WATCH: India drop three catches in first five overs against Nepal in crucial Asia Cup clash
Nepal has made a steady start in their second match of the Asia Cup 2023 against India at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Monday (September 4). Openers Kushal Bhurtel and Aasif Sheikh performed impressively against India's new ball pacers, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj. However, they also had a stroke of luck on their side as Indian fielders exhibited early-game sloppiness. In the first five overs, Shreyas Iyer, Virat Kohli, and Ishan Kishan dropped straightforward catches.
The first slip saw Shreyas dropping a straightforward catch on the last delivery of the initial over, followed by Virat Kohli missing Aasif's catch on the subsequent delivery bowled by Siraj. The disbelief reached its peak when India skipper, Rohit Sharma witnessed wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan dropping an elementary catch behind the stumps.
Earlier, Rohit chose to bowl first in their first-ever international clash against Nepal without the services of star pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who traveled back to India for the delivery of his child.
India ranks second last in catching efficiency
Bhurtel was caught off guard by Shami's short-of-a-good-length delivery when he attempted to play it towards cover. The ball took a thick edge and went to the first slip, where Shreyas failed to make a simple catch. The shock continued for Indian fans when Kohli, renowned for his prowess in the outfield, dropped another straightforward catch at covers on the very next delivery. Kohli struggled to judge the ball's trajectory and missed a catch that was within his reach.
India's lack of precision in the field persisted when Ishan dropped another easy catch behind the stumps, eliciting a frustrated reaction from Rohit.
Notably, India has the second lowest catching efficiency rate since the World Cup 2019 of 75.1%. It’s only better than Afghanistan who have a rate of 71.2 %. The Men in Blue needs to improve their fielding massively with the World Cup 2023 just around the corner.
India's catching is a massive headache ahead of the World Cup. pic.twitter.com/pTarMBTMIF— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) September 4, 2023