India v Australia ODIs
Saker wants fielding lift from Australia
The Australia players have been put on notice by David Saker for their poor fielding in Chennai
Martin Smith Chennai
14 September 2017, 02:17 PM AEST
Coach David Saker has put his players on notice to lift their fielding performance against India after they 'really let themselves down' in their warm-up game in Chennai this week.
The Australians spilled four straight-forward catches in their match against a Board President's XI on Tuesday, with Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell (two of the better fielders in the team) as well as Travis Head and Adam Zampa the guilty parties.
While James Faulkner managed to pull off a stunning one-handed grab above his head in the 103-run win, India's red-hot batting line-up headlined by Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma will undoubtedly make the Australians pay for any more fielding lapses when the five-match ODI series gets underway on Sunday.
"We really let ourselves down in the field," said Saker, who is filling in for regular head coach Darren Lehmann on this tour.
"We've talked about attitude and I think with fielding the big thing is attitude. I think if you bring the right attitude, generally you field quite well.
"That was disappointing that we dropped some catches. We took two or three really nice catches but we can't afford to be dropping four or five catches and missing run outs as well.
"We've talked about that and we know fielding is going to play a big part in this series and Australian cricket do pride themselves on being one of the best fielding teams in the world so we'll keep working on that in the next few days.
"I think it's an attitude thing and making sure the attitude is right.
"You don't want to rev them up too much because they're worried about the next ball that's coming to them. You have to give them the confidence that they understand they're good fielders so you have to keep building them up.
"If the attitude is really there and they've got a big crowd watching against India in an international one-day game, the attitude will be fine."
Sunday's match at the historic Chepauk Stadium, just the third ODI in Chennai since 2011, is already sold out after thousands of fans queued overnight last weekend to buy tickets. However, some stands in the ground will be closed due to construction issues.
The ODI series represents the first time India and Australia have met since their controversial Test series earlier this year, which was highlighted by several heated flashpoints as India won 2-1.
Saker says his players will have to match the passion of the Indian team and its loyal fans, but he doesn't expect there to be any residual tension left over from the Test series.
"There might be, but this is a different form of the game," he said.
"There's quite a different group (of players) so they're not going to be holding (onto) anything.
"The two captains (Kohli and Steve Smith) were at the forefront of all that, but I don't think so. I think they'll just go out and play some good cricket.
"Once Sunday comes everyone will be buzzing and wanting to perform.
"Whenever you come to India, it's just such a passionate place and they love their cricket and their team plays with a lot of passion and their leader (Kohli) has got a lot of passion. We're going to have to equal that if we want to beat them so we're going to have to play with a lot of passion as well."
Australia's Qantas Tour of India
Australia ODI squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner, Ashton Agar, Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Patrick Cummins, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa.
Australia T20 squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner, Jason Behrendorff, Dan Christian, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Patrick Cummins, Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Glenn Maxwell, Tim Paine, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa.
India squad (first three ODIs): Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami.
September 17: MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai
September 21: Eden Gardens, Kolkata
September 24: Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore
September 28: M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
October 1: VCA Stadium, Nagpur
October 7: JSCA International Stadium, Ranchi
October 10: Barsapara Stadium, Guwahati
October 13: Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad