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Will continue experimentation in ODIs, says fielding coach R Sridhar

He also stated that the batting collapse in the second ODI was a great learning curve for the youngsters in the lineup.

Ajinkya Rahane (R) and teammate Lokesh Rahul
Indian cricketer Ajinkya Rahane and teammate Lokesh Rahul warm up during a practice session. (Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

Indian fielding coach R Sridhar has confirmed in a press conference that the experimentation in the batting order and playing XI will continue. As we know, the Indian selection committee head MSK Prasad has mentioned earlier that they will be trying out different permutations and combinations before they select a core side for the 2019 ICC World Cup.

But their plans received a major blow during the second ODI against Sri Lanka at Pallekele, where the batting order was shuffled and wickets fell like a pack of cards. KL Rahul came out to bat at number 3 and Kedar Jadhav followed him at number 4 so that they can get ample time in the middle to prove themselves. But this plan backfired courtesy a terrific spell from Akila Dananjaya.

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But Sridhar has confirmed that the management didn’t get panicked by the turnout of events on Thursday. “The way we look at every game is that we take something into the next game and the remaining part of the series. I think the way the last game shaped up was a wonderful learning curve for us,” Sridhar said today.

“Even before the series started, we all knew that there was going to be some experiments from us going ahead over the next 18 months. It has been a great learning. “Akila Dananjaya bowled brilliantly in the last game,” he added.

We’ll ensure the mistakes won’t repeat

From 109/0, India’s path got derailed and they found themselves in a paranoic state at 131/7. Just when the game was slipping away, MS Dhoni and Bhuvneshwar Kumar stitched a sensational 8th wicket stand and helped India register a thrilling escape. It was a mind-boggling spell from Dananjaya which hoodwinked the Indian batters.

“We’ll make sure we won’t repeat the same mistakes going forward. We wanted give the other players a hit because Rahul hadn’t batted in the middle in a one-day game so we wanted to give him that opportunity. It was just an experiment. (But) It won’t stop. We will try out different players in different slots to get the best exposure to get the best out of each player. That’s the endeavour of the team management,” he added.

Talking about Hardik Pandya, Sridhar said there’s nothing to worryy about his fitness. Pandya was a little uncomfortable on Thursday as he was cramping. “On Thursday, Hardik Pandya was cramping. He’s perfectly alright now. He should be ready for the next game,” Sridhar said.

Talking about MS Dhoni’s daily routines, He stated “MS leaves no stone unturned to make sure he is at his best going into every game. He knows his body best and he knows what he needs to do. He is such a thorough professional.”

Fielding drills depend on the workload

Talking explicitly about the fielding routines during the training sessions, he said that the drills vary depending on the workload of the individuals. He said its important to take notice of how much time each player is spending in the training sessions and how many games an individual is playing in a particular span of time.

“There is no dearth of motivation as far as the players here are concerned because the biggest motivation is that they are representing the country. As far as differing fielding drills: it all depends on the workload. If someone is playing five or eight games on the trot, we are very careful with workload.

“We design drills and the loading of the fielding drills is very much tune with that. For somebody who is not playing, the workload is a bit more. That is something we monitor very closely, reason being we want them to be at their best whenever we take the ground,” he explained.

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