T20 World Cup: Intensity in fielding played a major role in India’s success, says T Dilip | Cricket News

Team believed they could do magic in any situation, says fielding coach
HYDERABAD: Like the iconic image of MS Dhoni hitting a six to clinch ODI World Cup for India in 2011, Suryakumar Yadav‘s catch on the long-off boundary to dismiss David Miller off Hardik Pandya that turned the T20 World Cup final in India’s favour will be etched in the minds of Indian fans forever.
Fielding coach TK Dilip from Hyderabad was the man behind India’s electrifying efforts on the field. The intensity in fielding played a major role in India’s success at the mega event, he said. Speaking to TOI on Friday on his return from Barbados, Dilip was overwhelmed by the reception Team India was accorded on arrival home.
“The atmosphere was fantastic in Mumbai. It was unreal. The way people turned up, thanks to the Mumbai crowd who were there yesterday. I could see why cricket is such a popular sport here,” he said of the parade in Mumbai on Thursday.
That fielding played an integral part in the triumph delighted the coach. “Winning the World Cup through a catch and fielding being part of such a big occasion is the best feeling as a fielding coach. Overall, our fielding was excellent and taking such catches in high-pressure situations shows the work we put in behind the scenes. We have been clinical. Playing in different grounds like in New York, Florida in the US, I wouldn’t say was difficult, but it was challenging. We were always adapting to conditions,” he explained.
Winning the World Cup is the most memorable moment of his life. “I cannot put it in words. But I want to say is that this is one of the best feelings of my life. Coming so close to winning the ODI World Cup was painful and we are glad that we could cross that hurdle in a T20 World Cup. At one point, there was only a 3% chance of winning. But our 11 on the field and the rest of us believed even when the equation was 30 runs from 30 balls. Everybody believed that we could do magic even in that situation. That is the main reason we ended on the positive side of the result.”
When asked to pick his favourite catch, he said, “I wouldn’t say favourite but Surya’s catch in the final was very important in the context of the game. Axar’s catch of (Mitchell) Marsh against Australia changed the momentum. Even Matthew Wade’s catch at short third by Kuldeep (Yadav), Axar Patel’s one-handed and even (Mohammed) Siraj’s catch at the boundary, all these little moments played a crucial role. It is unfair to pick one as every catch had its own significance in that particular game.”

The fielding medal ceremony after every match, a brainchild of Dilip, which was introduced during the ODI World Cup last year, is the most anticipated post-match ceremony. Talking about the reason for introducing the fielding medal, he said, “What made me come up with the idea was that it’s usually batters or bowlers who get the man of the match award. Very rarely do we see a fielder getting a man of the match award. Fielding is as important as batting and bowling. If you look at the bigger picture of the game, 80% of the time we are fielding. So, I thought it was time to reward that as well. Credit goes to the players because they have taken it with such pleasure. It is something which has also helped them push their boundaries. I am happy that it helped create that environment we were looking for.”
Dilip succeeded another Hyderabadi, R Sridhar, as India’s fielding coach and his contract ended along with that of coach Rahul Dravid and the support staff. Asked about his experience with the Indian team, the 44-year-old said: “In my last 2-1/2 years with the team, Virat Kohli, Jadeja and others were still doing what they were doing all these years. Yes, they got better every day. That attitude also rubs on to youngsters.”
What next after the World Cup high? “I am savouring the World Cup victory. I want to live in this moment now. As and when something comes along, I will make that decision.”

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