Jadeja best Indian fielder of the decade: Sridhar



Author 2019-10-28 13:02:00


  • "Jaddu's presence on the field lifts the team's spirits. He is someone who can keep the opposition on their toes with his fielding," Sridhar said.
  • "He (Jadeja) has an intimidating presence on the field," Sridhar added.
  • "I wouldn't like to go very far but in the last decade or so Jadeja has been the best fielder India has had," Sridhar remarked.

CHENNAI: With Wriddhiman Saha looking in great form behind the stumps during the India-South Test series, India team's fielding coach R Sridhar seemed to be the happiest man. Saha, who returned to top-flight cricket after a long injury lay-off, showed why he was rated highly. The 49-year-old Sridhar spoke to TOI on what Saha brings to the side, the effect Ravindra Jadeja has had on the opposition and more.


How do you view the India-South Africa series?

We were clinical in all departments. Despite sealing the series in Pune itself, there was no let-up in our intensity as we finished the series 3-0.

Were you concerned whether Saha will be able to hit the peak again?

No, there were no concerns at all. He was easing into the rigors of international cricket during the West Indies series. He had also played a few games for India 'A' before that. Once we were playing in India, we brought back Saha. He is our best wicketkeeper and his skills were for all to see during the India-SA series.

How would you compare the skillset of Saha and Rishabh Pant?

It's unfair to compare the two as both Saha and Rishabh have their strengths. One is young, while the other is experienced. Rishabh is our future and Saha is our present and both are doing brilliantly.

When it comes to Indian fielding, the focus is always on Ravindra Jadeja. What makes him such a vital cog in this line-up?

Jaddu's presence on the field lifts the team's spirits. He is someone who can keep the opposition on their toes with his fielding. He has an intimidating presence on the field.

Is he the best Indian fielder ever?

I wouldn't like to go very far but in the last decade or so Jadeja has been the best fielder India has had.

Have you managed to change the perception of Indian fielding since taking over?

It's not for me to answer that. In my opinion, the perception of Indian fielding has changed in the last few years. Faf (du Plessis) lauded Indian fielders' dominance over South Africa. Even during the World Cup, the opposition captains spoke highly about our fielding. I think the focus for that has come from the top as to what (coach) Ravi Shastri or Virat wants. Even a newcomer like Shabhaz Nadeem gelled into the team culture (in the Ranchi Test) and made an impact straightaway.

Where have you seen the biggest change in the Indian fielding?

The change has been in two areas: mindset and fitness. Changing the mindset is pertaining to what the teams want to achieve, and fitness was a crucial part of that.

What are the areas we still need to improve on?

Developing a pool of players who can field at slip cordon is an area we are working on. In shorter formats, lateral movement and throwing from the deep are the areas we are focusing on as we head into the World T20 next year.

Do you reckon there ought to be an ICC ranking system for fielding as well?

Absolutely. I have been harping on this for long that the ICC should have a ranking for fielding. Also, fielding statistics shouldn't be limited to catches taken, but also on other parameters such as number of balls a player has fielded, number of direct hits and so on.

Who is the most improved fielder in the Indian line-up?

It's a tough question as everyone has improved. In the WC, I had said that Yuzvendra Chahal was the most improved fielder. Bumrah too is improving and the way Ishant took caught-and-bowled chances in the Windies was brilliant.

Who according to you is the best fielder currently?

Jadeja, Martin Guptill, Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell - these four come to my mind. These players can be placed at the infield or in outfield as they possess high levels of athleticism.

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