VEDANT SHARMA | 29 AUGUST, 2018

Slip Catching: Key To India’s Superlative Victory in the Third Test

VEDANT SHARMA


A stupendous all-around effort by Virat Kohli-led Indian team saw the host gets hammered in the most obnoxious manner possible at the Trent Bridge, Nottingham. After being all at sea in the first two Tests against the top-quality side like England, it looked as India had already fallen into the trap, but they proved all cricket pundits wrong as they finally managed to get out of the jail.

The superlative effort in all three aspects of the game helped India to be the better side on all five days. Though many have already said about the sensational batting display by the Indian skipper Virat Kohli and dazzling bowling spell of Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah but what didn't make to the news was India's effort in slip cordon which was well led by opener KL Rahul.

History Repeats Itself? Well, not in this case.

As righty adjudged by the greats this game has produced, 'Catches win matches'. While England who frets over its chances in this series so far, it was India which actually turned things around to not replicate their 2014 effort in the slip cordon. In 2014, it was probably because of India's slip catching which made the scoreline 3-1 than their performance with the bat and ball.

India under the captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni had started off pretty well with playing a draw at the start of the series, followed by upstaging the Englishmen at the Home of Cricket. However, what went after was something which the Indian team will never forget.

In the third Test, India played Rajasthan Ranji speedster Pankaj Singh who was able to pitch the ball in the right areas which had eventually helped to create some chances. Then skipper, Alastair Cook was batting on 15 runs when Ravindra Jadeja dropped a sitter at the slip. Cook not only went on to score 95 runs but was able to shift the momentum in England's favour. His dropped catch had not only affected India the match but all the series.

Four years later, the Indian team has produced some sensational catches at the slips which have led them to be in the contention of even winning this series. Having lost the first two games, India needed something more than just the display of astonishing batting and bowling. KL Rahul, who hasn't been amongst some the runs in the series so far, led the team to believe in their skills while producing some of it himself.

21 and 51 - Numbers which Englishmen will never forget

In the first Test at the Edgbaston, Indian skipper Virat Kohli walked out to the middle with a string of low scores of past and a lot of questions on his head. With scoring, just 134 runs in 10 innings in 2014 series against the same opposition, Virat needed some luck by his side to believe in his ability to score runs anywhere in the world and it won't be wrong to say that the first innings’ magnificent hundred shaped the series for him personally.

Virat Kohli managed to score just one short of well deserved 150 run mark, but what followed him to reach that figure was two drop catches by England's middle-order batsman Dawid Malan at the slips. The 30-year-old dropped Kohli when the latter was batting at 21 and 51. This led Virat to build in confidence, which even helped him to score a total of 200 runs twice in three encounters now.

Catches Win Matches

This led one believes in the statement that players who work regressively with the full fortitude in the nets and practice session need to be more alert in the field to convert the chance into a wicket. In the current scenario, the England team has more questions to answer than India, having already put down 15 in the series.

It will be interesting to see how both teams approach the fourth and all-important encounter which is scheduled to be played on the 30th of August at the Southampton. However, it will be the Indian players who will go with the better mindset after winning the last game convincingly.
 

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