Fielding a big worry for India

Fielding a big worry for India

Dhoni hopes things will improve

Fielding a big worry for India

Indian cricketers M S Dhoni and Suresh Raina at Guwahati during practice match. PTI
Their bouncy show on the field, barring a few minor lapses, has a lot to do with the Aussies taking a 3-2 lead, unimaginable after India’s two straight wins in Nagpur and New Delhi. A fine piece of evidence of Australia’s brilliance on the field came in the fourth one-day at Mohali when Ricky Ponting caught Yuvraj Singh short of the crease with a lightning throw.

The instance proved to be the turning point of the match while strangling the Indian chase of what was perceived to be a comfortable total. It also underlined the status of Ponting as one of the best fielders in the circle.

Australian fielding coach Mike Young was not surprised at all. “Fielding demands extra attention, and constant polishing of multiple skills sets like – catching, throwing, diving and all these elements need different training for players manning different positions,” the American said after the fifth one-dayer in Hyderabad.

“The Australian team gives a lot of attention to fielding, and they have a lot of purpose and dedication when it comes to exercises related to fielding,” Young, who has been with the team from 2002, said.

Mike Hussey too emphasised on the point. “Yes, you can say that fielding has been one of the stand-out features of us in the series, whether it was catching or aiming the stumps. Run-outs and catches can have a very big impact on the game when the batsmen are on song, like the Indians were in Hyderabad and I guess our fielding made the difference of 25-30 runs in that match,” Hussey said.

The stunner that Adam Voges took to dismiss Mahendra Singh Dhoni was a perfect vindication of Hussey’s words, considering the narrow margin – three runs – by which Australia pulled off the win.

However, Indians presented a different picture. The efforts of Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma and Ashish Nehra were, to say the least, modest, and at times cost India those extra runs.

Standing just a defeat away from losing the series, Dhoni was aware of this fact and said the team will have to tighten its act on the field. “At times, it is tough to maintain the same intensity on the field, but we need to do that. This has been one of the areas we have been focusing and hopefully we can come up with a better show in the remaining two matches,” he said.