Kaif’s electric fielding became the benchmark for others, says Laxman

V.V.S. Laxman on Friday paid tribute to Mohammad Kaif, saying the former India player’s electric fielding was the benchmark thousands strived to emulate.

Hailing from the cricketing backwater of Uttar Pradesh, Kaif played between 2000-2006 for India, featuring in 13 Tests and 125 ODIs.

Kaif’s stock rose during the 2002 NatWest series in England where his magnificent unbeaten 87 propelled India to a historic chase of 326 for victory in the final against England at Lord’s.

“A product of India’s robust grassroots structure, @MohammadKaif inspired an entire generation of players from Uttar Pradesh to shed their insecurities and play at the highest level. His electric fielding soon became the benchmark that thousands strived to emulate,” Laxman said in a tweet.

Kaif was known for his superb fielding and although after the century against Zimbabwe in the ICC Champions Trophy, he failed to really make a mark on a consistent basis, he is still regarded as one of India’s finest fielders to have played the game.

Recently Kaif said Ravindra Jadeja is right up there in the current team led by Virat Kohli as far as fielding is concerned. He also said the team lacks a complete fielder.

“Fielding is like batting. A complete batsman is one who has all shots in his book. Fielding is like that. A complete fielder is one who knows how to slide, your throws should be accurate, you need to run fast, your hand technique needs to be correct,” Kaif said on Sportscreen’s YouTube page.

“So all these things combined, you get a proper fielder. Now you will get a lot of good fielders. Indian fielding has improved a lot. But I still feel we don’t have a complete package.”