The next T20 world cup is less than 12 months away but for Team India there is a lot of catching up to do-literally and metaphorically. It has been two matches in the T20I series between India and West Indies and already half a dozen catches have been grassed.
While the first match prompted fans and former players to question the positioning of floodlights, there is no escaping from the harsh reality of the second game.
For a side that was once was on the upward curve in fielding standards, Sunday made the Men in Blue look less than ordinary when they took the field against West Indies at the Greenfield Stadium in Trivandrum.
2 drops in 1 over
It is said that once you drop a catch, the ball always tends to follow you. Washington Sundar, who had dropped a catch in the first T20I of the series, proved that statement correct when he dropped a sitter of Lendl Simmon.
— Rahul ® (@RahulSadhu009) December 9, 2019
A knuckleball by Bhuvneshwar outsmarted the batsman who mistimed it awfully, as the ball went way up in the night sky. Sundar, standing at mid-off, had all the time in the world but failed in his quest to take the reverse cup.
One ball later Rishabh Pant was the culprit as the dangerous Evin Lewis edged it back to the keeper while trying to cut the knuckle delivery. Pant dived to his left, got his gloves to it as well, but the ball popped out.
— NISHANT BARAI (@maibhiengineer_) December 8, 2019
Both were regulation catches and both batsmen were dropped in one over.
While Lewis, who was dropped on 17, slammed three sixes thereafter en route to his knock of 40, Simmons, who was dropped two balls earlier, went on to steer the chase with an unbeaten 45-ball 67.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who could have accounted for two wickets in that over, finished with none.
Later in the match, Nicholas Pooran got a life as Shreyas Iyer charged across from long-on but failed to even get a hand on it. Once again probably misjudging it initially.
Throughout the match, India’s fielding lacked intensity. The ever-dependable Ravindra Jadeja also misfielding an easy chance at point as the Windies got away with another four runs.
Kohli hits the nail
So what is troubling team India? Is it the fear of failure or is it all psychological.
India captain Virat Kohli, who took a blinder himself to get rid off Hetmyer an exception, probably hit the right spot and spoke about the need of being fearless on the ground.
When asked about India’s poor fielding display during the post-match presentation ceremony, Kohli said, “If you field like that, no total is good enough. With the ball we were good, the first four overs. But if you drop chances, it’s going to cost you.”
“Fielding is something – we need to be more brave,” the skipper added.
With the series squared at 1-1 and the decider in three days, it is time for the Indian team to pull up their socks on the field before it is too late.