‘Fielding makes a massive difference’ | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 12, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:36 AM, January 12, 2021

‘Fielding makes a massive difference’

Cricket is all about testing its practitioners' character and their fighting instinct. Those qualities were evident in spades yesterday as India fought brilliantly under testing conditions to draw the third Test against Australia on the fifth and final day in Sydney.

The Indian cricketers' strong will power and commitment, despite being bruised and battered by the Aussies, were clear to see as at no point did they look like giving away the game.

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That mentality has not developed overnight. Instead, over years and generations, India have travelled a path that sees them where they are today. A drastic change in their cricketing culture and infrastructure has gradually developed the team into a powerful outfit at home and abroad, and in all three disciplines – batting, bowling and fielding.

The time has also come for Bangladesh to adapt and develop a culture that will allow them to become one of the better teams in world cricket, not just through skills but also the desire of each cricketer to compete with the best in any situation.

Much like the skills with ball and bat that was witnessed during the third Test between India and Australia, it was the fielding from both sides that set a world-class standard. Fielding is a major component of any team's success, because a well-oiled and skilled fielding unit means the opposition is always under pressure and it also translates into a positive body language of the team as a whole.

Ahead of Bangladesh's first international assignment in more than 10 months in the form of the upcoming home series against the West Indies, fielding coach Ryan Cook is emphasising this aspect in the ongoing training camp.

"I think it [fielding] makes a massive difference to any game -- red ball or white ball. Obviously, the one-day games and the T20 games just become more amplified on the field but that doesn't make it [fielding] any less important in Test matches.

"It is important for all aspects of the game. In one-day cricket, you get tested for all things. You got to do catching, throwing, ground fielding which is under pressure for most of the time in 50-over cricket. So, I am looking forward to the challenge of that and I am sure the guys will be up for it," Cook told reporters yesterday.

With the long gap from cricket in mind, Cook said it is important to start from the basics and raise intensity as the series comes closer as rust can lead to injuries. "I think a lot of the guys have got great attitudes now. They are trying really hard in their fielding, they are asking for extra work, putting in some extra effort and energy. I like that. A lot of work still needs to be done on their technique, for catching especially and some ground fielding."

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