Former West Indies slip fielder Bryan Davis, says a lack of specialized slip fielders on the current West Indies team is hurting the regional team, and says it is painful for a fast bowler when catches are dropped in the slip region.
West Indies have had numerous specialized slip fielders in the past, but Davis believes there is too much changing of personnel in the slip region. In the current series against England,
West Indies have dropped a number of catches in the slip region and the outfield.
Davis said, “The slip fielding is not up to the level it should be, and I believe it is because there is nobody specializing there. You’re seeing different people in the slips. We saw a lot of (Jermaine) Blackwood in slips and then we saw Kieran Powell and we are seeing (Kyle) Hope.”
Davis, Cricket Administrator at Queen’s Park, fielded in slip in the four Test matches he played for West Indies and was also a specialized slip fielder at Glamorgan when he played county cricket in England.
Davis says it is difficult when catches are dropped in the slip region after a fast bowler is constantly working on finding the edge of a batsmen.
“It is not only frustrating, it is painful (for a fast bowler). Bowlers work on a batsmen and you are setting him up and you are looking to get the edge. For a catch to be dropped in the slip after you work on that hour after hour it is painful.”
Davis says Australian Mark Taylor, Australian brothers Ian and Greg Chappell and the West Indies trio of Robin Bynoe, Viv Richards and Clive Lloyd are some of the best slip fielders he has ever seen.
He stressed that practice is key to improving slip fielding. “It is practice, a lot of practice and taking plenty catches that is what they ought to be doing.”