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England's slip catching troubles worse than expected

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England are currently staring down the barrel of another embarrassing defeat at Trent Bridge following another batting collapse on day two.

Joe Root's men lost all ten wickets in yesterday's middle session for just 161 runs in response to India's first innings total of 329.

Day three has seen the tourists pile on the runs as they appear well on the way to setting England a virtually impossible target to achieve victory.

Much of the attention has been on England's frailties with the bat but there would appear to be more than few issues in the bowling and fielding aspects of the game too.

This match alone has seen Keaton Jennings, Alastair Cook and Jos Buttler all drop catches they probably should have taken from the slip cordon.

Bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad have often looked frustrated when their hard work has been undone by a mistake in the field.

But this isn't a recent issue. A statistic the guys at Sky Sports discovered on Wednesday suggests it has been a weakness for the last few years.

Retweeted by The Cricket Prof. on Twitter, it has been revealed Stokes and Cook have the worst record of any slip fielders in the world since the start of 2015.

To accentuate how deep the struggles of England are in the slips, Stokes comes in at a 74% catch success while Cook sits at a lowly 70% in a statistic that surprises many given the perceived quality of these players.

For a long time, Stokes has been talked up as one of the best fielders not just in the squad, but the world.

During the current series, Stokes has spent less time in the slip cordon - particularly to the fast bowlers - perhaps as a consequence of his lower catch success rate.

Meanwhile, Cook, who did manage to take a catch on day three, is rarely seen out of the slips.

CRICKET-ENG-IND

Fans, players and coaches alike all know the quality of Stokes and Cook and to see them fall into the category of the bottom five slip catchers in the world is certainly an embarrassing statistic for competitors with such a high pedigree.

With India likely to win the third Test and two more still to play, small margins such as dropped catches might just play a bigger factor as the series progresses.

Topics:
England cricket
Cricket
Alastair Cook
Ben Stokes
Joe Root

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