R Sridhar, in the pre-match press conference, opined that a youngster coming into the Indian team has the right example set in the form of skipper Virat Kohli to follow, in terms of ground-work and catching techniques. He added that the buck does not stop inside the stadium but extends beyond it.
India’s fielding performance over the last two months has been a dire-shadow of their own, prior to the West Indies series. Following the West Indies series, the intensity and the performance have gone down a bit, with easy drops and misfields seen umpteen number of times on the field. Skipper Kohli has addressed that this issue is already pointed out by the management and they are continuously working on it, while also adding that the lack of effort is because of inexperience in the squad, with several youngsters in the fray.
Sridhar echoed Kohli’s statements and added that the skipper himself is a ready-made fielding template for the youngsters to follow in international cricket. The fielding coach, further, added that the team is trying to improve their fielding performance every game.
“The team has to identify the downfall in fielding performance. It could be a fatigue thing, it could be a lapse of concentration. However, the intensity Virat Kohli brings on the field is immense, you could see in the run-out the other day. He is the ready-made template for the youngsters to look at and preparing themselves off the field for the game. The buck does not stop inside the ground, they must do the basics outside the field,” said Sridhar before the second ODI against New Zealand.
The 49-year-old also admitted that the players come up to the training sessions with their set of feedbacks, with which the coaches work on individual players. He went on to address that the workload has got the better of Indian players at times when they fail to recover from the fatigue quickly. However, Sridhar admitted that they would not want to point fingers at travel, as it is part and parcel of the current scheduling.
"We do monitor their workload. We would be lying if we said that they are fresh as daisies everytime they go to the park. They are not because they are travelling and playing games. But the current fitness level of this team is very good so that in turn helps in recovering from the fatigue quickly. We keep that in mind but I don’t blame fatigue for the down curve. Of course, the players also give us feedback on where they are lacking, and we too add our comments to improve the performance," he added.
When asked about Manish Pandey’s overthrow in the first ODI, Sridhar played it down by revealing that it was a chance to make a comeback in the game and it could have gone either way. He also added New Zealand is one of the toughest countries when it comes to high-catching.
“We do have a productivity rating- ground fielding, catching. Overthrows are part and parcel of the game, as Manish Pandey was looking for a run-out chance. New Zealand are a tough high-catching country, but it should have been taken. It is something we must work on. We are trying to get better than the average performance we are putting in currently."