Matthew Hayden suggests India to appoint Ricky Ponting as slip fielding coach

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Matthew Hayden suggests India to appoint Ricky Ponting as slip fielding coach

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SportsCafe Desk


Matthew Hayden is of the opinion that appointing former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting could solve India's slip fielding woes to a large extent. India's slip fielding has come under harsh criticism after the hosts dropped a number of catches against Sri Lanka during the third Test match in Delhi

Despite India's invincible run across all formats this year that saw the side top the ICC rankings of Tests and ODIs, critics still have their reservations about their supremacy. And Virat Kohli's side will get a big chance to clear all doubts when they visit South Africa early next year on a full tour. Pitches friendly to pace and seam are still seeing Indian batsmen struggling and their slip fielding conundrum of late has further compounded their worries.  

It was during the Delhi Test, when the hosts had multiple instances of failed catches at slip position. Angelo Mathews' century was massively credited to dropped catches by Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli on Day 2. The trend continued on the following day as well with Rohit Sharma dropping another catch in a similar fashion to that of Dhawan, when Matthews was a couple short of his first Test century in over two years.

While India managed to win the series 1-0 against an under average Sri Lanka side, who are not having the best of times, their main test would be against the Proteas. And Kohli knows that they cannot afford to miss catches at the slips there, which could lead to game-changing effects. Mathew Hayden, who was a part of the commentary panel during the Test series, has suggested that Ponting would be the best option for solving the issue. 

“The cricket world hasn’t thought about a slip fielding coach, but if they need one, then it has to be Ricky Ponting. He was outstanding. One should not change fielders from their allotted positions. If Mr X stands regularly in the first slip area, he should be allowed to remain there only because in the process he will feel comfortable to stand in the same spot,” Hayden told Mid-day.

Ponting played 168 Tests and 365 ODIs in his career in which he took 196 and 160 catches respectively. During his playing days, Ricky Ponting was one of the best fielders of the cricket.

“Ultimately, he will do personal adjustments to his fielding when he gets the opportunity to stand in the same position again,” Hayden added further.

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