Indian fielding coach R Sridhar has praised MS Dhoni and stated that the former skipper is giving his best to be in sync with the demands of the modern-day game. He has also hinted that the team will continue experimentation for the next 18 months keeping the 2019 World Cup in the target.
At 131 for 7 in the second One-Day International in Pallekele, few would have given India the chance of going 2-0 up in the five-match series. But MS Dhoni, alongside Bhuvneshwar Kumar, turned the game around playing a patient innings as India didn't lose any more wickets before sealing the game. Dhoni was the orchestrator with his calculated approach and while it was not his best performance with the bat, he could take pride in the fact he was able to finish the game off from a situation as dire. And India's fielding coach R Sridhar believes that Dhoni is not leaving a stone unturned to be in the physical demands of the game.
"MS leaves no stone unturned to make sure he is at his best going into every game. He knows his body best and he knows what he needs to do. He is such a thorough professional,” says Sridhar as reported by PTI.
Sri Lankan youngster Akila Dhananjay ran riot with a string of googlies to fox the Indian side. If it was not for a masterful run chase from Dhoni and Kumar, Sri Lanka would have leveled the series 1-1. But for a few moments, Dananjaya gave Sri Lankan fans something to cheer about picking up six wickets to send India to a precarious position. Sridhar praised the Sri Lankan bowler Akila Dananjaya who tried his best to hand a victory to his country but Indian batsmen refused that.
"Akila Dananjaya bowled brilliantly in the last game. We take that forward, and we'll make sure we won't repeat the same mistakes going forward."
In the last match, Indian middle-order failed to perform well but the Indian fielding coach showed his confidence in the team and claimed that in the upcoming months, the team will do many experiments.
"The way we look at every game is that we take something into the next game and the remaining part of the series. I think the way the last game shaped up was a wonderful learning curve for us.
"Even before the series started, we all knew that there was going to be some experiments from us going ahead over the next 18 months. It has been a great learning," the 47-year-old opined.
Indian management and selectors headed by MSK Prasad are doing new experiments to give chance to the fringe players in the team but they haven't gotten much opportunity to prove their caliber. But Sridhar claimed that they want to test all his players which will help the team create a powerful squad.
"We wanted to give the other players a hit because Rahul hadn't batted in the middle in a one-day game so we wanted to give him that opportunity. It was just an experiment. (But) It won't stop.
"We will try out different players in different slots to get the best exposure to get the best out of each player. That's the
Indian players worked hard to take the fitness level to a new position which is clearly visible especially during their fielding.
"Compared to the Test side, I think our ground fielding has improved significantly over the last three or four years. We have affected probably the most number of run-outs in Test cricket over the last few years.
"In ODIs, we have been a very high-intensity fielding unit on the field. Odd errors happen here and there, that's just the nature of the beast, but we pride in our intensity and our energy and that comes down right from the core group of Virat and Ravi
"In ODI, there is more buzz, there is more energy on the field. You have better fielder manning the high-traffic zones, so it's quite a busy three and a half hours and