Once again, India's fielding woes and athleticism problem were highlighted by Harsha Bhogle in the Australia tour. While I do feel too much negativity exists about Indian fielding (after all, there are good fielders in the side, and no poor fielding side can actually win a World Cup), there is some scope for improvement. Yet we find good fielders often sidelined for pushovers- which is how Munaf Patel is a regular despite dreadful fielding. There are good fielders across the country who can come together in a decent playing XI with reserves, as also, at the very least, safe fielders who can make a really strong team.
Whom would you put together? Plenty of batsmen will make the list, but try to find really good fielders amongst frontline pace bowlers or spinners, or all-rounders, you'll struggle. Even the best fielding pacers are just safe, and not likely to fluff much. You'll never find a world-class fielder who's a seriously effective spinner. An all-rounder who's also very effective on the field is hard to catch. When you find Ravindra Jadeja way ahead in this class, you know it's uphill. You'll have a strong top six, maybe even with a wicketkeeper (a different aspect), but a weak bowling attack (boosted to average with a fifth bowler) and a very weak bottom five. Interestingly, you'll have a very strong South Zone presence in this team, as the best fielders come largely from TN, and a few from Karnataka. Let's see how it shapes up.
Fair, so it's not dominated by the South Zone teams, but it's still competitive. This is a highly subjective debate, so no two suggestions will be exactly the same. Even then, when you have good fielders, the objective will be to keep them going good on the field over a long term- which we haven't seen in this side. More importantly, this is not a cross-form team, so changes will occur, depending on the form of the game played.
- Dinesh Karthik (WK)
- Rohit Sharma/Kohli
- Yo Mahesh
- Pankaj Singh
- Iqbal Abdulla
- Varun Aaron