The pitches laid out during the India v Sri Lanka Test series have been the topic of discussion right through the competition, with Virat Kohli, the Indian captain, revealing that they had asked for strips that suit the faster bowlers, to prepare for the three-Test series in South Africa starting next month.
India's slip fielding has been a cause of concern lately.
"Obviously, we have played good cricket throughout the season".
"To be honest, we haven't fielded well [in the slips] and I would accept that". Speaking about Ashwin, Gavaskar then said: "There's intent but not much progress."Coming to the match, the Lankan batsmen showed great resolution and grit to bat out the day and secure a draw as the players ended play at 4:01pm - 35 minutes before the scheduled close of play - after both teams felt that the game was headed for a draw".
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"Technically, I don't know what is going wrong", admitted Pujara. I do agree that we haven't taken enough catches but we are working hard. To be honest, we put in a lot of hardwork in our fielding, especially we know catching is very important. At the same time, there have been injuries. So we had to replace Vijay. All players standing in the slips are taking 50 to 100 catches every day. "So we are trying to improve ourselves and eventually results will come", he added further. The ultimate goal of any team is to win a Test match and when we play for the Indian team, its always about scoring runs and when it comes to test cricket we take it very seriously and we always try to win as many matches as we possibly can.
"Overall we have bowled really well, especially in this Test match considering the wicket".
A plausible explanation for India's poor form in the slips could be the fact that they have often rotated players in a catching area that needs teams to identify and stick with specialists. Pujara, Rahane and Vijay should be standing in 1st, 2nd and 3rd slip and Rohit Sharma can take Rahane's current gully position as he is another terrific fielder. Ajinkya (Rahane) has been fielding at gully for quite some time, when the spinners are bowling he is at slips. And when they do, the frequency of balls whizzing towards the slips is likely to go up, which also calls for a more assured slip cordon.
India can not afford to drop catches in the slips in South Africa. He is set, we can't keep on changing fielders. This was India's ninth consecutive Test series win and with that, they equalled Australia's record for the most number of Test series victories on the trot.