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100s of catches during training made Rahane successful:Sridhar

Ajinkya Rahane

Bengaluru : It’s not overnight that Ajinkya Rahane has turned into one of India’s best slip catchers in recent times as he takes “hundreds of catches” during training session, revealed Indian team’s fielding coach R Sridhar.

“He is (Rahane) evolving into an excellent slip fielder. He has got the temperament and demeanour to be a good slip fielder. Let’s make no bones about it — he works really hard at it. He takes hundreds of catches and he is very specific about where he wants them, what he wants to do, at what height he wants them, what he’s likely to get in the match,” Sridhar told mediapersons about the Mumbaikar, who holds the world record for maximum catches in a Test innings.

“Also he has got excellent understanding of the angles, the pace, depth (dipping) of the ball, which is likely to come (at him). We spoke of perception earlier — that is something he is developing standing in the slips. He is evolving into a very good slip fielder, which augurs well for the team,” the fielding coach was lavish in his praise.

Sridhar emphasised on the need to have a settled combination for the slip cordon, which is essential for a team’s success.

“We would love to have a settled slips cordon but injury is something we can’t control. You saw in Sri Lanka, Shikhar (Dhawan) and (Murali) Vijay got injured. Then we saw (Lokesh) Rahul standing in the slip cordon. We always have had the luxury of having Virat (Kohli) and Ajinkya at slip. It’s something, we would like to have — a settled combination. But when it’s not in our control, we try and have the best fielders available in the slip cordon.

“Also we do have plans like having a left-hander in the outside slip for left-hand batsmen and a right-hander in the outside slip for right hand batsmen — things like that. That is about it.”

Asked to name the best fielders from either side, the fielding coach was predictably non-committal but did say that there are various fielders, who bring various attributes to the field.

“You can say AB de Villiers is a good fielder but I think (Ravindra) Jadeja is a wonderful and natural athlete. In our team, each guy brings in something out of the table, making it a good fielding unit collectively,” Sridhar said.

“Virat gets in the intensity and energy. (Ajinkya) Jinks brings in the sharpness (as a) close-in (fielder). Somebody brings in the calmness, Shikhar brings in the athleticism. So there’s so much each guy brings in, making it a good collective unit. And that’s what we say about good fielding teams hunt in packs.”

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