“I’m convinced things will go much better if the players smile and have fun on the field, rather than acting like wound-up springs.” Jonty Rhodes
The goal of fielding is to limit the number of runs that the batsman scores and/or to get the batsman out by catching the ball in flight or by running the batsman out. There are a number of recognized fielding positions:
1) Wicket Keeper
2) Leg Side
- Fine Leg
- Short Fine Leg
- Square Leg
- Short Leg
- Deep Square
- Mid Wicket
- Deep Mid Wicket
- Mid On
- Long On
3) Off Side
- 1st, 2nd, 3rd Slip
- Third Man
- Backward Point
- Deep Point
- Silly Point
- Silly Mid Off
- Extra Cover
- Deep Extra Cover
- Mid Off
- Long Off
How to catch a cricket ball
Here are few tips on how to improve your skills of catching:
Master the orthodox cup
- Keep your starting position low and balanced.
- Hold your hands with palms facing up and your pinkies touching.
- Bring your hands toward your body as you catch the ball.
- Modify your grip slightly for side catches
How to make high catches
- Hold your hands together with your palms facing away from you body.
- Align yourself with the approaching ball and stand with your knees bent.
- Draw your hands toward a shoulder as you catch the ball.
- Use the orthodox grip if you are on the run to catch a high ball.
- Deliver an overarm throw after catching the ball.
How to catch low balls
- Approach a ground ball with speed instead of waiting for it.
- Turn your body so your non-dominant side leads toward the ball.
- Drop your non-dominant knee down into the long barrier position.
- Scoop the ball with an orthodox cup.
- Get set to deliver an overhand throw as you stand.
Tips on improving fielding standard
Model Excellence: Copy the best fielders in the world: A.B de Villiers, Ponting, Gibbs and Collingwood. Study their body positions at the point when the ball is being hit. Whether you are at point, midwicket, slip or short leg.
Watch the Captain: Keep your eye on the Captain at all times, they may want to move you to set a trap and they need your eye contact between balls to be able to make these adjustments.
Captain Your Own Space on the Field: Know what your roles and responsibilities are in the field. It’s important to know how you will be measured on your fielding and what the criteria is.
Get into the Power Position: When the ball is about to be hit, you want to get into the soccer goalkeeper position. Lower your body weight, head forward and hands ready and presented in front to the body ready for the ball. Balance on the balls of your feet. AB de Villiers is a great example of this, record him on TV and practice this in games and in training.
Put First Things First: Master the basics. Practice single and double hand catching, ground balls and bouncing balls. Master your throwing technique for accuracy and control.
Manage Your Energy: Know when to relax and recharge. Similar to when you are batting and bowling, you need to be able to switch your focus and energy on and off for when the ball is in play. You have a finite amount of energy, manage it carefully, you need to be as alert at the end of the play as you are in the opening 10 overs.
Watch the Batter Carefully, Anticipation is Critical in Elite Fielding: When you are in a position in the inner ring or outfield, focus on the batter’s body position. After observing for a while you will begin to see the positions they get into to hit specific shots.
By Hasseb Paracha