Fielding has been an issue for Bangladesh in their latest tours. Bowlers like Taskin Ahmed had to bear the brunt of dropped catches time and again. And with the Sri Lanka ODIs beginning later this month, one thing among many that the Tigers would need to work on is their fielding.
Bangladesh's red-ball wicketkeeper Liton Das shared some useful insights to improving a fielders' skill set.
"You need to understand what are your good qualities as a fielder. Some fielders have a good arm, some have a good catching hand while some are quick. So, different players should have different mind frames," said Liton after the Tigers' optional practice in Mirpur today.
Liton also mentioned the area he has been working on as a fielder.
"I know that I am not very fast. So, if I reach the ball late then any player in international cricket will sneak a double. So, whenever I practice, I try to improve the skill of reaching the ball quickly. I know my catching hand is good as I am a wicketkeeper and also because I regularly practice catching. The one thing I try to focus [more] is to reach the ball quickly during practice so that I can implement it during a game," said Liton.
Instances of dropping regulation catches behind the stumps by wicketkeepers and even slip fielders are not rare for Bangladesh. It was their poor fielding in the second ODI against New Zealand in March that saw the Tigers let a brilliant opportunity of defeating the Kiwis for the first time in their backyard slip away.
Fielding woes continued in Tigers' latest two-Test tour to Sri Lanka as well. Taijul Islam came under scrutiny after he failed to react sharply to hold onto a catch off Abu Jayed at point on the second day of the second and final Test in Kandy last month.
While Bangladesh are still in search of specialized fielders for a few crucial and designated positions, Taijul could work on Liton's advice to improve his skills as a point fielder.
"It's very important to notice the bat movement of the batsman. This, however, is not for taking high catches as that is totally a different thing. The more you practice it [high catching] the better connection between your hand and the ball you will achieve. But other than this, while fielding in general -- be it that you are fielding at point or cover -- a fielder needs to look at the batsman and predict where the batsman is trying to play the ball. It makes fielding easier," Liton reiterated.
Even though Liton is arguably the best gloveman in the current Tigers' squad, he still plays as an outfield fielder in ODIs and T20s with Mushfiqur Rahim doing the glovework behind the stumps in white-ball cricket for Bangladesh.
Liton, however, mentioned that he enjoys both roles equally.
"I have two mindsets during fielding. My mindset while wearing the gloves is different than when I am fielding without the gloves [in the outfield]. The responsibility is bigger when I am wearing the gloves. [When with gloves] My level of concentration increases as I need to handle the team from behind [the stumps] and then there are other responsibilities like taking catches or stumping. However, in white-ball cricket my role is to save runs, take catches [in the outfield], fielding in the line and I enjoy both the roles," concluded the 27-year-old.