India fielding coach T. Dilip says Rohit Sharma’s catch of Ollie Pope at first slip was a game-changer

Rohit Sharma and Shreyas Iyer

As the Indian team prevented the visiting English contingent from doubling their lead in the 5-match Test series with a dominant run of 106 at the ACA-VDCA Stadium in Vizag, the home team’s fielding coach praised captain Rohit Sharma for his “ Game-changing first catch to dismiss first Test man of the match – Ollie Pope for just 23 runs during England’s fruitless 399-run chase.

Rohit Sharma and his team put in splendid efforts in the field and perhaps seemed to be ticking all the boxes in the fielding department. Players like Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill among others played too well and it shows the amount of intensity and seriousness this team has during their fielding drills.

After all, who else but the Indian team understands the importance of converting half chances into wickets? They may have been inspired by Travis Head’s sensational catch to dismiss Rohit Sharma in the 2023 Cricket World Cup final, which turned out to be the decisive moment to change the game.

“The reaction time was much less and it was played off the back foot, a fantastic effort from Rohit that changed the game,” Dilip said in BCCI’s latest video on X.

The coaching team led by Rahul Dravid may not have ended India’s ICC title drought during his tenure but they have maintained a positive and healthy team environment. For that, Dravid will have a lot to thank his fielding coach T Dilip, who has been a key figure in achieving this.

During last year’s CWC, Dilip reportedly awarded medals to his best players of a particular match and helped the players gain extra motivation which also reflected in their performances.

India remained undefeated till then in Ahmedabad where all their hard work went in vain as Australia chased away over a million Indians.

However, we are quite used to it now and the goal currently is to win the Anthony de Mello Trophy against England. The visitors were the first to draw blood, but the home team counterattacked in style, as always.

Fielding has turned out to be one of India’s main strengths for the better part of the last decade and has intensified since Rahul Dravid took over.

While speaking to BCCI TV, T Dilip explained the importance of staying energetic during a Test match and also praised Iyer for his splendid efforts on the field.

“The game really leaned towards us because of Shreyas Iyer’s run and the way he moved and anticipated the shot and also getting that direct hit, especially with a guy like Ben Stokes.

“I think overall I’m very happy as a field coach because the guys have done a fantastic job,” Dilip added.

“We want to be the best fielding team” – Rohit Sharma emphasizes the importance of fielding

In the same video, Rohit Sharma stated that his team is determined to do well in the fielding department and stated that they want to be the best and smartest XI out there.

“Fielding is something we really try ourselves, you know we want to be the best fielding team, the smartest fielding team,” Rohit Sharma said.