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India’s many dropped catches at slips against England

India's many dropped catches at slips against England
India’s slip fielding has been quite poor throughout the series © Getty Images

By Shiamak Unwalla

Jul 28, 2014

India find themselves in a precarious position against England in the third Test at Southampton after the hosts piled on a colossal 569 for seven declared. However, the scene could have been quite different had India taken the chances offered by the English batsmen in the slips, with two chances going down in the current match.

Pankaj Singh and Mohammed Shami were the two aggrieved bowlers, as first Alastair Cook and then Jos Buttler were dropped early on in their innings in the current Test. Both batsmen scored big fifties, thereby helping England into a position of great power.

Pankaj in the current Test and Stuart Binny in the previous match were derived of their debut Test wickets, when Ravindra Jadeja dropped Alastair Cook off the former bowler and Dhawan and Dhoni letting an easy Gary Ballance catch slip through them at Lord’s.

As seen in the table below, India’s slip fielding has been quite poor throughout the series.

Player

Test

Catches Dropped

Virat Kohli

Trent Bridge

1

Murali Vijay

Trent Bridge

1

Ajinkya Rahane

Lord’s

1

Ravindra Jadeja

Southampton

1

Shikhar Dhawan

Lord’s & Southampton

2*

*There have been two occasions in which the ball has gone between wicketkeeper MS Dhoni and Shikhar Dhawan. At Lord’s, neither man went for the catch, while at Southampton Dhawan reacted quite late.

Cook scored 95 when he could have been dismissed for just 15, while Buttler scored 85 off just 83 deliveries after being dropped on naught. All of the fielders India have tried in the slips have dropped a catch at least once in the series. Another crucial factor has been how far back the slip fielders — especially Dhawan — have been standing throughout the series, as a number of edges have not carried to the slip fielders.

However, it is also important to note that Kohli, Vijay, Rahane, Dhawan, and Jadeja are all good fielders and catchers in the field, but none of them are designated slip fielders. India’s most regular slipper, Ravichandran Ashwin, has been left out of all three matches of the series so far.

India are currently leading England 1-0 in the five-Test series, but unless they manage to take the chances England’s batsmen offer them, it is unlikely that they will be able to sustain their lead and go on to win the series.

Complete coverage of India’s tour of England 2014

(Shiamak Unwalla is a reporter with Cricket Country. He is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and Cricket fanatic who likes to pass his free time by reading books, watching TV shows, and eating food. Sometimes all at the same time. You can follow him on twitter at @ShiamakUnwalla)

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