Cheteshwar Pujara not sure about what's going wrong with India's slip catching
Dec 08 2017 by Marjorie Miles
"If you see the performance of the current India team over the last one and a half years, you will see they have done exceptionally well against some tough oppositions".
Pujara, who became the leading run-scorer in 2017, said he was looking to improve. Despite winning the three-match series against Sri Lanka 1-0, India dropped quite a few catches, thanks to the rotation of various players in the crucial slip positions.
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"After the match ended, Pujara said, "[It is a] hard question to answer as I don't know technically what is going wrong.
"At the same time, yes, we haven't taken enough catches". To be honest, we put in a lot of hardwork in our fielding, especially we know catching is very important.
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India's slip fielding has made the headlines over the course of the Test, with the side constantly experimenting with players being assigned the position, and as a result, a number of catches being dropped.
"You need to try out different combinations and we are going overseas". This also shows that India doesn't have a fixed fielder in the slips. "There's intent but not much progress", he said commenting on how the two run around in the field. At the same time there have been injuries where openers have missed out, someone like Murali Vijay, who used to be at first slip, didn't play due to injury for six months. So we had to replace Vijay with someone. What also excites me is that all our batsmen have been to South Africa before and they have the experience of 40-50 Tests.
"We haven't taken many catches but we will definitely get better at it. Overall Indian team has improved as a fielding unit, but slip fielding is something we are looking to improve".
"The faster they get the opportunity, that is the real goal".
It is not because of the batsmen that the Indians have a chance to end the tour on a high, Dravid said. We have got quality spinners in Jadeja and Ashwin.
"So, I really feel we are set up for what, hopefully, will be a successful away series for India. When he's at gully, he knows the angles, he has the idea of where to stay when he starts fielding at gully", Pujara said. Some of the guys are having enough time to prepare for the series. We will prepare a few players who will be standing at the slips. "We have already started talking about the things we need to work on". "We will be very well prepared before we head to South Africa". Our bowlers have done well, even as a team. The series may well be decided by the fielding, especially catching. "South Africa batting, what it used to be and what it is now, there is a difference", he said. This is another adjustment they will have to make.