticipated.

“Totally. Because when Rahane drops a catch, it always surprises me considering the work he puts into preparation. If you look the world over, there are not many like him. He is one of the best when it comes to standing at slips for spinners. When we assessed those drops and did our debriefing, we didn’t respect the conditions that much in Indore.”

“There was plenty of bounce on that surface. With (R) Ashwin being a tall bowler, he was getting a bit of over-spin. I thought Rahane was standing a bit forward than he should have been, and the ball was coming to his chest. He had very less time to react, and he couldn’t do anything about it. It was nothing to do with his skills. It just boils down to positioning,” Sridhar said.

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