After most matches in the 10th edition of the Indian Premier League, the losing captains and/or players part of the losing team have said the reason for the loss was majorly dropped catches. Be it Zaheer Khan for Delhi Daredevils on Friday or Shikhar Dhawan after loss to Rising Pune Supergiant earlier in the tournament. (Results | Fixtures | Points Table)
This Indian Premier League has people talking more about the quality of fielding, especially catching, than the runs scored or the wickets taken. In the past seasons, we had seen some super catches, on the boundary ropes, inside the circle and even behind the wickets.
But, none has happened this season. The latest to face the backlash is Virat Kohli dropping Rahul Tripathi in Royal Challengers Bangalore’s game against Rising Pune Supergiant. Tripathi, batting on 11, pulled a short ball from Adam Milne to mid-on. Kohli got a simple chance but it popped out. Tripathi added 26 quick runs to help Pune accelerate and cost Kohli for the drop.
Similar stories from previous matches as well. On two occasions, Robin Uthappa has been the lucky guy. In the match against Pune, Uthappa was put down by Jaydev Unadkat at deep midwicket. Uthappa was batting on 12 at that moment. He finished with 77 to take Kolkata to a seven-wicket win.
Uthappa once again had the same luck, this time in comic manner. He was batting at nine when he top edged a pull shot but it landed between two fielders, who could have taken the catch easily. Amit Mishra and Sanju Samson were converging for the catch but at the last moment, both pulled out. Uthappa scored 59 runs in total and Kolkata won by seven wickets.
In the same match, Kuldeep Yadav dropped two catches off his own bowling in same over. Corey Anderson hit two shots back to Kuldeep which he failed to hold on.
These are recent examples. Earlier in the tournament, KKR’s Trent Boult was so unlucky as a bowler that every time there was a catch he induced off the batsmen, it was dropped. It even became a troll on the social media.
While some of the terrific fielding efforts have been at the boundary ropes where fielders have pulled off some incredible stops mid-air, the catching has been rather poor in this tournament.
“Timing of the drop catches is very crucial; things would have been different had we taken that catch of Uthappa,” this is what Zaheer said after Friday’s match against Kolkata.
The small things will add on and can affect the chances of a team to enter the next stage of the tournament. It is surprising to see these many drop catches in this IPL given the standard of fielding in constantly improving in international cricket.
With the tournament still remaining, we may see the improve in fielding standards but this the dropped catches have cost teams matches and when the IPL gets over, may be the trophy itself.
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