India’s direct-hit conversion ratio has improved: Fielding coach T Dilip

The Indian fielders have improved in leaps and bounds in terms of successful ratio of direct hits even though some of those didn’t turn into run-outs, said fielding coach T Dilip.

Citing KL Rahul’s direct hit to dismiss an on-song Litton Das during the T20 World Cup in Australia which helped India halt Bangladesh’s charge and clinch a narrow win, Dilip said the team seems to have improved in that area.

“There are certain areas where we have certainly improved over a period of time. If you look at the number of direct-hit percentage in the World Cup and that one direct hit from KL Rahul changed the course of the match,” Dilip told the media after India’s optional training session here at the Wankhede Stadium.

“That’s something we are looking at as a group and if you look at it’s overall ratio, even though there are no run outs, the number of times we have hit the stumps has improved a bit. That’s one area we will keep improving,” he added.

Dilip backed Rahul, who did not attend the optional training session, to continue doing well at No 5 as a wicketkeeper-batsman.

“We all know that KL Rahul is a wonderful player. He has a proven record. Even in ODIs, in the middle-order, he has proven enough as a batter. As a wicketkeeper, he gets a lot of balance into the team because he gives advantage.

“Since he is not someone who has picked the gloves just now – he has been doing that since a younger age – he adds a lot of things. Not that difficult to work on his wicket-keeping, apart from refining a few aspects,” Dilip said.

Dilip said that the team is looking to have specific fielding drills and training for specific players so that they are best prepared to field at certain positions.

Hardik Pandya will be India’s stand-in captain for the first ODI here on Friday, and Dilip backed the all-rounder to come good.

“He is the captain now officially. But he has been in our leadership group for all these matches and he’s proven in T20s what he can bring on table as a captain. Even if Rohit is the captain, he is part of our leadership group, he adds a lot of value to the team, not only you, we all are looking forward to him. He is well-equipped to do it,” Dilip said.

The fielding coach added that senior players like Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja inspire the younger players to work on their fielding.

“They have proven over a period of time, they have been role models in terms of what they can contribute in fielding. Players do look up to them. What special I see when they come to practice is the intensity. Even after proving themselves, they carry that intensity, which rubs on to the youngsters,” he said.

Shreyas Iyer ruled out of ODI series against Australia, confirms T Dilip

India fielding coach T Dilip, on Wednesday officially confirmed that middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer has been ruled out of the upcoming three-match ODI series against Australia, starting Friday, due to recurrence of lower-back injury.

That Iyer has been ruled out of ODIs, was first reported by PTI on March 11. It is learnt that there is almost negligible chance of the stylish Mumbaikar taking any part in cash-rich IPL for KKR. Iyer leads KKR in IPL.

He is currently back in NCA for extensive rehabilitation but it couldn’t be confirmed whether he would also require surgery like Jasprit Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna.

“Injuries are a part and parcel of the game. We have the best medical facilities and they are well-equipped… We are in co-ordination (with NCA). Shreyas ruled out of this series. (We will be able to provide) further update as and when we know,” told India’s fielding coach T Dilip told media in his debut press conference.

The right-handed Iyer, who had made a comeback into the Indian side recently during the four-Test series against Australia after recovering from a back injury, complained of experiencing similar troubles during the fourth and final Test in Ahmedabad.

As a result, Iyer was taken for scans by BCCI’s medical team with the message being relayed that the batsman was being monitored. Iyer did not bat in India’s only innings at Ahmedabad, wherein they finished at a strong 571 bolstered by Virat Kohli’s 186.

The injury is expected to keep Iyer out of action for at least the first half of the 2023 edition of the Indian Premier League, which begins on March 31. Iyer is the designated captain of two-time title winners Kolkata Knight Riders and it seems they will be in search of a new leader.

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