A butter-fingered Virat Kohli on Saturday received tips on the nuances of slip catching from Australian great Matthew Hayden, who seemed to have stressed on the importance of watching the ball and the bowler all the way down the pitch while fielding at the slip cordon.
Kohli had an off-colour day in office on the second day of the third and penultimate Test against Australia here yesterday, and the lesson from Hayden was a much-needed one.
The 24-year-old Delhi batsman made a hash of one easy offering from Australian opener Ed Cowan and failed to latch on to a reasonably easy chance before that. The third instance was when the ball flew past Kohli before he could react.
At the start of the third day’s play at Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium today, Kohli had an extensive slip-catching session with India’s fielding coach Trevor Penney. After that he was seen in an animated discussion with Hayden, who showed Kohli the correct way to go about the job.
Different players have different ways of approaching slip catching but the ones who made the position their own are those who hung onto anything that came their way.
Mark Waugh, Mark Taylor, Mohammad Azharuddin and Rahul Dravid made slip catching look gloriously easy and one of the most pleasurable sights in world cricket.
The lessons Kohli received from Hayden, the former Australian opener, who used to field in the slip cordon during the major part of his illustrious career, will certainly help him improve his slip catching, especially when the spinners are in operation.