Taylor: We’re getting there

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Published: Tuesday 10th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Coach Chris Taylor believes England are closing the gap on the best fielding sides ahead of the World Cup.

While England’s fielding mentor concedes there is work still to be done, Eoin Morgan’s side have looked sharp in the field since arriving Down Under.

England missed just four chances during the tri-series, when Ian Bell’s pair of diving catches at slip against India in Perth were a highlight, before producing a flawless display during Monday’s nine-wicket win over West Indies.

And at a World Cup where there are expected to be fine margins between the big teams come the knockout stages, taking those game-changing opportunities in the field could be decisive.

“Absolutely, we certainly need to improve and we are steadily improving,” said Taylor, who took over as England fielding coach at the start of last summer.

“We’re very pleased. The general mood in the camp is that we have improved and we are every day.

“Yesterday’s performance was a key one for us, we took all our chances again. We took some good chances there.

“There’s been an improvement since Sri Lanka and going into the World Cup we feel that we’re in the right place at the moment.”

It is conceivable that the fate of one World Cup team could be decided on a moment in the field.

England have focused efforts on ensuring that they might be ready for such a moment and Taylor points out that only last month a heart-stopping Big Bash League final was won on the last ball when a run-out chance was missed.

“If you look at any iconic games or Tests series those catches, those are what you remember, the run-out opportunities are what you remember,” said Taylor.

“The Big Bash final the other day was lost on a fielding error. The margins in international sport are getting smaller and smaller so any area we can improve we’re desperate to do it.”

Under coach Peter Moores, England have looked to cut those fine margins.

Moores and his assistant Paul Farbrace are strong believers that the best teams in the world have a strong fielding unit and Taylor has been tasked with supplying the analysis and training methods to bring England up to the best standards.

Taylor – part of the Gloucestershire sides that dominated limited-overs cricket last decade, added: “We actively review it just as much as we do our batting and bowling and we feel it can have an impact on the game, those game-changing moments.

“It’s made my job 10 times more easy – Mooresy is very passionate about fielding as is Farby. They see the importance.

“Every team they have coached before it has been their role to run the fielding. We’re over-staffed in many ways because we’ve got Mooresy and myself and Farby all with a keen interest in that side of the game.

“It makes reviewing interesting because we share a lot of ideas.”

Top of the England think tank’s agenda at present will be finding a way to keep their players grounded when they are faced by an MCG full-house in their World Cup opener against Australia on Saturday.

“We have spoken a about it a little bit. It’s going to be a fantastic experience,” Taylor said.

“Everyone is excited. Those kind of games you just need to embrace the situation you are in. If you look too much into the fact there’s 90,000 people there you could almost get yourself too worked up and tense.

“Everyone is really looking forward to it; it is an experience I’m sure everyone will remember for the rest of their lives.

“My advice is to try and embrace it and enjoy being out in the field as we have done for the last month or two.”

Published: Tuesday 10th February 2015 by The News Editor

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