What’s the story?
Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar has criticised India's fielding technique for their multiple lapses in catching during the ongoing Border-Gavaskar series against Australia. Writing his column for the Times of India, the 67-year-old said that
“Time and again their close-in fielders have let them down and while the best of fielders do drop catches, it is the stubbornness not to change their fielding stance which is the major reason they drop catches.
“Apart from Ajinkya Rahane, every other close-in fielder stands with a stiff back so he is unable to get down in time to catch the balls coming towards and below the ankles. The fielding coach can give hundreds of catches before the day's play begins, but till the fielders start to crouch low, they are going to drop more than they catch,“ The former opener wrote in his column.
In case you didn’t know...
The fielding of the present Indian team in this series so far has been quite below-par. In the Pune Test, the team dropped Australian captain Steve Smith on multiple occasions in the Pune Test and the right-hander made him pay for that by crafting a hundred that helped his side win the game.
Ever on the opening day of the Bengaluru Test, one of the best fielders in the team-Ajinkay Rahane- dropped David Warner late in the opening day to compound the woes further.
The heart of the matter
For Indian cricket team fans, who watched the team play in the 90’s and early 2000’s, one of most cringing aspects was the quality of fielding on view and the same fans would be first to admit that the level of athleticism showed by the present group of players is something which is a sight for sore eyes and it is indeed surprising to seem them drop catches that the way they have been in recent times.
With their backs to the wall in the ongoing Test at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, India will need to forget their past miseries and either look back at what has worked for them when they have consistently held on to their catches or like Gavaskar says, make a few adjustments to their technique.
For India to harbour any hopes of staying in contention of regaining the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, they will need to be at their best on the field and claim every catch that comes in their way and it would, in turn, spur the bowlers as well to elevate their bowling and hit more wicket-taking areas on the pitch.