Fielding lapses: Experts blame Covid-19 protocols | Cricket News


2021-02-05 04:51:54

NAGPUR: Indian team doing innovative drills to enhance their catching and fielding skills during nets sessions is a common sight. Unlike yesteryears, this Indian side takes pride in its fielding.
Still, the Australia tour was a forgettable one as far as fielding was concerned. Indian players dropped truckloads of catches that handed the advantage to Australia at various stages of the tour. While catches cost India the One-day series, they were lucky that lapses didn’t affect the outcome in T20s and Tests.
There’s no doubt the Indian players must have worked very hard in practice sessions. Somehow, it didn’t reflect in matches. These are not normal times. With Covid-19 protocols in place, there aren’t as many practice sessions available as were in the pre-pandemic era.
Rajasthan Royals fielding coach Dishant Yagnik, feels practice sessions aren’t what they used to be because of quarantine and other protocols. “Fielding demands volume practice. If you are doing it in less volume, it affects the performances. They had to quarantine themselves at various stages of the tour. So, I don’t know if the team got enough time to devote to fielding drills,” Yagnik, ex-Rajasthan stumper, told TOI.
Yagnik said that the usual build-up schedule has been hit due to Covid-19 protocols. “Earlier, practice sessions used to have warm ups, around 45 minutes to one hour fielding sessions, then nets and gym training in the evening. Frequent quarantine has thrown the schedule for a toss. The Indian team was in quarantine in Chennai. Earlier, this period would have been used for preparatory camp for the series. Now, they don’t have enough time for that.” he said.
“Indian team started the Australian tour with white ball, switched to pink ball before shifting to red ball. All these balls are different in nature and characteristic, they travel at different pace. It gets more difficult when you have limited time to prepare for all different balls,” Yagnik added.
Former India women fielding coach Biju George feels players are going through a lot of mental and emotional stress due to the bio-bubbles. “While fielding you need to be in on-mode for 540 balls every day. A distraction for a fraction of second may result in a lapse. The dynamics of different coloured balls too make things difficult. Not just India, Australians too dropped catches,” George, who is also Sunrisers Hyderabad fielding coach, said.
While India dropped 23 catches in ODI, T20 and Test series, the Australians dropped 17 catches, including seven in the Melbourne Test, which they lost.
“It’s one off series where they were constantly travelling, switching the format too quickly besides quarantine rules. There were some off field unnecessary controversies when some of the Indian team members were having dinner at a restaurant. We are more of a people who would like to be in a better space of mind. Long tour, long IPL, constantly travelling, quarantine, they were away from families, confined to their hotel rooms. In Brisbane, even room services were not available to them. To pull off a series in such a manner shows their mental strength. Hats off to the support staff for keeping the boys in happy space,” he concluded.



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