Former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif, who is considered as one of the best fielders of cricket, wasn’t really pleased with Team Indian’s poor fielding in the recent white-ball series in Australia, saying fielding lapses could prove costly for India in the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021.
India’s fielding standards have improved visibly over the years, but the recent limited-overs games saw sloppy fielding and too many dropped catches – which indeed played a role in their 3 losses in the series.
On the ongoing tour, even India’s some of the best of fielders like Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, and Virat Kohli also missed some crucial catches during the series against Australia.
Slamming India’s fielding errors during a discussion on the Sony Sports network during the final T20I on Thursday, Kaif has pointed out such misfields and dropped catches cannot be part of the game and if they continue to do it, then India will lose the big matches in the T20 World Cup next year.
Kaif said during the discussion, “So many dropped catches and misfields cannot be part of the game. They are doing it too much. If India has to win the World Cup, which is going to happen in October in India, then if the fielding is like this, then you will lose the big matches.”
Going back to his playing days, Kaif recalled how the senior bowlers like Javagal Srinath, Ajit Agarkar, and Zaheer Khan would reprimand fielders when they dropped a catch and even they had to put in the extra yards at practice to hone their fielding skills after such mistakes.
He further noted, “This Indian team has young bowlers, so when the catch is dropped the poor guys go back to the run-up. If we dropped a catch of Ajit Agarkar, Srinath, or Zaheer Khan's bowling, then even if they stare at the fielder, then you need to practice for extra two hours the next day.
If a senior bowls and you misfield, then it makes a lot of difference, the pressure comes on its own even if they don't say much and just look at you once, as you realize that you have made a mistake.”
But in the current Indian cricket team, there are inexperienced bowlers who can’t punish their teammates, said one of the finest fielders of his time.
Kaif signed off by saying, “Here there are all young bowlers - Natarajan, Chahar - everyone is starting their careers. If the fielding goes bad, the bowler does not say anything but thinks it is part of the game. But it is not part of the game.”
(Sony Sport Network inputs)