Ian Chappell points out errors in Virat Kohli's catching technique
Ian Chappell, the former Australian cricket captain pointed out that there are some technical faults in Indian Test Captain Virat Kohli’s catching. Chappell wrote in his column for the Hindustan Times for the England-Pakistan match at the Lord’s.
Chappell made his analysis and assessment based on various fielding flaws but began with the Lord’s performance where the pitch was good for the bowlers and specifically for spinners. According to Chappell, the batting on display was quite moderate whereas the catching was appalling.
The former cricketer also added that even if some of the fielding was incredible due to the athleticism of the players, the close catching ability is technically lacking. This was not just for the current England-Pakistan series but an observation he made of all the players.
Chappell also elaborated upon the issue of dropping catches behind the wickets: “Most of the dropped catches behind the wicket are the result of one simple technical flaw; the failure to slightly turn the foot outwards, to the side on which the ball is travelling before making the next move. Without this simple manoeuvre, the fielder will be off-balance when attempting to complete a catch.”
Chappell also stated that the Indian Test Cricket captain Virat Kohli is a high-quality batsman with excellent hand-eye coordination which should make Kohli a natural for catching positions. He, however, pointed out Kohli’s failure in the slips is because of the technical flaw highlighted above and the lack of anticipation in leg-slip position when spinners are operating.
Anticipation also is an extremely important facet of fielding in the slips as the ball can appear from behind the pad and thus it was crucial to follow the ball closely.
“I watched in amazement as Garry Sobers - fielding at leg-slip for South Australia - calculated that a Victorian batsman was purely blocking the last over before lunch. Choosing his moment perfectly, he stepped forward, placed his hand on the ground and the ball was played straight into his mit,” Chappell wrote in his column in the Hindustan Times.
Chappell mentioned Sobers to be the best man in that position but India’s Eknath Solkar was also equal to him. He also added that it’s a pity that Solkar isn’t there to teach and guide Kohli to help excel in his position. “Sobers was one of the best in that position but he had an equal in India’s Eknath Solkar. Solkar was exceedingly brave in the short-leg position and would’ve made an excellent pick pocket; he stood so close without you feeling his presence.”