New Delhi: Ever since Virat Kohli took over India's Test captaincy, there has been a marked improvement in the fielding standards of the team.
Though the bowlers were architects of India's twin series wins against Sri Lanka and South Africa, Kohli and co were exceptional in the field.
"There is a shift in the players' mindset with regards to fielding. They understand that they can make a contribution by just being good fielders, and are therefore giving equal importance to fielding as they would do to say bowling and batting," fielding coach R Sridhar told the Times of India.
Kohli has played a key role by taking particular interest in how the fielding sessions are being conducted.
"Just be fore the Lanka series, Kohli wanted the players to have a 20-minute session of reflex catching in addition to the regular drills in every practice session. That proved to be the trigger and today, the players do much more than 20-minutes, and the results are there for all to see," he further added.
"The lush-green grounds available across India help kids to dive and slide. They learn the basic skillset needed to be a good fiddler from that level which makes it eas ier for them to embrace fielding," the 45-year-old pointed out.
Rahane has now emerged as India's best slip fielder, while the team as improved greatly as a fielding unit.
"While Rahane has done a splendid job at the slips, we also have fantastic fielders in (Chetesh war) Pujara, Rohit (Sharma), Mu rali Vijay , Virat and Ravindra Jade ja among others. More important ly, efforts put in by our bowlers such as Ishant Sharma or Amit Mishra on the boundary line too has been exemplary," said Sridhar.