India's fielding standard has improved in last 10 years

Former England cricketer Paul Collingwood, currently a panellist on Star Sports Select Dugout, says India’s fielding standards have improved a lot over the last 10 years.

Paul Collingwood: "This season, Ravindra Jadeja has been exceptional on the field. He is athletic and hits the stumps quite well."   -  IPL

Over the years, fielding has become more athletic. The players are becoming fitter and fielding has become absolutely incredible. Ben Stokes’ catch against Chennai Super Kings on Thursday was superb. India’s fielding standards have improved a lot over the last 10 years.

But at the same time, the fielders have dropped quite a few catches in this edition of the IPL. RCB has dropped the most. I think this is more mental and it is happening because of immense pressure. Confidence is the key and as soon as you start dropping catches, the confidence gets low and you tend to get nervous.

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In the next few weeks, the standard of fielding should improve, but with the tournament getting intense, I think the pressure will be even more. It eventually comes down to the mental side of things. As a fielder, you want the ball to come to you rather than go to somebody else.

The process

So, what should a player keep in mind while attempting a catch? You need to keep your eyes as still as possible. When you are roaming and attempting a catch, try to steady your eye and the head as the catch comes your way. Also, if you have strong hands, you will get it better.

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This season, Ravindra Jadeja has been exceptional on the field. He is athletic and hits the stumps quite well. Then you have got David Miller who is a good fielder too. He takes very good catches, but somebody like Kieron Pollard becomes effective because he has big hands and it gets easier to hold some amazing catches. Ben Stokes is an exceptional fielder who can change things.

Recently, I did a demonstration on fielding and catching on the Select Dugout, and explained a few things. It is always nice to communicate to the viewers about the fielding and catching. Sometimes it is important to go back to the basics and explain things. That’s what I tried doing during my demonstration.

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