How Cricket Fielding Position plays an important role in cricket?
In order to judge a Fielding, a cricketer needs to have a sense of distance, speed, and time. And, they have to act accordingly. It is really difficult to act quickly because your reflexes need to be really good in order to catch the ball. Otherwise, you could drop a catch. It is really important to be a good fielder. Because a good fielder will always save runs for the team. And it will boost the confidence of the team, captain (skipper) and bowler. Cricket Fielding Position is also important because if the fielders are not placed in the right position, then it could leak runs.
When the batsman hits the ball, then a fielder needs to reach towards the ball and throw it towards the keeper or the bowler. It seems to be easy to ready. However, it is really difficult when you have to do that on the field. Fielders can get the batsman out by catching the ball or through run out.
There are two types of cricket fielding positions:
A fielder can use their body as well for stopping the ball from going towards a boundary. However, if any part of the body is found touching the rope, then it will be signalled a boundary. So, they need to be cautious as well and need to know exactly the distance gap between them and the boundary rope.
But, if a player deliberately uses the hat or their cap, then it will be considered as a dead ball and five runs penalty will be awarded to the batting side. Furthermore, the batsman will also be considered as not out.
As per the new ICC rules, if any fielder tries to misguide the batsman while trying to move deliberately to have the ball in order to fool a batsman. It will be considered as a punishable offence.
Skills required for fielding in Cricket Field Position
- A fielder who is standing closer to the batsman must have quick reflexes so that he can react quickly and can gather the ball.
- A fielder must be consistently good at taking a catch. Because if you will drop the catch, then you can lose the match.
- It requires full focus and concentration.
- It requires a lot of practice and hard work.
- Good diving in order to stop the ball.
Types of cricket fielding positions in cricket
1. Wicket-Keeper:– The wicket-keeper is the most important field position. Because the ball reaches towards the wicketkeeper a maximum number of times in comparison with any other fielder. He needs to be alert all the time because anytime a ball can come towards him either for a catch, stump, run out, etc. Now, days, they are also taking responsibility for judging the DRS( Decision Review System) incident. He can give suggestions to the captain(skipper) on whether to take a review or not.
2. First Slip:- A fielder who has to stand closest to the wicketkeeper. If a right-hand batsman will bat, then he will stand right side of the wicketkeeper in the first position. If a left-hand batsman will bat, then he will stand on the left side of the wicketkeeper in the first position.
3. Second slip:- A fielder who has to stand closest to the slip fielder one and will be the second person standing closer to the wicketkeeper. If a right-hand batsman will bat, then he will stand right side of the wicketkeeper in the second position. If a left-hand batsman will bat, then he will stand on the left side of the wicketkeeper in the second position.
4. Third Slips:- A fielder who has to stand closest to the slip fielder two and will be the third person standing closer to the wicketkeeper. If a right-hand batsman will bat, then he will stand right side of the wicketkeeper in the third position. If a left-hand batsman will bat, then he will stand on the left side of the wicketkeeper in the third position.
5. Long Stop:- A fielder who stands behind the wicketkeeper towards a boundary rope. You hardly see any player standing in this position.
6. Third man:- A fielder who stands behind the wicketkeeper on the offside (approx 45 degrees) near the boundary rope and collects the ball that goes between the slip and the gully.
7. Gully:- A fielder who stands on the offside and between the point and slip position. The ball travels very quickly at this position. So, the fielder must be alert and prepared.
8. Short leg and a Silly Point:- A field that stands closer to the batsman in order to take a catch. But, he has to wear a helmet and pads in order to get some protection. Because he is standing too close to the wicketkeeper.
9. Point:- A fielder who stands at the left side of the right-hand batsman and left side to the left-hand batsman towards the wicket.
10. Extra cover:- A player who is placed between the cover fielder and mid-off.
11. Deep Extra Cover:- If the cover fielder is asked to come closer to the batsman in order to attack the batsman.
12. Mid-off:- A fielder who is positioned to save a cover drive boundary or quick singles from a 30-yard circle.
13. Long-off:- A fielder who is positioned to save a boundary on the offside and is standing straight and the left side and near the boundary rope.
14. Straight Hit:- A fielder that stands behind the bowler at the boundary line in order to stop a straight boundary. It is between the bowler and the side screen.
15. Mid-On:- A fielder who is standing on the leg side is between the square leg and the mid-on.
16. Long-on:- A fielder who stands on the straight and leg side near the boundary rope.
17. Forward Short Leg:- A fielder who is positioned to catch the ball that is not deliberately hit by the batsman.
18. Mid Wicket:- A fielder who stands on the leg side that is between square leg and mid-on.
19. Leg Slip:- A fielder who has to stand closest to the wicketkeeper. If a right-hand batsman will bat, then he will stand on the left side of the wicketkeeper in the first position. If a left-hand batsman will bat, then he will stand on the right side of the wicketkeeper in the first position.
Restriction on the cricket fielding position
The skipper of the fielding unit has the power to decide the fielding positions. However, if a bowler wants to change the field positions, he can also do it after having a discussion with the captain.
