India's fielding coach 'happy' with team's fielding resources

India's fielding coach, R. Sridhar, is pleased with the attitude of India's players on the field.

Ravindra Jadeja took a running catch to dismiss Glenn Maxwell on Sunday at The Oval.   -  AFP

“I am a rainy-day candidate,” quipped R. Sridhar, India’s low-profile fielding coach. He broke into a laugh before sitting down for a media interaction at Trent Bridge here on Thursday. After answering the initial queries around wet weather and describing the damp outfield as being akin to a skating rink, Sridhar buckled down and gave a candid report-card on India’s fielding.

It is pretty cold in an alleged summer in England and fielding with frozen fingers can be a pain. Catches do get shelled and Sridhar offered his solutions: “Hand-warmers are the first option. Also, if you are running around in the ground between overs or between field positions and throwing the ball around, that also keeps you warm. We also train in the same weather and that gives us a heads up.”

Read: Teams share points after washout at Trent Bridge

With focus now centred on Shikhar Dhawan’s recovery from a left-thumb injury, Sridhar threw light on how the opener’s fielding standards need to be assessed too when he returns. “He stands in the slips in the initial phase of the innings. That can be an issue. We will test him with lighter balls first and gradually move on to the cricket ball and see how it goes from there but yeah that will be a challenge,” Sridhar said.

Be it next opponent Pakistan or other rivals, Sridhar wanted India to excel on the field: “We should look to out-field our opponents in all games. We should go out there with our best intensity as possible.”

Asked about his squad’s fielding standards, Sridhar lauded the squad’s attitude: “I am very happy with the resources. We have a terrific slip catcher in Rohit (Sharma) and we have two guys, Virat (Kohli) and (Ravindra) Jadeja, who are very intimidating. To complement that, we have Hardik Pandya, who can really help. We also saw (Yuzvendra) Chahal and (Jasprit) Bumrah crack it up in the last game, diving after bowling long spells. The biggest thing was the attitude of the fielders, where they put the team ahead of themselves”

But it is not all roses for the coach and direct-throws and their poor conversion rate remains a worry: “I would say converting one in three or four throws is a good conversion rate. But we failed to do that in the last game (against Australia). We had over ten strikes and we hit only once. We should get better especially from the next game.”