Steve Smith dropped two catches on Day 2 of Nagpur Test© AFP
Former Australia opener Matthew Hayden was critical of Steve Smith’s slip fielding after he dropped catches from Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja on Day 2 of the first Test match between India and Australia in Nagpur. While the chance from Rohit was quite difficult, Jadeja’s edge on the second last delivery of the day was more or less a comfortable opportunity. The call came at a good height for Smith as first slip but he was late to react to it and it ended up hitting his arm and falling to the ground.
“What a nightmare this is for a slips fieldsman,” former Australian batter Matthew Hayden said on-air. “Sort of remained unsighted there. Should have made a better effort than that. Concentration factor – second last ball of the day. Bang. Gotta be on!” Hayden said at the end of day’s play.
A similar sentiment was echoed by compatriot Mark Waugh who explained the situation. “It’s like he doesn’t think the ball will come to him, looks away from the game. You have got to read the play. You have got to pretend you are actually batting when you are fielding at first slip to the spinners.”
Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar also had his say on the topic.
“Absolutely, he wasn’t bending low. I don’t think he was expecting the catch to come there.”He further added, “The back isn’t bent and the catch came towards the knee. So that can make the difference. Yes, it’s been a long day. It’s been a tiring day, but the last couple of deliveries is where your concentration is most tested. Tough day for Steve Smith, he’ll feel it. he’s a good catcher.”
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