Former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin has called for the improvement in the slip catching corridor. Although Captain Virat Kohli buried the critics and the ghosts of the previous tour, as well as the bowling unit also displayed the character and discipline on the first day, the problem with slip fielding remains same as ever.
India dropped two catches on Wednesday, while Ajinkya Rahane dropped Keaton Jennings at the fourth slip, Dinesh Karthik put down Sam Curran with an acrobatic effort when the ball was shot into the hands of Shikhar Dhawan at first slip. Former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin, who himself was one of the slip fielders, stressed down the significance of the fielding position.
Slip fielding requires extra efforts, says Azharuddin
Speaking at the Karnataka Premier League event at Bangalore, former Indian captain says slip corridor is a vital position. “Fielders at slip positions need to adjust. Sometimes you stand too high then the ball falls near your feet you can’t get down. You need to stand a bit crouched so that you can go down and if the ball is high you can jump as well. Reactions and reflexes have to be good especially when you are fielding against spin”, says Azharuddin.
Speaking further, the former skipper also adds that the team needs to identify the players who could take these vital fielding positions. “Slip is a specialised position. You have to identify the players and they should practise slip catching. Especially the ones playing the longer format should take at least 50-60 catches in the position during practice. We have to identify them because they need to be proactive and willing to do it”, further adds Mohammad Azharuddin.
The slip fielding corridor is the vital position, particularly in the test cricket. India’s problem with the position in recent years has also given much food for the thought for the team management. The dropped catches in the slip have become a kind of issue Team India needs to look upon with absolute seriousness.