Catches may win cricket matches, but Greg Blewett is hoping they’ll win the Ashes series too.
The Australia fielding coach was a delighted man after a stellar day by his charges in Dominica against the West Indies on Wednesday.
Australia caught everything that came their way against the Windies, with Michael Clarke, Shaun Marsh and debutant Adam Voges all snaring fantastic efforts as the hosts were rolled for just 148.
Blewett says it’s a level of performance he’s been trying to drill into Australia’s players since his appointment last year.
Fatigue in the baking deserts of the United Arab Emirates and the immense mental distraction of Phil Hughes’s tragic death meant those results weren’t coming in the Test arena.
But Blewett says the summer’s World Cup success could be a breakthrough and the team now knows they’ve laid down a marker as Australia tries to win the Ashes in England for the first time since 2001.
“We had a really good World Cup fielding-wise but in the Test matches we weren’t as sharp as we normally are,” Blewett said.
“Two big series, this and then, obviously we’ve got an eye on the Ashes.
“It was a really important day because the first day sometimes set the scene a little bit.”
In a blunt warning to England, Blewett says combining a pace arsenal that includes Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris with exceptional fielding is going to be hard to beat.
Basically the bowlers set them up and the fielders finish them off.
“We’re a really really good fielding side. We’ve got most bases covered,” Blewett said.
“Our fast bowlers all field well and our slippers are catching beautifully.
“It’s all clicking.”