Team India in action© AFP
Team India has been subjected to severe criticism ever-since they lost against Australia in the World Test Championship final on Sunday at The Oval. The Rohit Sharma-led side was bundled out for 234 while chasing 444 after Nathan Lyon and Scott Boland broke the backbone of India’s batting order. Many fans and experts raised questions at the poor display of batting and bowling from Team India but former batter Mohammad Kaif pointed out that the team also needs to work on their slip fielding.
During Australia’s second innings, India lost an easy opportunity of dismissing Alex Carey on 41 as a shot from the edge of the wicketkeeper’s bat, landed between Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara at the slip. However, both the players remained standing at their places and did not make any attempt to take the catch.
“These things must be sorted out before you take the field. You can’t miss these chances. This is being lazy. In these moments, the fielder probably thinks there won’t be catches coming to slips, and there might be a declaration on the cards. But it was a vital stage of the game when India couldn’t afford lapses,” Kaif told The India Express.
Kaif also threw light on the first innings, where Steve Smith had played a shot towards the slip and it landed few inches before Kohli.
“Converting half-chances can win you matches. Take a look at the half-chance that Steve Smith had offered in the first innings when the ball fell short of Kohli at slip. Australia were at 190, and if Smith had fallen then, who knows what might have happened,” said Kaif.
“In England and Australia where there is bounce on offer, slips stand almost 25 yards behind the stumps. In Asia, you stand nearer to the batter. So, someone like Kohli must know where he needs to stand so that he takes these chances. These are ways in which you can win games for your team,” he added.
This was India’s second defeat in successive WTC finals after losing to New Zealand in 2021 in the inaugural edition.
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