Nasser Hussain examines why England dropped two catches in the slip cordon on day one of the second Test against Pakistan.
England enjoyed a fine first day of the second #raisethebat Test against Pakistan, reducing the visitors to 126-5, but things could have been even better had they held on to a couple of slip catches in the morning.
Pakistan opener Abid Ali, who went on to score a battling 60, was dropped on one, by Dom Sibley at third slip, and on 21, by Rory Burns at second slip.
— The CricViz Analyst (@cricvizanalyst) August 13, 2020
According to CricViz, since the start of 2018, England only catch 73 per cent of the slip catching chances that come their way, second-worst, behind only Bangladesh, among Test-playing nations.
So why the problems? Steven Finn, Azhar Mahmood and Dominic Cork joined Mark Butcher on the latest Cricket Debate to discuss – listen to the podcast in the player below.
Former England fast bowler Finn believes the absence of regular second-slipper and “freak of a human” Ben Stokes for this Test played a part in the errors.
“There’s an understanding when you have a settled cordon about the distances with which you stand from each other,” said Finn.
England are on top in the second Test against Pakistan after reducing the tourists to 126-5 after day one in Southampton.
“People have different catching areas; when Stokes is there, you know he is a freak of a human, so he can cover a big area of ground very comfortably – allowing the slips to spread out more and create more space in which you can catch.
“I don’t think these guys will have fielded as a three before, and not having that understanding of who goes for what and who stands where is not a crucial thing.
Rory Burns dropped Pakistan opener Abid Ali when on 21 at second slip
“Those catches they dropped weren’t straight to them, there was a bit of movement and a bit of umming and ahhing about who should go for it.
“I know that when I’ve played in a team with a settled slip cordon, they know where to stand. It was an instinctive thing, rather than having to think about it. That makes a huge difference with slip catching.”
Also discussed on The Cricket Debate:
– England’s team selection for second Test – Sam Curran over Jofra Archer?
– Finn on the art of fast bowling and if Archer comes in for unfair criticism.
– Pakistan’s decision to drop Shadab Khan and a captain – Azhar Ali – under pressure.
– The success of the Bob Willis Trophy in domestic cricket and should it be here to stay?
Watch day two of the second #raisethebat Test between England and Pakistan live now on Sky Sports Cricket.