Former gun fielder Mohammad Kaif has opined that the Indian team will come up short in crucial matches at next year’s T20 World Cup if they continue to drop catches and commit misfields the way they have been doing recently.
He made this observation while talking about the errors committed by the Indian team on the field during the third T20I against Australia during a discussion on the Sony Sports network.
Mohammad Kaif started by pointing out that the current Indian team is comprised mainly of relatively new bowlers.
He recalled that in his time, the senior bowlers like Javagal Srinath or Zaheer Khan would reprimand fielders when they dropped a catch. Kaif even added the name of Ajit Agarkar, who was seated next to him, in a light-hearted fashion.
“This Indian team has young bowlers, so when the catch is dropped the poor guys go back to the run-up. If we dropped a catch of Ajit Agarkar, Srinath or Zaheer Khan’s bowling, then even if they stare at the fielder, then you need to practice for extra two hours the next day.”
Mohammad Kaif added that just a stare from the seasoned bowlers would make players put in the extra yards at practice to hone their fielding skills.
“If a senior bowls and you misfield, then it makes a lot of difference, the pressure comes on its own even if they don’t say much and just look at you once, as you realise that you have made a mistake.”
Mohammad Kaif highlighted that fielding errors cannot be the norm just because inexperienced bowlers in the Indian lineup are unable to lash out at the culprits.
“Here there are all young bowlers – Natarajan, Chahar – everyone is starting their careers. If the fielding goes bad, the bowler does not say anything but thinks it is part of the game. But it is not part of the game.”
Mohammad Kaif signed off by observing that fielding lapses could prove costly for Team India at the upcoming T20 World Cup unless they raise their game.
“So many dropped catches and misfields cannot be part of the game. They are doing it too much. If India has to win the World Cup, which is going to happen in October in India, then if the fielding is like this, then you will lose the big matches.”
The fielding standards of the Indian team seem to have gone down substantially during the ongoing tour of Australia. Even the best of fielders like Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya and Virat Kohli have been guilty of dropping catches or missing run-outs.
While the extended lockdown period and subsequent lack of fielding practice might have contributed to these lapses, the Indian team would want to rectify this shortcoming at the earliest. If they don’t, they might made to pay a heavy price for it.
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) December 8, 2020