The Indian cricket team is currently playing against New Zealand in a five-match ODI series. The team started off with a win in the first ODI at Dharamsala, thanks to some great bowling and sensational fielding efforts.
R Sridhar, the fielding coach of the Indian cricket team, expressed satisfaction with the fielding standards of the team during an interview with Cricbuzz. He said that while the team has some exceptional fielders, the focus was on creating multi-faceted fielders who could field in any position.
Sridhar mentioned that the current Indian side was equipped with players who are tremendous inside the 30-yard circle and more than handy when it comes to fielding in the deep during the death overs. According to him, Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja are the ones with the most powerful and accurate throw in the current team, while Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma and Manish Pandey were some of the agile fielders.
The 46-year-old showered praise on Umesh Yadav for setting new fielding benchmarks for the pacers in the side. The coach said that he was pretty impressed with the pacer's stunning effort at mid-off during the first ODI in Dharamsala to dismiss Corey Anderson.
"We're really blessed to have some fast bowlers in the team who are very good athletes. Umesh is obviously fabulous, he's got a good arm and goes really well across the ground," Sridhar was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
He went on to add that, "Umesh is an exception in that terms. It is not just because of his athleticism that he is good, it is also the fact that he puts in quite a bit of yards during practice sessions in terms of his catching and fielding. That's probably given him the edge and set a new benchmark as far as fast bowlers fielders are concerned."
Sridhar had returned as the fielding coach of India before the Test series against the Kiwis. Sridhar said that as a fielding coach his responsibilities lied in identifying fielders for specific positions and enhancing their skills. The athletic ones are deployed inside the ring while the those having a good arm were positioned at outfield.
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He said that the entire team believed in the fact that a good fielding side can make things difficult for the opposition at any stage of the game. "We try and develop multi-speciality fielders rather than sticking to specialist fielders. That is what the aim is for this fielding team which comes down from MS Dhoni, Virat and Anil Kumble himself. They give equal importance to fielding as you would do to any other skill and try and create multi-specialist fielders wherein the team benefits in terms of different phases of the game," he was quoted as saying.
With the current Indian team concentrating a lot more on its fielding, the likes of Rahane, Rohit and Kohli are inspiring the young Indian cricketers to take up fielding as an important part of the game.