India fielding coach defends Pujara for spilling Cook

Kolkata, Dec 6 (IANS) India's fielding coach Trevor Penney Thursday defended Cheteshwar Pujara who dropped England captain Alastair Cook at the slips. The opener then went on to score a magnificent unbeaten 136 to put his team in a commanding position against India at the Eden Gardens on the second day of the third cricket Test.

"Pujara has been practising slip catching for quite a while now. He is by far our best catcher. Obviously it was a big mistake, but such things do happen in cricket," Penney told mediapersons.

The dropped chance was one of the very few opportunities that came India's way during the day. Cook, then on 17, had edged Zaheer Khan's away going delivery.

Penney, however, had no answers for the Indian team keeping on juggling fielders in the slip cordon.

"Ravichandran Ashwin, Pujara and Virat Kohli have been practising slip catching and they are good fielders and doing well at the nets. They are perhaps capable enough to replace (Rahul) Dravid and (VVS) Laxman who were excellent slip catchers," said Penney.

But he conceded that the Indians were a bit off colour in the field and conceded some runs which should not have been.

"Maybe we didn't put the best fielders in the right positions. We did not take our chances. Those little things matter a lot in the end," he said.

The coach hoped that the hosts would make a comeback in the match after England batted well to reach 216 for one.

"Tomorrow is a fresh day and if we can take some quick wickets we can be back in the match," he added.

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