Despite winning against Pakistan, India skipper MS Dhoni rued his team's fielding. Two days later, on Sunday, the Men in Blue continued to make a complete mockery of themselves in the field - against West Indies in their ICC World Twenty20 match in Mirpur. In recording their first win over West Indies by seven wickets in a World T20 event, the Indians looked a little out of sorts in their fielding. (Scorecard | Highlights | Pics)
While Indian seamers and spinners combined to keep West Indies batsmen under their firm grip, the fielders continued to drop catches repeatedly at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium. With all the build-up around Chris Gayle and his explosive batting style, India dropped the batsman twice! And these were regulation catches.
Gayle had not even opened his account when Ravichandran Ashwin dropped a solid edge at first slip off Mohammad Shami's bowling. The ball had taken a thick chunk off Gayle's bat and was rising but replays clearly emphasized that in international cricket, those should be held on to without much fuss. To add to Shami's frustration, Gayle dispatched him for a six and a four in his next over!
The second lifeline for the Jamaican came in the 7th over off Amit Mishra's bowling. Yuvraj Singh at deep mid-wicket had all the time in the world to position himself under a top-edged shot - only to spill it atrociously. It looked like an almost exact replay from two days ago when he had spilled a catch of Pakistan skipper Mohammad Hafeez.
There were several half-chances in addition to the simple opportunities but the 'determined' Indian fielding maintained its 'consistency'. Ironically though, Gayle eventually fell on 34 off 33 balls to a run-out. It was Shami -the fielder, not the bowler - who had the last laugh - his sharp fielding and quick throw to Dhoni finding Gayle short of his crease.
The sporadic sparks of sharp fielding in an otherwise lackluster effort though may haunt India going forward in the tournament.