Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

India aware of issues in slip cordon - Pujara

India aware of issues in slip cordon - Pujara

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar on while commentating from the box pointed his fingers at two such players during commentary on the final day of the third Test between India and Sri Lanka.

In the third Test, expectations were that the fifth-day surface surface would be the flawless hunting ground for R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. We don't want to disturb him from there.

"To be honest, we haven't fielded well [in the slips] and I would accept that". We know catching is very important.

"[It is a] hard question to answer as I don't know technically what is going wrong", reckoned Pujara after the conclusion of the Delhi game on Wednesday.

This Indian team's standing against those of the past will become clear over the next year but one thing is certain: the slip catching is decidedly worse, and worryingly it has not improved at all since they came together. "Overall the team have improved as a fielding unit, but slip fielding is something we are looking to improve", he added.

"I still feel I could have done better at times ..." So we had to replace Vijay.

"We are having a chat about it and we will assign a few players who will be there throughout the series", said Pujara.

Sri Lankan players wore face masks to combat severe pollution during the smog-shrouded five-day game, which saw fast bowlers Suranga Lakmal and Mohammed Shami vomiting on the ground, apparently after inhaling the noxious air.

"We took a decision, a right decision that the boys who are playing Ranji Trophy should be allowed to play that. We fully support him to make a comeback".

"Also our spinners, if I look at the wicket, they bowled really well", Pujara said, his defence for his bowlers seemed as impregnable as his batting. We are trying to improve. "We have already started talking about the things we need to work on". What also excites me is that all our batsmen have been to South Africa before and they have the experience of 40-50 Tests. I have been to South Africa in 2010 and 2013. The U-19 level is all about giving opportunities to as many players as possible. It will definitely help us. "That will give us some advantage". "Any batsman will go through a phase where he will not score many runs". Technically, I really don't need to tell him what he has to do. He knows. He is a hard worker, he puts in lot of effort in his batting, fielding and fitness. "Once he gets a fifty or more, he will get his confidence back and he will be a very useful player in South Africa".

India have been playing non-stop cricket since the Champions Trophy and none other than Kohli has complained of not getting enough time to prepare for the South Africa tour due to the ongoing full series against Sri Lanka getting over only on December 24. Virat Kohli's men have not lost a Test series since 2015 with their victories coming against Sri Lanka (thrice, 2-1, 3-0, 1-0), South Africa (3-0), West Indies (2-0), Bangladesh (1-0), England (4-0), New Zealand (3-0) and Australia (2-1).

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