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Former skipper Mohammad Azharuddin urges India to place greater emphasis on slip fielding

Azharuddin wants India to identify specialised slip fielders

Sudhir Gupta 2018/08/03

While India’s ground fielding has improved tremendously in recent years, slip fielding has become an increasing cause of worry. The Indians were guilty of dropping a few catches in the slips during their tour of South Africa earlier this year and the same problem has resurfaced in the ongoing Test series in England.

Ajinkya Rahane shelled a straightforward chance off Keaton Jennings in the very first session of the opening Test at Edgbaston before Dinesh Karthik spilled another chance late in the day.

Former India skipper Mohammad Azharuddin, an excellent slip fielder during his playing career, has urged Virat Kohli and his men to place greater emphasis on the aspect.

“Standing for six hours in slip is not easy. You have to take a minimum of 50-60 catches in a day during practice to become a good slip fielder. Slip is a specialised position. Everybody cannot stand in slips, and that is what is happening with the Indian team. We need to identify players who want to stay in the slips. They should be willing to practice hard to take catches in slips. Practice makes you perfect,” Azharuddin told reporters on the sidelines of a team launch in the Karnataka Premier League (KPL).

Despite being ranked No1 in the Test format, India’s slip-fielding has been among the worst among full members in recent times. Since 2013, India’s success-rate in the slip cordon against pacers is 67 per cent which is only better than Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

England’s success-rate in the slip against pacers is not much better either at 73 per cent. The hosts saw plenty of catches go down in the slips on the second day of the Birmingham Test with Kohli being given two lifelines by Dawid Malan on his way to a maiden Test century in England.

 

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Ajinkya Rahane Dawid Malan Dinesh Karthik Mohammad Azharuddin