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Indian cricketers lack knowledge on basics of fielding: Rhodes

Last updated on: October 17, 2011 12:18 IST

Indian cricketers lack knowledge on basics of fielding: Rhodes

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Haresh Pandya

When it comes to fielding, there cannot be a better cricketer than Jonty Rhodes. Arguably the greatest fielder in the history of the game, the South African lent a totally new dimension to the art of fielding.

He elevated fielding to a newer plane and gave it an exalted status too. Now happily retired, Rhodes enjoys his role as the fielding coach of Mumbai Indians.

Understandably, and unsurprisingly, he is "not at all happy" with the level or standard of Team India's overall fielding.

These views were expressed during a three-day Jonty's Way Fielding Coaching Camp for budding cricketers in Vadodara. According to Rhodes, professional Indian cricketers lack knowledge on the basics of fielding.

"Every run counts in cricket. Every catch or even a missed catch can change the very complexion of the game. I've marked that most Indian players tend to put their feet on the ball going towards the boundary. This isn't a right way to stop it. It could be dangerous. It minimises the chance of stopping the four and increases the risk of injuring your leg," he said.



Image: Jonty Rhodes

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'Many coaches aren't technically sound with regard to fielding'

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Rhodes added that the coaches at various levels across the country were responsible for teaching their young wards this ill-advised method of fielding.

"Many coaches aren't technically sound with regard to fielding. I think along with players, such coaches have also to improve. They need to know what makes a good fielder before teaching the discipline to the budding players," he emphasised.

Interestingly, the South African is "impressed" by the "allround" fielding of Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh.


Image: Jonty Rhodes

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Rhodes not keen on coaching Team India

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"I feel Kohli, Raina and Yuvraj are very good fielders. What's important is that they put their best efforts in fielding. Even a cursory glance at their fielding is enough to see that they're different from the rest of Indian players, who give the impression of not being too enthusiastic," he said.

A player of Rhodes's genius and experience could be an asset for Team India. But he does not seem interested in taking up a job as Team India's fielding coach. He has his own reasons. "To be part of a national team would limit my role to a set of players from only one country. The IPL is different. I may be with only one team but there I'm able to impart my knowledge to players from different nationalities," he remarked.


Image: Jonty Rhodes

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