Kingston: Fielding has never been Indian cricket`s strong point but stand-in skipper Suresh Raina says that the side competing against the West Indies right now is the best fielding unit he has been part of in the past five years.
"In my view, it is the best Indian fielding side I have been part of in the last five years." The team`s new fielding coach Trevor Penny said the current side has four-five players who are excellent. "There are at least four or five boys in the team who are excellent," remarked Penny, who was recommended to the job by coach Duncan Fletcher.
The cricketers, who have given an edge to India in the field clearly have been Manoj Tiwary, Virat Kohli, Subramaniam Badrinath and skipper Suresh Raina himself. The Indian practice sessions on the present Caribbean tour are exceptionally sharp and a few catches Rohit Sharma, Raina and Badrinath took in the slips at Sabina Park on Wednesday took the breath away of a smattering of onlookers.
The long flight from Antigua and rather cramped conditions in their present stay in Kingston has done little to dilute the enthusiasm of the young team. Penny is particularly impressed that despite the long season during which India toured South Africa and played in the World Cup and the IPL without a break, the players are still attacking the ball and are looking to enjoy their fielding stints.
"They have had a long season already but their enthusiasm for fielding is pretty high." Penny is looking forward to learning from his association with Fletcher who engaged him as a substitute fielder during the 2005 Ashes in England.
Penny, who played for Warwickshire before retiring, was termed by The Guardian as "one of the best fielders to have graced the county game." After his retirement, Penny joined the Sri Lankan team as assistant coach under Tom Moody. "I worked for three years under Tom and now there is this opportunity with Duncan."
The association between Penny and Moody extended to IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab where the former worked as a fielding coach for three years. Penny was serving Queensland Cricket in Australia before the call from BCCI came.