India on Sunday decimated arch-rivals Pakistan by 124 runs (D/L method) in a rain-affected match in Birmingham to start their ICC Champions Trophy 2017 campaign on a thunderous note. However, captain Virat Kohli was not completely satisfied at the result and asked his players to be more proactive on the field if they are to defend their Champions Trophy title. "We need to tighten our fielding to compete hard against the best teams," Kohli said after the match.
The 28-year-old was referring to India's sloppy performance on the field during the mega clash at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground. The current Indian team is considered one of the best fielding sides in the world at the moment and players like Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, Ajinkya Rahane and Kohli lead the way when it comes to setting new benchmarks on the field.
However, India's fielding was a bit off-colour on the field against Pakistan, dropping a few catches, missing a couple of run out chances and also letting the ball slip through on a few occasions - something which didn't please the captain, who demanded more commitment from his players.
"With the bat and the ball we were right up there, 9 out of 10. In the field we were 6 out of 10. If we tune that up to 8 or 9, we will be a very strong side in the tournament," Kohli said.
"I would give our fielding 6/10, and that also, I would give all 6 points to Ravindra Jadeja (because of the run out)," he added.
Jadeja displayed a brilliant piece of fielding to send Shoaib Malik back into the hut. But apart from this special effort from the all-rounder, India were way below their own standards.
With Champions Trophy being a tournament which has actually no room for slip ups, India would definitely want to improve on this aspect as they progress in the tournament.
The defending champions will next take on Sri Lanka in their second Group B match in Kennington Oval on June 8.