Coach David Saker has put his players on notice to lift their fielding performance against India after they ‘really let themselves down’ in their warm-up game in Chennai this week.
The Australians spilled four straight-forward catches in their match against a Board President’s XI on Tuesday, with Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell (two of the better fielders in the team) as well as Travis Head and Adam Zampa the guilty parties.
While James Faulkner managed to pull off a stunning one-handed grab above his head in the 103-run win, India’s red-hot batting line-up headlined by Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma will undoubtedly make the Australians pay for any more fielding lapses when the five-match ODI series gets underway on Sunday.
“We really let ourselves down in the field,” said Saker, who is filling in for regular head coach Darren Lehmann on this tour.
“We’ve talked about attitude and I think with fielding the big thing is attitude. I think if you bring the right attitude, generally you field quite well.
“That was disappointing that we dropped some catches. We took two or three really nice catches but we can’t afford to be dropping four or five catches and missing run outs as well.
“We’ve talked about that and we know fielding is going to play a big part in this series and Australian cricket do pride themselves on being one of the best fielding teams in the world so we’ll keep working on that in the next few days.
“I think it’s an attitude thing and making sure the attitude is right.
“You don’t want to rev them up too much because they’re worried about the next ball that’s coming to them. You have to give them the confidence that they understand they’re good fielders so you have to keep building them up.
“If the attitude is really there and they’ve got a big crowd watching against India in an international one-day game, the attitude will be fine.”
Sunday’s match at the historic Chepauk Stadium,…