The Indian cricket team may have been criticised for their poor fielding in the on-going Test match against England, but former fielding coach of the team Abhay Sharma is leaving no stones unturned to make the side a good fielding unit and says he still works on several skills himself to remain eligible for the job.
The 47-year old, who led the Railways team to two Ranji trophy wins spends hours in the gym and is learning to bat left-handed and dive with accuracy and slide on slippery covers. He said that wicket-keepers have to make the most effort as they are involved for all the 540 balls played in a day.
Moreover, Sharma praised Mahendra Singh Dhoni for being a keeper with very good hand-eye coordination, in spite of not being a very attractive one. During an interview with sportstar, he said, “Dhoni may not look attractive as a wicketkeeper, but he has got that tremendous hand-eye coordination. Whenever he is flicking or reversing, he is hitting the stumps. In the Asia Cup also he had made a similar run-out and India won.
“He is always aware of the situation and young ’keepers should learn that from Dhoni. He has set a high standard and the up-and-coming ’keepers should live up to it,” he added.
When asked about the quality of wicket-keepers in the country, he said that India have good keepers mainly due to the work done at the grassroots level and feels that there are enough players to replace MS Dhoni in his absence but Wriddhiman Saha is far ahead in tests.
Regarding the matter he said, “Thankfully, because of the good work at the grassroots level, we have got some good wicketkeepers. Sanju Samson, Rishabh Pant and Ankush Bains are very good wicketkeepers. The list is long.”
He added by saying, “Wriddhiman Saha is there in the Test team and Naman Ojha is around. But Saha is far ahead in Tests. Dhoni will continue, but some day you may find that somebody else is good enough to be a part of the one-day squad. A lot of young ’keepers can stake claim in the coming days.”
Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been serving India behind the stumps for more than 10 years now and sooner or later he will call it a day and India will be pretty pleased to have some youngsters knocking on the door to fill his shoes.