Punjab Kings may have finished a meagre sixth last season in the Indian Premier League, but nevertheless were one of the most eye-catching sides on the field in the UAE. From Nicholas Pooran’s spectacular effort on the boundary to Mayank Agarwal’s match-saving fielding against Mumbai Indians, the KL Rahul led franchise gave their fans many memorable moments on the field.
And some credit for the same rests with their fielding coach Jonty Rhodes- who himself was a fielding enigma during his playing days. Despite setting some very lofty standards on the field last season, the Punjab Kings fielding coach believes there is still scope for improvement.
Speaking to Punjab Kings in an exclusive interview, Rhodes explained a few areas where the franchise could improve heading into the 2021 IPL season. “Aspects of the game we need to work on will be improving that one percent on the field, improving on those game changing events on the field.”
“Whether it be a run out, a catch or just a save on the boundary that can turn the game in our favour. We are going to be working really hard at that. The aim to have at least one of those game changing moments while fielding in every match this season,” explained Jonty Rhodes.
Match simulation in training
Jonty Rhodes also stressed that his fielding drills will not be very cumbersome and lengthy this season, with the focus being on high intensity training to simulate match circumstances.
“You got to understand that the IPL is a long tournament, so it is about managing expectations in practice. It is about practicing at high intensity, practice like you are in a match situation,” explained Rhodes.
“My fielding sessions are never about practicing for hours, it is generally 5-10 minutes practicing like it is a match. With the heat and humidity in India, we got to be smarter about how we go about things so that come the knockout stages the players like have a lot left in the tank.”