Team India are one of the best fielding sides in world cricket thanks to the likes of Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya. Ever since, Virat took over the reigns from MS Dhoni in all formats of the game, he has made fitness a top priority in the Indian camp. In a World Cup 2019 league stage match against Australia, the Virat Kohli-led side outplayed their opponents in all three departments of the game. When India came out to defend their total of 352, Ravindra Jadeja who was fielding as a substitute for injured Shikhar Dhawan took an exceptional catch, diving forward to remove dangerous Glenn Maxwell. The dismissal helped India defeat the defending champions by 36 runs. India's fielding coach Ramakrishnan Sridhar was upbeat about the team's performance on the field.
"We have two guys, Virat (Kohli) and Jadeja, who are very intimidating to the position. They can intimidate any batsman, and they are prowling in the 30-yard range," Sridhar told reporters after India's third match against New Zealand was called off due to rain on Thursday.
The fielding coach also lavished praise on India's spearhead Jasprit Bumrah for his improvements on the field. "Bumrah is probably one of the hardest workers as far as fielding goes. From when he joined the team in 2016 to what he is now, he's a massive improvement, although still a work in progress, but a massive improvement," Sridhar said.
The 48-year-old further mentioned that there are guys in the team who are not naturally athletic like Bumrah, Kedar Jadhav and Yuzvendra Chahal, but it is good to see them work hard during the training sessions to attain a fitness level which is at par with international standards.
"One area is we try to educate them with awareness with respect to fielding, and we try to work on fitness. Obviously, (Shankar) Basu (strength and conditioning coach), works a lot on their fitness as well. We've got a lead-up to this tournament to work with Chahal, Bumrah, Kedar, guys like this, who are willing to work really hard and to work on their skills. So that really helped," Sridhar added.
If rain doesn't play spoilsport, India's next challenge will be against their arch-rivals Pakistan on Sunday. The marquee clash is set to take place in Manchester at the Old Trafford.
(With PTI inputs)