Mohali: As far as Twenty20 is concerned, not much has gone right for India in the last two years since their unexpected World Cup victory at South Africa in 2007.
Since the triumph, which also ushered the Mahendra Singh Dhoni era, India has won just 4 Twenty20 internationals, losing 7, including an inceremonious second round exit from the World Cup in June.
On Wednesday, India also lost its first ever Twenty20 tie at home when Sri Lanka inflicted a 16-run defeat.
With their seeding at the next World Cup dropping to 6, India would be keen to set its Twenty20 record back on track, and what better place to start than Mohali.
Looking to make up for their fielding lapses in Nagpur, the Indian team, which takes on Sri Lanka in the second and final Twenty20 International here on Saturday, toiled hard on Friday with some new drills included in their practice session.
Eyeing to level the two-match Twenty20 series after paying a heavy price in the first match due to sloppy fielding, Dhoni’s men devoted nearly an hour to improve this department of the game.
The newly appointed fielding consultant Mike Young worked with the team and made them do some interesting drills, which the players seemed to enjoy.
He called the players first in batches while some others were doing their batting practice session.
R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Dinesh Karthik were among those who were called first for the fielding practice by Young.
Later, others, including Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Yusuf Pathan, Ishant Sharma and Sudeep Tyagi, assembled for a larger fielding session.
To check the reflexes of his team members, Young made a special drill for them. He also made them practice with aerial catches and throwing at the wicket.
Later, while interacting with reporters at pre-match press conference, Dhoni re-iterated that his side was at the backfoot in the Nagpur game, which the islanders won by 29 runs, due to sloppy fielding.
“We were never a brilliant fielding side, but we dropped a lot of catches (in Nagpur). A batsman who gets a lease of life (due to fielding lapses) then plays more aggressively. If you miss catches, then you surely are on the backfoot,” Dhoni said.
In Nagpur, the Indians dropped as many as five catches, missed a couple of run out chances and were generally disappointing with the ground fielding as they allowed the islanders to pile up a huge total of 215.