Chappell: Australia’s fielding is abysmal


Former Australia captain Ian Chappell has joined current coach Darren Lehmann in lamenting the Test side's fielding in recent series, saying it's not been this bad since the 1980s.

Lehmann had described his side's fielding as 'average at best' during the second Test against New Zealand in Perth, when run outs went abegging and Ross Taylor was dropped on his way to 290.

Chappell feels that aside from David Warner and Steve Smith, the rest of the side are pretty poor. He also feels that Mitchell Johnson's retirement will have an impact as well, as he is such a good boundary fielder.

Chappell told AAP: "It's a major concern. This is the worst Australian fielding side since the mid-80s when it was a big problem and the selectors decided to address it.

"They had the players to rectify it back then. I'm not sure there are the young catchers around to rectify it now.

"It's not just dropped catches. The really good blokes make some catches, most of the current team won't. Apart from David Warner and 'Smithy', they're very ordinary in catching.

"Ground fielding and throwing wise, they're probably even worse than the mid-80s side. There's some horrible arms amongst them, and they've got one less good arm now.

"Mitch Johnson was a tremendous outfielder, so that's not going to help."

Spinner Nathan Lyon has been a guilty culprit more than once in the current series, and says he knows he and the team have to make more of an effort in the field.

Lyon added: "That's one area that we've been working hard on. I've been the one letting down the team there.

"No one likes dropping catches. It's probably the worst feeling in cricket. We just need to keep doing the basics."