Indian team were little below par on the field, admits fielding coach

Port Elizabeth, Feb 12: Conceding lapses on the field during the five-wicket loss in the rain-affected fourth ODI against South Africa, India's fielding coach R.Sridhar on Monday said such challenges will only help the team prepare better if it encounters such tough situations in the 2019 ICC World Cup.

"Yes, we were a little below par on the field in the last game," Sridhar admitted on the eve of the fifth match here.

"One catch went down, Shreyas Iyer being the brilliant fielder that he is, he made a great attempt. It was not a Grade 1 catch, but it's easy to be harsh on ourselves sometimes, easy to be harsh on our players. It's the easiest thing to do. But if you see, that was a difficult catch.

"These are things we want should happen more in terms of our preparation. We love to embrace such situations so that even if we make a mistake now, we know how to respond to that same situation the next time around. 

"So these things are good for us. Bowling with a wet ball, a wet outfield, in a reduced game -- it's fantastic it happened because we'll learn from every game," he added.

Sridhar, however did not mince his words in terming that the ODI side is a much-improved fielding side on most occasions.

"There is definitely more athleticism to be seen on the ground," was Sridhar's assessment of India's limited-overs fielding. 

"Yes we work on the technical aspect of fielding as much as we can. But like Ravi Shastri and Virat (Kohli) want, we want the 11 best fielders to take the park everytime we get out there. 

"That is the endeavour going into the next 15 months (till the World Cup). But definitely we are one of the better one-day fielding teams in the world, I can vouch for that," he added.

Paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar's catch of Hashim Amla at the Wanderers on the long-off fence is a testimony how a fast bowler has worked on his fielding and actually implemented that on a high pressure situation, he said.

"We've got our players to pay attention to the detail of every minute aspect of every skill, not just fielding. We try and do that every game, and in this game we'll take into account the wind factor, the size of the ground and make sure we are aware of that when we enter the field," Sridhar said when asked about the wind factor at Port Elizabeth.

"Yes, PE is called the windy city isn't it? I read that on Wiki. So yes, definitely we'll take that into consideration. That is something that is important, especially for high balls. 

"You have to keep that into account, it comes under your awareness. No matter where you are fielding on the boundary line, you need to be aware which way the wind is blowing. You also need to be aware of the batsmen's tendencies, the game situation, and accordingly you should be able to prepare in terms of wanting the ball to come to you," he added.

Despite the loss in the fourth game, India are already 3-1 up in the six-match series and will look to seal the series with a win on Tuesday.


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