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Your current Indian selection largely on fielding and athleticism

Arjun

Cricketer Of The Year
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.
  • Mukund
  • Rahane
  • Badrinath
  • Dinesh Karthik (WK)
  • Raina
  • Rohit Sharma/Kohli
  • Jadeja/Nayar/Bhatia/Kulkarni
  • Yo Mahesh
  • Pankaj Singh
  • Iqbal Abdulla
  • Varun Aaron
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.
 
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Spikey

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can't see how you can pick a team on fielding and then pick Karthik. Saha looked good, with glove and bat
 

Arjun

Cricketer Of The Year
Saha's a bits-and-pieces player in comparison. Can't imagine him keeping to two spinners who get a lot of purchase from the pitch, or batting above five bowlers. Karthik has been the best wicketkeeper for a long time, but has missed out because of Dhoni's near-monopoly, but he's not been as emphatic a batsman. On keeping alone, Karthik is better than the rest.
 

Himannv

Cricketer Of The Year
Only Kohli and Raina are very good imo. The others are above average perhaps.

I'm sure India have better wicketkeepers than Dinesh Karthik.
 

Himannv

Cricketer Of The Year
Ah forgot about him. Fair call. Useful player in limited over games on the whole imo.
 

Cevno

Hall of Fame Member
Manoj Tiwary has to be there. He is very good too.

Karthik and Saha both do pretty well in the outfield too IIRC.
 

Arjun

Cricketer Of The Year
Only Kohli and Raina are very good imo. The others are above average perhaps.

I'm sure India have better wicketkeepers than Dinesh Karthik.
We haven't seen much of these other players in top-flight international events, but so far, every one of them has looked good. Actually, so did Sehwag, Gambhir and Yuvraj, pre-injury. It's a matter of maintaining that intensity on the field over a long period of time.

As for the keeper choice, a certain fan from TN (actually the entire TN fan base) would beg to differ. I've yet to find a better wicketkeeper than Karthik who's also a viable batsman. Dhoni's just safe, Patel and Saha are both poor, and Ojha isn't someone I'd have keeping to a promising young spinner.
Jadeja's as good a fielder as Kohli and Raina imo.
Ah forgot about him. Fair call. Useful player in limited over games on the whole imo.
Vastly over-rated fielder. He's only a show-pony, hardly useful in action. Rarely has he forced a run-out or taken a game-changing catch. In fact, he's dropped several high catches and thrown away a match with a wild throw in England. Very poor choice in catching positions. Not even someone you can have in the frontline as a batsman or bowler.
Manoj Tiwary has to be there. He is very good too.

Karthik and Saha both do pretty well in the outfield too IIRC.
Tiwary is a good outfielder, but his slip-catching is still suspect. Just like Gambhir, Raina and Jadeja.

Karthik and Saha, when not wicketkeeping, are average or below-average batsmen. They add more to their places behind the stumps, and better outfielders exist.

Anyway, where are all the bowlers?
 

Daemon

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Vastly over-rated fielder. He's only a show-pony, hardly useful in action. Rarely has he forced a run-out or taken a game-changing catch. In fact, he's dropped several high catches and thrown away a match with a wild throw in England. Very poor choice in catching positions. Not even someone you can have in the frontline as a batsman or bowler.
So catches and run outs are only of good quality if they're game changing?
 

Arjun

Cricketer Of The Year
So catches and run outs are only of good quality if they're game changing?
Given the very few instances of him taking catches or effecting run-outs, in comparison to the large number of bloopers which none of Raina, Rohit Sharma or even Yusuf Pathan have committed. Jadeja may be very athletic, but he's got very poor fielding technique- less athletic blokes field better.

The benchmark would be Raina, Rohit Sharma, Kohli and Badrinath.
 

Daemon

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Vastly over-rated fielder. He's only a show-pony, hardly useful in action. Rarely has he forced a run-out or taken a game-changing catch. In fact, he's dropped several high catches and thrown away a match with a wild throw in England. Very poor choice in catching positions. Not even someone you can have in the frontline as a batsman or bowler.Tiwary is a good outfielder, but his slip-catching is still suspect. Just like Gambhir, Raina and Jadeja.
Two very good run outs aws. Just sayin.
 

Shri

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Why should the fielding be given importance while selecting a side when the batting and bowling are far worse?
 

sreeku7

School Boy/Girl Captain
India usually do well in Tests when its fielding and catching is sharp and flop when the same is poor.So I think the point is relevant
 

Spark

Global Moderator
It's more because fielding is probably the most obvious way of assessing a player/team's attitude and hunger, because it's the hardest discipline to get right. It needs constant hard work, often tedious hard work and a player who's attitude is astray will often show it first in their fielding. Doesn't apply universally as a general case, but as a general rule, the best fielders are also the hardest workers who'll give the most to the team.
 

Shri

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So Raina a better bet for the Indian test team than Dravid/Laxman?
 

Spark

Global Moderator
Of course not, but I certainly wouldn't discount him making a comeback. It's not an all/nothing question.
 

marc71178

Eyes not spreadsheets
India usually do well in Tests when its fielding and catching is sharp and flop when the same is poor.So I think the point is relevant
Yes, but how relevant? A team of 11 Gary Pratt's would be brilliant in the field.
 

Arjun

Cricketer Of The Year
Now Dhoni says he can't play all three of Sachin, Sehwag and Gambhir because it would weaken the fielding. Tough call, as Sehwag pulled off an excellent diving catch, Gambhir is still one of the better blokes on the field and Tendulkar, when not obstructed, can take safe catches. Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja, though...

Harsha Bhogle says it's a lot more difficult for bowlers to keep up the fielding intensity, because they will get injured and their bowling will suffer. Rather restrictive thinking. I haven't seen much of excellent or even really good fielding by any bowler in those domestic streams, nor have the bowlers apart from Zaheer and Umesh been tested. Umesh, despite being much younger than Sachin, seems to have an athleticism level of someone older, but when the ball is hit so hard, catches are not so easy.

Will you compromise on your all-round fielding side with Ashwin and Umesh? Both are poor fielders, but Ashwin is a spinner with an impressive strike rate, and also very capable with the bat, while Umesh is your fastest bowler.
 

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