Erratic fielding worries teams

We are hoping to tide over the problem in the ODI series: Dhoni


Indians have in their account as many as 11 dropped catches and innumerable misfields in their balance sheet from the two-match Twenty20 series ended 1-1.
Ahead of the first one-dayer, Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni admitted fielding was an area of concern. “It’s a bit of a concern, and it’s been around for a while now. We are hoping it does not come into play in the ODI series. Let’s hope for the best,” Dhoni said.

The wicket-keeper batsman hoped the addition of some young names will help the standard of fielding improve. “There are a few youngsters who have come into the side. The responsibility will be on them to show how good they are as fielders and once you have at least four good fielders you can stop the batsmen from getting those singles,” he said.

However, Dhoni was aware that an overnight improvement was tough to achieve, and he hoped the presence of fielding consultant Mike Young would make a difference.

“Improvement in fielding is something you need to do over a period of time. Fielding is also an area where if you are not in a good position to field the ball you can injure yourself. It will take some time but our work will start to reflect soon. Hopefully, Young will make a difference during his stint,” he said.

Sri Lankan coach Trevor Bayliss too said his team needed to get more consistent on the field. “Our fielding was bit of a disappointment in the second T20, but we did well in the first match. That happens in cricket, some days you do well and some days you don’t. But yes, we can be a bit more consistent in this department.  Some new guys have come into SL team for the one-dayers. Hopefully, they will have a positive effect,” Bayliss said.

‘Variation important’
The Indians, however, will have an additional issue to tackle, a listless bowling department. “We need to improve our death bowling. Variation is important at the same time you have to bowl good Yorkers. A good death bowler has to have Yorkers. We are improving and done well in patches, but to be a very good side we need to be consistent, especially in the last 8-10 overs.”

Dhoni hoped that the return of Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh, rested for the Twenty20s, will make a positive impact. “They are the most experienced bowlers we have. It’s very important to get early breakthroughs with the new ball and at the same time we need to put pressure during the middle overs from 15th or 20th to 40th.

“We have to focus on not giving easy singles and attack with your best spinner while looking to get wickets. We have seen wickets are so good to bat on and the only way to stop opposition from getting runs is to take wickets. Zaheer and Harbhajan can bring in their experience in this area,” he said.

India vs Sri Lanka in ODIs
* First match at Manchester on June 16, 1979. SL won by 47 runs.
* Last Match at Colombo (RPS) on Sep 12, 2008. India won by 139 runs.
* Total matches played: 113; won by India: 60; won by SL: 43. No results: 10.
* Total matches played in India: 37; won by India: 25; won by SL: 10; N/R: 2.
* Highest total for India: batting first: 373/6 in 50 overs at Taunton on May 26, 1999.
* Batting second: 310/4 in 46.5 at Karachi on July 3, 2008.
* For Sri Lanka: batting first: 308/8 in 50 overs at Karachi on Jul 3, 2008.
* Batting second: 301 all out in 49.3 at Colombo (RPS) on Jan 7, 1998.
* Lowest total for India: Batting first: 136 all out in 40.3 overs at Margao on December 8, 1990. Batting second: 54 all out in 26.3 overs at Sharjah on October 29, 2000.
* For SL batting first: 96 all out in 41 overs at Sharjah on Apr 8, 1989. Batting second: 98 all out in 39 overs at Sharjah on Nov 9, 1998.
* Most runs for India: 2749 by Sachin Tendulkar in 74 matches (avg. 44.33).
* For Sri Lanka: 2848 by Sanath Jayasuriya in 86 matches (avg. 36.98).
* Highest individual score for India: Overall 183 n.o. by MS Dhoni at Jaipur on Oct 31, 2005.
* In India: 183 n.o. by MS Dhoni at Jaipur on Oct 31, 2005.
* For SL: Overall: 189 by Sanath Jayasuriya at Sharjah on October 29, 2000. In India: 138 not out by Kumar Sangakkara at Jaipur on Oct 31, 2005.
* Most wickets for India: 49 by Ajit Agarkar in 25 matches (best: 5/44, avg: 20.61) and 49 by Harbhajan Singh in 38 matches (best: 5/56, avg: 25.83).
* For SL: 74 by Muttiah Muralitharan in 74 matches (best: 7/30, avg: 30.79).
* Best bowling in a match for India: 6/59 by Ashish Nehra at Colombo (RPS) on Aug 9, 2005.
* For SL: 7/30 by Muralitharan at Sharjah on Oct 27, 2000.
* Highest partnership for India: 318 for 2nd wkt between Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid at Taunton  on May 26, 1999.
* For Sri Lanka: 226 for 3rd wkt between Marvan Atapattu and Mahela Jayawardene at Sharjah on Oct 27, 2000.

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