Right from the days when India starting playing test matches, India was termed as a batting side. Not that we didn’t have good bowlers ! But batting has been India’s strength. Be it the rock solid Sunil Gavaskar defending all day long or be it the all-rounder Kapil Dev hitting it around the park, India has been always known as a batting side, even today. Bowling has been an area where Indians have done good but not best. We’ve had some of the greatest spinners in history of cricket, Bishen Singh Bedi to Anil Kumble. However we were never a good fielding side, until recently. Unlike the Aussies and the Proteas we were never known for our fielding. But over the years, India has become one of the best fielding sides. Let’s see what impact it has had on their game.
My first memories of India getting a good fielder was during the time of Mohammad Kaif. At that time he along with Yuvraj Singh were the only two good fielders that we possibly had. Guarding the point and the cover region, Kaif and Singh ensured that the ball never passed the inner circle. It was a rare sight when we saw Indians diving around on the field. And Kaif was probably the one who showed us how it is done. One of the finest fielder we had at that time.
Over the course of few years, there were a lot of young players coming in the team after success in the Ranji and as well as the U-19 format. It was then, the likes of Kohli, Raina, Jadeja became the part of the team. After their famous U-19 World Cup victory, these guys had no turning back and have become and important part of the team. The impact these guys had on the team was immense, especially on the fielding front. With their addition to the squad the Indian fielding looked good for once. Later we had the likes of Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane joining the team. Well they weren’t the finest fielders we have but they weren’t bad either. Must say that Ajinkya has done a lot on his fielding over the pas few years.
How has improved fielding impacted India’s game ?
- Because the fielding is improved, we get to see a less number of boundaries since the young legs put in everything to stop the ball from getting over the boundary. On top of it, there are a very few number of 2s and easy singles given away.
- Thanks to this amazing fielding that the Indians need to score less as the improved fielding would have definitely saved few runs from the total.
- Lastly, any good fielding unit in the world boosts up the morale of the entire team. That wonderful run out or that amazing catch will lift the team up in any situation no matter how tough it is.
So you see how over the years, the Indians have significantly improved that fielding that has impacted their game. Not only we are saving runs, we are saving matches – thanks to those amazing catches or run outs. India is definitely a Batting side but with great fielding and good bowling, the team is assured to win matches.