India’s fielding coach R Sridhar has asserted that Rishabh Pant needs to work hard on his keeping skills which he is doing and improving himself and lauded him for his Gabba effort. He also praised the likes of Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal for their fielding.
Rishabh Pant proved himself as a batsman in the Australian series but his wicketkeeping still remains under scanner. The youngster dropped simple catches in both the MCG and SCG Tests and records suggest that he isn’t the safest keeper behind the stumps. However, the 23-year-old as a gloveman in the Gabba Test held on to his catches rather well.
India’s fielding coach R Sridhar also noted Pant’s decent keeping in Brisbane and lauded his efforts. He also highlighted the shift in Pant’s mindset and stated that he is putting in the hard yards to improve his glovework.
“Rishabh Pant took a couple of brilliant catches in Brisbane. I thought Rishabh did very well in Brisbane as a wicketkeeper. He is definitely improving a lot, ” Sridhar told HT.
“The key aspect for him is working hard on his technique and glove work. He is someone who has understood now what needs to be done and is putting in a lot of hours. He is sacrificing his batting time and allotting it for his wicketkeeping.”
“It is a great shift in mindset for him. Pant is a work in progress, he will definitely improve and he has got age on his side. He is putting in the hard yards on his glove work, and fingers crossed he will do well against England, if he gets an opportunity,” Sridhar said.
Sridhar was also full of praise for Rohit Sharma, who took four catches in slips out of five overall in the Test at the Gabba, equalling the feat of most catches by an Indian Down Under. He also lauded Ravindra Jadeja, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal and Wriddhiman Saha for their efforts.
“Sticky fingers Rohit Sharma, creating a record. We saw how Ravindra Jadeja ran Steve Smith out (a direct hit from outside the circle in Sydney), or how well Ajinkya Rahane caught against the spinners at slips. Mayank Agarwal did reasonably well except for that one error in Adelaide. Shubman is an extremely good student of the game. We saw Wriddhiman Saha jumping and doing some magic behind the stumps.”
India had gone for a leg-side trap for Australia in the series which worked well for them especially in the first two Tests. Sridhar revealed how he trained the fielders for this unusual tactic.
“We asked someone to throw the ball hard, I was wearing a helmet and we were flicking the ball on to the leg side to prepare for that plan.
“We identified the fielders who were likely to stand there, and we had someone throwing and flicking or pulling the ball to the leg gully or leg slip area. We practiced catches for that like we would practice for the backward short leg position.”