Cricket
‘Looks less mobile now’: Ex-India fielding coach slams Deepti Sharma’s ‘drop in standards’

‘Looks less mobile now’: Ex-India fielding coach slams Deepti Sharma’s ‘drop in standards’

After the India vs Australia Test, the focus for the women's team will once again be limited-overs cricket, and fielding will be an important aspect to be successful.

The Indian women’s cricket team is the cynosure of all eyes at the moment, as they’re within touching distance of claiming their first-ever Test win over Australia, after having beaten England just last week at the DY Patil Stadium. To be honest, many were left surprised with the way the Indian team outperformed the two better sides, but the girls deserve all the credit, for such a strong display.

Now, with hopefully another victory in their kitty, plus the confidence they get from here, once again the team needs to go back to the drawing board and fix the chinks in the armor for white-ball cricket. That is where the maximum focus lies for them, and that is the form of cricket they’ll be exposed to, mostly. And one of the persistent problems that keeps hampering India’s chances is their fielding. 

In their own right, the Indian team might have some good fielders, but it would perhaps be folly to call them on par with teams like Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa. If the former fielding coach of the women’s team, Biju George is to be believed, planning for the next two years later needs to start now, and that is how the team will improve further. 

Vast Improvement Shown by Pooja Vastrakar

In an exclusive interaction with InsideSport, George conceded that the team has vastly improved in their fielding, but then there is a lot of work that still needs to be done. “See, fielding is always evolving, and so the fielders need to, as well. It all boils down to where do you want to see yourself in the next two years, and the work starts now. You need to sit down with trainers and chalk out a plan for yourself, to achieve the improvement,” George said. “Just imagine, if each player can a set a target for themselves, how much better the team’s fielding would improve, collectively.” 

Pooja Vastrakar wasn’t known to be the best in the field, but for George, she has improved considerably and always had one of the strongest throws in the team. And that is the reason she has become lethal. “See Pooja is very athletic, and has got one of the strongest arms in Indian cricket. She’s very accurate with her throws, and she’s very confident with them. She has shown good improvement, and she has the potential to become one of our better fielders,” George added.

Deepti Sharma Looks Less Mobile Now

deepti sharma india vs australia

Overall, the coach who is with the IPL franchise Delhi Capitals, went on to add that everyone in the team seemed to have progressed, except for Deepti Sharma, who looks less mobile now. “In the Indian team, all of them are doing pretty good but I’m very disappointed with the drop in standards by Deepti. She looks less mobile now. Her throws are still very good, but it is her speed that has come down a little bit.” 

George went on to explain, that playing other sports really helps in fielding, and that’s why we see the Australian team as the best fielding unit. In our team, there is Jemimah Rodrigues, who fits the bill. Perhaps, that is where the rest of the team can take a cue from. This might just help the team in the long run. 

“I believe Australia is the best feeling in the world. Generally, they are very athletic. They play a lot of games. In India, we have Jemimah as the best fielder who plays hockey, and soccer, and the results from it show. Exposure to other sports is really important to improve fielding, as well as all-around game,” he concluded.

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