Catches win matches - this simple rule of cricket is what India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni must be telling Virat Kohli and Ishant Sharma, who were guilty of dropping Brendon McCullum before the Kiwi skipper took charge of the Wellington Test with a historic 302. The second Test match ended in a draw in Wellington on Tuesday, leaving India winless on the tour of New Zealand. (India look for rare positives after horrid tour to New Zealand)
Captain Dhoni, who had Kiwis by the throat at 94/5, was left lamenting on how one partnership -- worth 352 between Brendon McCullum and Bradley-John Watling, took the match away. "That was one of the partnerships that we had to break to get into the lower order batsmen," Dhoni said at the post-match press conference. "From behind the stumps, you try to figure out how to get him out. You'll try everything from catching slips to catching covers to deep square leg to deep point." (Drawn Wellington Test helps India maintain 2nd Test team rank)
Catching though was not the strong point of the Indian team with Kohli dropping McCullum - on 9 - at silly mid-on off Mohammad Shami's bowling. The athletic fielder did get his left hand but failed to judge the pace of McCullum's drive and dropped the ball. India got a chance once again when Ishant Sharma made a mess of the return catch. It allowed McCullum - then on 34 - to realize his follies and get set to run the distance - a 302-run epic journey that changed the course of the contest.
The dropped catches pained former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, who criticized Team Dhoni's fielding effort. "In cricket, there is a great element of luck that can turn the fortunes around. But I think along with that there has to be the effort. I think the Indian catching effort was not up to international standard," he told NDTV on Monday.