BIRMINGHAM: It’s challenging for a specialist wicket-keeper to man the outfield and Rishabh Pant learned it the hard way. As Pant is set to retain his spot in the XI, the youngster will have to improve his fielding.
India’s fielding coach R. Sridhar said Pant needs to be more athletic and improve his throwing technique. “A lot of work has to go into him. First of all, he needs to improve his technique in throwing and also needs to be a little more athletic to be an outfielder. We have to use him in appropriate (fielding) positions, that is what Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni are keen on. It’s important to keep him at right places at the right time. In the last game (vs England), he saved at least five runs which is a huge bonus. He took a catch as well,” he added.
On another wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik: Dinesh despite being a wicketkeeper is a good outfielder. He pulls off some good saves at backward point. Rishabh is developing and he needs to do this a bit more to develop the awareness, to get a hang of it. That’s why we harp about getting fielders in the same positions so that they get an idea.
On England grounds which are quite different in terms of their shapes: This is all about awareness just like you saw in the last two games at Edgbaston. This ground is a bit like Eden Gardens. Once you are beaten, there’s no way that you can chase it. There is no point running around towards the boundary line. You have to cut the angles. We are used to playing in such grounds and we will have to be aware of that. You will always not get grounds of spherical shape so awareness becomes key.
On throwing techniques: We don’t have any equipment to measure the pace of the throw from the outfield. But we ensure that the throw is nice and hard. The reason being that once the ball stops swinging, we want to use the practice pitches to scuff it up a little bit so that the spinners can get some help....