Chennai: The way modern cricket is played, fielding is a very important aspect of the game. And when it comes to the slam-bang form of the game, the virtues of fielding become all the more important. Like other teams, Chennai Super Kings too give lot of stress on their fielding and according to their fielding coach, Steve Rixon, it is as important as an extra bowler in the team.
Speaking to the iplt20.com, Rixon said, "Fielding is as crucial as the performance of a part-time bowler. It is the only guaranteed thing in the game. You know that you are going to be in the field for 20 overs. You don't know whether you're going to bat for one or 20 balls or how many overs you're going to bowl. Today [in the match between CSK and Sunrisers Hyderabad] the way MS Dhoni got going, had his catch been taken [by Amit Mishra who dropped Dhoni on 0] it might have been a different game".
First, Murali Vijay took a stunning diving catch at mid-on to get rid of Quinton de Kock in the first over and then Suresh Raina pounced on the ball at covers and throw a direct-hit to send the in-form Hanuma Vihari back to the pavilion in the third over.
While major contributions to CSK's five-wicket win came from captain Dhoni - who made 67 not out off 37 balls - Michael Hussey too made a crucial 45 off 26 balls.
On being asked about the CSK's fielding in the tournament, Rixon said, "The fielding was a bit disappointing in the last game and we had a discussion about that. We've been up and down with our fielding so far but right now I have to say that we have started to get our consistency back and have started to produce special things in the field".
Commenting on Australian veteran Michael Hussey, who has hung up his boots from international cricket recently, Rixon said, "At 37 Michael Hussey is still one of the best fielders going around. He is a great example in the team. He makes fielding look very easy. In everything he does on the cricket field he is a perfect professional and that's not by accident. He trains harder than the rest of the guys. It's not easy but he works hard to get the job done".
On choosing between Hussey and Raina as the fielding captain of the team, Rixon supported the Indian allrounder.
"I'm getting Suresh to be that man. Michael, if he can just do what he is doing, we know he's going to be one of our best fielders along with what he does with the bat. If we leave him to do just that I think we're going to get good results. Raina likes the responsibility and he likes to feel like he's in the game all the time. So, I'd like him to be our number one fielder and the leader in that area".