Mohammad Kaif: Current Indian team lacks a complete fielder

The hero of India’s 2002 NatWest series victory in England, Mohammad Kaif, played more than 100 ODIs primarily because of his superb fielding.

Mohammad Kaif feels the Indian team has a lot of good fielders but none of them is a complete package as a fielder. (File Photo)   -  V.V. KRISHNAN

The current Indian team has good fielders but none of them is a “complete package” like Yuvraj Singh and himself, reckons Mohammad Kaif.

The hero of India’s 2002 NatWest series victory in England played more than 100 ODIs, primarily because of his superb fielding. The superior fielding skills prolonged his career even as his batting form declined steadily.

Asked about his take on Indian fielding compared to the times when Yuvraj Singh would man the point and he would stand at extra cover, Kaif outlined the lacking in the current set-up.

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“To be a complete package, you need to be a good catcher. You should be able to hit the stumps often and you should be able to run fast. You should have the right technique to grab a moving ball,” Kaif said on YouTube channel ‘SportScreen’.

“When we were playing, Yuvraj and I made our mark as good fielders. Today, you will find a lot of good fielders in the Indian team, but I don’t think there is anyone who is a complete package as a fielder.

“A person who can catch in the slips, who can take a catch at short-leg, can field in long-on boundary by running fast .that package I think is missing,” said Kaif, who has always been hailed as one of India’s best fielders.

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The 39-year-old said that Ravindra Jadeja is becoming better with age but India’s slip catching has still left a lot to be desired.

“Ravindra Jadeja is a good fielder, in fact as he is adding on the years, his fielding is also improving. But India’s slip fielding isn’t up to scratch.”

In the debate between Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in white ball cricket, Kaif said that if he had to choose between the two had they been playing for different teams, he would prefer watching the stylish Mumbaikar.

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“If there are two matches happening in the same city simultaneously and Virat is playing in one and Rohit in another, then I will head to the match featuring Rohit Sharma.

“No doubt, Virat has an outstanding record in Tests and white ball cricket both, but Rohit has the elegance, so much time while facing a bowler. He is one batsman who can smash a bowler without the bowler even realising that he is under attack.”

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