India’s fielding coach R Sridhar has revealed that Virat Kohli displays the same intensity while training in the nets as he does during competitive matches on the international stage. Sridhar further added that Kuldeep Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah are working hard on improving their fielding skills.
Indian fielding has definitely seen an upward rise in the last decade or so with the emergence of the likes Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja in the initial stages of its development. Virat Kohli, Vijay Shankar, Hardik Pandya and Shikhar Dhawan have been at the best in recent years since their inclusion in the national team and continue to impress with their fielding efforts across all three formats of the game. However, Indian cricket team’s fielding coach - R Sridhar - has reserved special praise for skipper Kohli who has taken things up a notch as far as fitness levels were concerned.
"Look, you want to define intensity, just watch Virat Kohli. But here lies the catch: everyone is not Virat Kohli. But it also doesn't mean that they're not giving their 100 per cent. So, that is the challenge for me as a coach, to ensure that each guy takes care of his own intensity. If each player does that, the team's intensity will stay high. If one guy drops, he will drag the entire team down.
"As a fielding coach, that is what I watch on the ground during the match. I sit with my laptop, taking notes of every ball – who is fielding where, how many runs has he saved, etc. So, if anyone is just dropping his intensity, it is easy for me to observe. Immediately, we send a communication. And when will the intensity drop? When you're not in the game. We have methods to keep everyone in the game at all times. For example, we tell a player to start thinking like a captain for the next five overs. Or if somebody hasn't fielded a ball for a while, we bring him back into the action by either changing his position or throwing the ball to him. So, we monitor all these things and at the end of the match, I have all the stats to show the players," Sridhar said in a recent interview with DNA.
The Indian fielding coach further added that Kuldeep Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah, who are often criticised for the average fielding abilities, are working hard on improving themselves ahead of the upcoming ICC World Cup 2019.
"Kuldeep is a very hard-working boy. I've known him since he was 13, and he has come a long way. His fielding has also really improved, and that's because of the extra effort that he puts in. He doesn't run away from fielding. On the contrary, every day he pushes me for it. Same is the case with Bumrah, but the biggest challenge with him is workload management. I can't push Bumrah like I push Kuldeep or anybody else. I monitor the number of throws he does and stuff like that, and it's a very thin rope for me to walk with him.
"But his attitude is great, he is a fighter. Recently, he came in Vizag for the first T20I against Australia after a long break. He dropped two-three catches in practice. So, he finished his bowling and batting, came back and told me, 'Sridhar sir, 25 high balls now. I disappointed myself and you in the first session'. I said, 'There's a match tomorrow and it's very humid'. But he was adamant. Let me give you a stat: in 2017, Bumrah got the highest number of run outs for India, eight of them. Nobody knows it. I can tell you how many runs Bumrah has saved for India since he made his debut," the Indian fielding coach added.
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