After dropping six catches on Day 3 against India at The Oval, England assistant coach Paul Collingwood has urged his fielders to stay calm and ready for the chances that come their way.
The hosts have now equalled the total of dropped catches in 2019 Ashes on the same ground. Rohit Sharma, the Indian centurion, was dropped twice (on 6 and 31) in the fourth Test on Saturday morning.
To this, Collingwood, one of the finest fielders the country has produced, was quoted as saying by Daily Mail, “I saw some stats that said The Oval is one of the harder grounds to take chances and I put that down to viewing. It is hard to view the ball when it comes off the bat.
“But it’s an area we’re trying to improve all the time and hopefully we can take our catches from now. Confidence in the field is just like batting and bowling. You need to stay calm and be ready for the chances coming. I am sure we will create some.
“With Jos Buttler not playing and Jonny taking the gloves, the slip cordon was always going to change, but we catch a lot of balls in practice, a lot of hard work goes into it and the guys have just got to make sure they’re confident enough when they go out in the middle,” said Collingwood.
“Every ball and every chance is important, you have to want to be in there and the guys won’t shy away from that.”
England tasted success on just three occasions on a day limited to 76 overs due to an early close for bad light – one in which the balance of the contest swung towards the batting team following a bowler-dominated start to the penultimate match of a series currently locked at 1-1.
“The one thing that was surprising was the lack of swing we got from the Dukes ball,” said Collingwood.
“The seamers we do have, we all know once they get movement in the air, on a wicket with good carry, that they will cause the Indian batsmen some trouble. We tried everything – changing the shiny side – but we just couldn’t get it moving.”