Why so many catches dropped in this year’s IPL so far?

Harbhajan Singh dropped a skier from Russell in the IPL match between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) last night at M A Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai.

Eventually, Russell went on to score a quick-fire half-century that gave the visitors a decent total.  A few days ago, when CSK played Mumbai IndiansHardik Pandya’s catch was dropped. He went on to score big taking the match away from CSK.

With the first half of the IPL 2019 almost coming to an end, over a dozen catches have been dropped. This has raised the question if fielding standard has come down in the current IPL. Why are so many catches being dropped?

Harikrishnan, a fielding coach for a local team in Chennai, says, “It is difficult to catch skiers. White ball in the backdrop of floodlights are never easy.”

He adds, “With a colourful crowd in the backdrop, it is difficult to spot the ball when it is hit on air.”

Elaborating, Srikanth, a former second division club cricketer in Chennai, says, “No excuses. When you play in such a professional and superior tournament, the standard of fielding should be high. You have to pounce on chances that come your way. I was amused at the number of catches dropped so far, especially the easy ones.”

“Take the case of CSK. The team has a maximum of seniors (those above 33 years of age). Fielding is, of course, a tough job considering their age. Dhoni rightly said that they will never be a great fielding side, but can be a safe fielding side. They might bleed a few runs here and there, but as long as they use their experience,  they will make it up with our batting and bowling.”

Catches win matches. The more you drop, the more it will hurt the chances of your team, he cautions.

M BHARAT KUMAR