Bangladesh fielding consultant Ryan Cook on Monday urged his charges to set their own standards to become the best fielding side in the world.
The Tigers produced dismal fielding efforts during their last Test series against Zimbabwe, especially in the second Test where they missed around half dozen of catches in both the innings of the Test match in Dhaka.
Despite winning the match by a comfortable margin of 218 runs, the Tigers failed to showcase an all-round performance because of their dull fielding efforts, which was below par to the standard of modern Test cricket.
However, they had performed reasonably well in the first Test match in Sylhet and previous other series and Cook, who was in charge of the fielding unit since July, was really optimistic to see the team coming strong against West Indies in the forthcoming two-match Test series, starting on November 22.
‘I think they must set their own standards and they must be the best fielding team in the world. And there is no doubt we are capable of doing that,’ Cook told reporters at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram.
‘In the first Test we caught 91 per cent of the catches, which I thought was outstanding – pretty much world-class. In the second game there were some tough chances that went down.
‘The boys have come around and said that they are going to work hard on their catching even more to make sure that doesn’t happen,’ he added.
Bangladesh’s fielding effort – especially their slip catching and short catching had been a matter of concern for years where they hardly showed the sign of improvement despite being in the elite-class of cricket for 18 years.
During the last Test against Zimbabwe, all-rounder Ariful Haque missed an easy opportunity at second slip of Hamilton Masakazda in the first innings while off-spinner Mehedi Hasan dropped two catches at first slip and gully respectively to add more agony.
South African coach Cook reiterated that the lack of opportunities in slip catching in the sub-continental region made the scene bitter for the fielders, which denied them the space of improving their fielding skills.
Cook believed that the Tigers had already shown progress and improvement in those areas and they could do better jobs for Bangladesh in the long run.
‘In South Africa, from a young age, you might have four slips and a gully. Here with the pitches you play on here, you might not have that, you might have two slips. So [there] is lot of exposure to slip fielding whereas here is lot of exposure to short legs and silly points.
‘Obviously, through producing different wickets you’ll probably get more guys fielding in the slips. But good slip fielders come in a pair, or sometimes three and four. It’s important to be able to get a rapport and trust with your slip next to you, so slip 1, slip 2, slip 3, so it’s important that we have continuity in that.
‘Obviously, when you look at the really successful slip cordons and you’d have Mathew Hayden, Shane Warne. Mark Waugh and they were there for years and years and years, so they get a lot of trust with each other. Hopefully we can build that over time.
‘Our philosophy is try and get as many guys to improve their slip catching or at short leg, so if Shanto [Nazmul Hossain] is in there, Minnie [Mominul Haque] is in there or Liton [Das] is in there they can do a good job for the team,’ he added.
Source: New Age.