April 22, 2021, 7:33

England’s slip catching: what’s going wrong? Steve Finn gives his verdict on The Cricket Debate

England’s slip catching: what’s going wrong? Steve Finn gives his verdict on The Cricket Debate

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.

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.

Source: skysports.com

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