Catching in the slip region could emerge as a serious challenge for Shikhar Dhawan after recovering from his hand injury, suspects India’s fielding coach R Sridhar. Since Dhawan is a natural right-hander, batting should not be a major concern post his recovery from the thumb injury but it remains to be assessed if he could stand in slip region, where the ball travels on high speed. The senior opener was hit by a Pat Cummins delivery during his innings of 109 against Australia, ruling him out for at least next four World Cup games due to the thumb fracture. “Throwing won’t be a problem, but definitely there will be impact while fielding and catching, especially (since) he’s a slip fielder. If you know, he stands in the slips in the initial phase of the innings, that can be an issue. We’ll test him out with lighter balls first and gradually move on to the cricket ball and see how it goes from there, but, yeah, that will be a challenge,” Sridhar said.
“Once we assess him, probably on 10th or 12th day, we’ll have to look – it’s his bottom hand (left) while batting. It’s not his dominant hand because he’s a (natural) right-hander,” added Sridhar. The Indian team, when it comes to direct throws, is not the best among other competing teams but the fielding coach would be pleased if the conversion rate is even 25 percent. “That’s a very good observation. It is something which I have my eye on as well, and we practice a lot for that. I would say converting, whether it’s a run-out or not, converting one in three or four throws is a good conversion rate, in my opinion.
“Don’t judge me on that opinion, but picking up one out of four, you’re doing a good job as a direct-hit unit. But we failed to do that in the last game. We had over ten strikes, and we hit only once. In some days, we hit three out of five. “That is one area we work hard on in every session.