Here are the rules:-
- A fielder cannot stand on the pitch because it is the central part of the area and can disturb the concentration of the batsman if he moves a single step. And, It would be difficult for the batsman to take a run.
- Overs 1 to 10 are powerplay 1. In powerplay 1, only two players can stand outside the 30-yard circle.
- Overs 11 to 40 are powerplay 2.
- Overs 41 to 50 are powerplay 3.
- A fielder cannot make a move until the ball reaches the batsman. This rule is for the fielders who are standing closer to the batsman. However, the fielders who are standing away from the batsman( outside the 30-yard circle can move.
The above rules are for ODI(One Day International) cricket. In case, if an umpire finds that there are more than two fielders standing outside the 30-yard circle. Then, it will be a no-ball. If anyone will break this rule, then the umpire will call it a dead ball. The restrictions are there so that the fielding unit does not put a lot of players on the boundary rope in order to save runs.
Cricket Fielding Position Tips
While cricket is commonly referred to as the batsman’s game, that doesn’t mean that fielding isn’t as much as important. By setting appropriate fielding, vital runs can be easily saved which implies a smaller target to be chased by the batsmen.
This also implies that better fielding tactics can ease off some undue pressure off the chests of the batsmen. The type of field which is most suitable depends on a variety of factors. Some of them are as follows.
- The personal playing style of the batsman who is on the crease batting
- Bowler’s expertise
- The current condition of the pitch
- What type of bowler actually is bowling?
- The situation of the match in progress
All these things ought to be kept in mind while setting up the fielding positions against the opposition team.
Another important point to check for while setting up a proper field is that the players on both sides of the pitch should form a straight line somewhat in line with the pitch.
Failure to do so might expose greater gaps which the batsman might try to exploit. But this is just a theoretical approach to things and sometimes a different type of fielding arrangement might also work.
An essential point to note is that setting up fielding positions after taking into account all these factors might still be ineffective as success mainly depends on the performance of the fielders and the bowler as a team.
Effective techniques of setting up fielding are only learnt when a particular player or skipper plays a lot of matches for the particular cricket team.
The fields are of two types, defensive and attacking and the main difference between the two is as follows:
- Attacking Fielding: This is used when the team wants to build pressure on the opposition by taking wickets.
- Defensive Fielding: This is used to save runs from being scored when the bowlers are performing poorly
Attacking Fielding Position
The team captain, which is fielding, can set any field he wants, but he chose the attacking fielding position if he wants to put some additional pressure on the batsmen on the crease. There are also other situations when he would make this choice.
Characteristics of attacking fielding position
In this section, we will like to explain some of the characteristics of the attacking fielding position. Here they are.
1. Fielders close to the batsman
This is one of the main highlights of an attacking fielding position. The number of slips is also increased irrespective of whether the bowler is a spinner or a pacer. For a pacer, the captain may include a gully while for a spinner, a silly point or short leg can be placed.
2. Focus on taking wickets
The fielding team’s primary focus is on taking wickets under this kind of fielding set up. This becomes extremely important in the cases which we will be discussing later.
3. Caution is taken by batsmen while facing it.
Batsmen take extreme caution while this type of fielding is set because the last thing which they would want to do is lose their precious wickets and weaken their team in the match.
4. When is the attacking fielding position used?
The attacking fielding position is used in the following cases:
- When the other team is trying to draw the match
- When the other team is pressurized
- Against new batsmen
- When the pitch is bowler-friendly
- With a completely new ball
The attacking fielding position can be used in many scenarios besides what we listed above. It is up to the skipper to decide when to do so. It does have many benefits, but like most things, it has drawbacks as well. When should one use it or not, it only comes with experience.
Defensive Field Position
A defensive field position is a type of fielding position in which fielders are set so that it becomes difficult for the batsmen to score runs. We will also be discussing in which cases it is generally used. We will now be discussing some of its characteristics.
Characteristics of defensive field position
1. Many fielders are placed close to the boundary.
This is done to prevent the batsmen from scoring a boundary. Also, these fielders can catch the attempted big shots by the batsmen intended for a six.
2. Some fielders are also stationed near the 30-yard circle.
The reason behind this is to stop the occasional singles and try to build up some pressure on them. This might lead to them doing something reckless and losing their precious wicket.
3. When is the defensive field position used?
The common cases when the defensive field position is used are:
- When the given bowler is a weak one, the captain might then decide about it to prevent valuable runs.
- When the pitch isn’t bowler-friendly: The batsmen, in this case, have an advantage that can be neutralized by making use of this field position
- The batting side is scoring runs heavily: For sure any skipper will want to stop the flow of runs.
- When the batsmen have settled on the pitch: They might start hitting big strokes and hence the need.
- When the required run rate is high: The best way to build pressure in cases like these.
You now know what a defensive field position actually is and how it is commonly used. Of course, there can be more cases too, where the fielding team’s skipper might make use of it. If you know of some real-life incidents like these, feel free to drop them in the comments section.