India are taking on the challenge of New Zealand in the One-Day International (ODI) series on their soil. After getting thrashed by the visitors in the T20I series, the Kiwis came back strongly in the Hamilton ODI and won the contest comprehensively.
Ross Taylor shined in the game as he smashed the 21st century of his career and helped his team to chase down their highest target (348) in the 50-overs format.
Speaking about India, their fielding hasn’t been up to the standards. The Men in Blue have dropped few chances at crucial stages and have not been able to capitalize on the run-out opportunities.
India’s fielding coach R Sridhar also pointed out that the Virat Kohli-led side has not lived up to their standards, which they have shown during the last year’s World Cup.
“The West Indies series we played at home, is where we were really average in the fielding department. From then on, we are trying to get better, we have not lived up to the standards we showed in the World Cup last year. This is something we should definitely work on,” Sridhar told reporters ahead of the second ODI against New Zealand as quoted by the New Indian Express.
Sridhar said the team management tries to empower the fielders in such a manner that they become their own captain to watch the bowler’s plan and position themselves accordingly.
“We try and tell them to think ahead of the game, you as a fielder captain yourself, see which way the breeze is, which way the batsman’s tendencies to hit are, what’s the bowler’s plan and position accordingly. So, we empower the fielders so that they can become their own captain and they can take decisions on their own because the captain has got too much on his plate at certain times. That’s what we speak about,” added Sridhar.
On the busy schedule of players, the fielding coach said that the current schedule is tight, but one can’t really make an excuse.
“That’s the nature of the current schedule, we have to take it. It is a tight schedule but it is not a complaint and it is not an excuse at all. We need to be better.”
In the first ODI, spinner Kuldeep Yadav missed a crucial catch of Ross Taylor, and it ended up costing India the match. However, Kohli produced a Jonty Rhodes moment when he ran out Henry Nicholls, which did impress many.
“The kind of intensity Virat Kohli brings on to the field, I always say to the younger boys who come, he is a ready-made template for you to copy. Watch him, see what he does. The player needs to mentally prepare themselves to perform well on the field,” Sridhar added further.
After defeating India in the opening match, the Black Caps are ahead with 1-0 in the three-match series. The second contest will take place on Saturday (Feb 08) at Eden Park in Auckland.