Southampton, May 30: Indian team has always been considered as a safe "catching unit" but fielding coach R Sridhar now wants improvement in the conversion rate for direct throws in the upcoming World Cup.
Save Ravindra Jadeja, some of the younger Indian players in the current squad, despite their supreme fitness and agility, are not able to get their direct throws on target, a crucial aspect during close games. Trying to beat the monotony, fielding coach Sridhar introduced a new fielding drill 'Round The Clock', wherein fielders at six different positions will take a shy at the non-striker's end.
While the drill seemed to be like 'old wine in a new bottle', the players seemed to be enjoying the session, which is the key during a big tournament. "We had an interesting fielding session today. The theme of the session was direct hit. The focus was on boys getting it right from different angles at the non-striker's end. Initially, we started with a drill called 'Round the Clock', where there were six different fielding positions from where they had to hit the stumps 20 times," Sridhar told bcci.tv after the session.
After a brief session where the fielding coach spoke about the importance of having a "correct arm-path" in order to get the execution right, he arranged for a competition where the 'last man standing' was certainly not the 'best man standing'.
"Then we introduced a game where those who get a successful direct hit is out of the session and those who fail have to come back again and finally there was only one guy who was left in the end. The boys were rolling on the floor laughing," Sridhar said.
The other notable aspect was skipper Virat Kohli trying a bit of off-spin at the nets but the batsmen facing him had no problems dispatching the friendly tweaks. With no off-spinner in the squad and Kedar Jadhav hardly bowling with his dodgy hamstrings, it seemed like it was more about Indian captain providing a bit of knocking for the other batsmen.