Reserves Must be Match-Ready for WC: India Fielding Coach Sridhar

‘All pieces are falling in place’: Sridhar satisfied by India’s ‘complete unit’ going into the World Cup in England.

3 min read

India’s fielding coach R Sridhar expects the reserve player to get much-needed game time during the remaining ODIs in New Zealand, as the team management wants all players to be match-ready going into the World Cup.

The fielding coach is happy to see “all pieces falling in place” in the core team, with the bowling unit, in his opinion, taking itself “10 notches higher”.

“Winning is a habit that you want to continue and don’t want a let down on intensity but we need to give game time to our reserves with just seven games remaining before the World Cup.”
R Sridhar, India Fielding Coach

Sridhar’s comments came on the eve of India’s fourth ODI against New Zealand at Hamilton on Thursday, 31 January, a game the team enters with the series already secured on account of three commanding performances so far.

“We shouldn’t be in a situation going into the World Cup where the main XI has played and the reserves have not got enough game time when (it might happen that) they have to suddenly play a crucial game during World Cup,” Sridhar said, citing the team management’s thought process for the final leg of the one-dayers in New Zealand.

The former first-class cricketer from Hyderabad also suggested that conditions in New Zealand are the closest the Indian team get as far as match simulation for the World Cup in England is concerned.

There is no better place than New Zealand to simulate the conditions of England in June. So we would like to surely create a situation where we give game time to our reserves
R Sridhar, India Fielding Coach

Sridhar heaped praise on the performance and combination of the side, stressing upon experience and bowling riches as the key differentiators for Team India.

Since the start of 2018, the Virat Kohli-led side have won ODI series in South Africa, Australia and now New Zealand, with their only defeat coming in England.

India, in fact, have now won six of their last seven ODI series away from home – and 12 out of their last 13 in all.
“All the pieces are falling together. It’s quite an experienced unit and if you see the top six players, they have all been there from 2013 Champions Trophy (in England).”
R Sridhar, India Fielding Coach

The bowling attack came in for special words of appreciation from the fielding coach.

“India was always a fabulous batting country, but now bowlers have started picking wickets throughout different phases of the match. Whether it's Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) and (Mohammed) Shami, or the leggies (Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal), they have done it in South Africa, against Australia and now here,” Sridhar said.

“Apparently, they (Kuldeep and Chahal) have picked 100 wickets between them in 24-25 games which is magnificent. The most important phases of the game has been taken care of. Then we have excellent death bowlers in terms of Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) and (Jasprit) Bumrah,” he added.

Sridhar exuded absolute confidence when looking ahead to how the team is shaping up to mount a challenge in England this summer.

“The experience of the side, combined with fitness and bowling has gone 10 notches higher, making it look like a complete unit and it augurs very well for us going into the World Cup. This team under Virat Kohli and now with Rohit Sharma as captain has played some of its best (ODI) cricket in last three years.”
R Sridhar, India Fielding Coach

(With inputs from PTI)

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