Fielding at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium can be tricky in the evening because of the floodlights, which are lower than at most other grounds. In the IPL, this venue, home of Sunrisers Hyderabad, has seen a catch conversion rate of only 70%.
India’s fielders also found it difficult in the T20I series opener against West Indies on Friday, dropping at least five chances. After misjudging one at short fine leg and not even getting a hand to the ball, Washington Sundar dropped Shimron Hetmyer on 54, having sprinted to his right from long-on. Then, Rohit Sharma dropped Kieron Pollard off successive balls at the long-on boundary before he redeemed himself in the next over by catching Hetmyer off Yuzvendra Chahal for 56 at deep backward square leg.
In the final over of West Indies’ innings, Virat Kohli spilled Jason Holder at long-off and ended up deflecting the ball to the boundary. Holder made an unbeaten 24 off nine balls to push West Indies past 200.
West Indies had their issues on the field too. Hetmyer, at deep midwicket, briefly fumbled when Rohit hit left-arm fingerspinner Khary Pierre towards him, but just about got his body behind the ball in time and clung onto the catch.
When asked if the lapses in the field were down to one side of this ground being much longer than the other, or because of the awkward floodlights, KL Rahul, who has been part of the Sunrisers team previously, pointed to the latter.
“I don’t think it’s the dimensions – the bigger side or the smaller side – it’s just that the lights are pretty low and sometimes you lose the ball under the lights,” Rahul said. “And that’s what happened a couple of times and I mean we’ve played here before; we’ve played here for years. We know what to expect and yeah as a team we don’t complain about things like this.”
Although India didn’t train under lights ahead of the first T20I, Rahul said his side was prepared for the challenge posed by the floodlights.
“We tried to practise that even when we came here a couple of days ago,” he said. “We know we didn’t practice under lights but we know the lights are low and we tried to get our fielding practice done and try to give our best and sometimes you still lose the ball. That’s how it is.”