Out-cricket could play a vital part in India’s next game against arch-rivals Pakistan and in every World Cup match, India fielding coach R Sridhar said on Thursday. While India boasts a good fielding unit, Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed has urged his side to raise their standards in this aspect of the game ahead of the hugely anticipated group-stage clash between the arch-rivals in Manchester on Sunday. Pakistan, the 1992 champions, dropped three catches amid other misfields in their 41-run loss to title-holders Australia in Taunton on Wednesday and are in desperate need of a win against Virat Kohli’s side.
Two-time champions India are unbeaten with two wins after their washout against New Zealand in Nottingham on Thursday followed victories over South Africa and Australia, with Sridhar saying fielding was an important aspect of the one-day game. “Fielding, I would say, is vital in every match,” Sridhar told reporters at Trent Bridge.
“I saw it at The Oval on Sunday when we played Australia. Although we had a big total -- 352-5 -- on the board, we had to field out of our skins to defend the total.
“I think we should look to out-field our opponents, not only in the next game, but also in all games, and we expect our opponents to do the same.
He added: “We have a terrific slip catcher and a safe catcher in Rohit (Sharma), and we have two guys, Virat and (Kedar) Jadhav, who are very intimidating in the position.”
India paceman Jasprit Bumrah is the world’s number one-ranked one-day international bowler, but Sridhar said that as a fielder he is still a work in progress. “Bumrah is probably one of the hardest workers as far as fielding goes,” said Sridhar “From when he joined the team in 2016 to what he is now, he’s a massive improvement, although still a work in progress, but a massive improvement.”
Sridhar insisted India will not dwell on Thursday’s washout but rather take confidence from their two wins ahead of this weekend’s blockbuster match at Old Trafford. “You really can’t control the weather, so we’ve had two good games,” he said.
“I went on the (Trent Bridge) ground. It was almost like a skating rink. So it would have been too much of a risk for the players to play on there, especially in the early phase of the tournament,” he added.