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 for the team, captain (skipper) and the 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 position:
2. On-side (leg-side )
A fielder can use their body as well for stopping the ball from going towards a boundary. However, if any part of the body found touching towards 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 position in cricket
1. Wicket-Keeper:– The wicket-keeper is the most important field position. Because the ball reaches towards the wicketkeeper 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) 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 on the first position. If a left-hand batsman will bat, then he will stand 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 on the second position. If a left-hand batsman will bat, then he will stand 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 on the third position. If a left-hand batsman will bat, then he will stand 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 to 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 who 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
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 a 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 that is between 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 the left side of the wicketkeeper in the first position. If a left-hand batsman will bat, then he will stand 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 is 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 the ODI(One Day International) cricket. In case, if any 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 the 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 the 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 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 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 attacking fielding position. Here they are.
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, silly point or short leg can be placed.
Focus on taking wickets
The fielding team’s primary focus is on taking wickets under this kind of a fielding set up. This becomes extremely important in the cases which we will be discussing later.
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.
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 which we listed above. It is up to the skipper to decide upon 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
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.
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.
When is 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 which 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 some real-life incidences like these, feel free to drop them in the comments section.
Cricket Fielding Positions FAQs
Q What are the positions in cricket fielding?
Ans The positions in cricket fielding are Deep Fine Leg, Short Fine Leg, Leg Slip, Long Leg, Leg Gully, Deep Square Leg, Square Leg, Short Square Leg, Sweeper, Deep Mid-Wicket, Mid-Wicket, Short Mid-Wicket, Forward Short Leg, Long On, Mid On, Silly Mid On, Straight Hit, Long Off, Mid Off, Silly Mid Off, Deep Extra Cover, Extra Cover, Cover Point, Cover Sweeper, Deep Point, Point, Silly Point, Deep Gully, Gully, Third man, Long Stop, Fly Slip, Third Slip, Second slip, First Slip, and Wicket Keeper.
Q How many cricket fielding positions are there?
Ans There are 36 cricket fielding positions in cricket. Although, the captain of the team which is fielding can sure try some variations besides the traditional fielding positions. Setting the fielders properly is quite essential, especially if one wants to build up some pressure on the batting side.
Q How did cricket fielding positions get their names?
Ans Some of the conventions that are followed while naming fielding positions are dependent on the angle which a fielder makes concerning the batsman and the fielder’s distance from the batsman. The names also are different when a right-handed batsman bats than when a left-handed batsman bats.
Q Which fielding position is nearest to batsman?
Ans The fielding position, which is closest to the batsman, depends on a lot of things. While a spinner is bowling, it will be wicketkeeper as he has to stand just right behind the stumps. The same can be true in case a medium pacer is bowling. In other cases, it is either the short leg or the silly point.
Q What is 3rd man in cricket?
Ans The 3rd man, is a fielding position in cricket. The third man is situated on the offside and is kept near the boundary. He is also most often in line with one of the slips. The term ‘third man’ originated because the fielder is a third player who has to compliment the gully and the slips.
Q Can a sub fielder be a wicketkeeper?
Ans Yes, a given substitute fielder can act as a wicketkeeper. But the condition is that he has to take the consent of the on-field umpires. This did not use to be the case before and is one of the recent changes to cricket laws. But he/she isn’t allowed to bowl.
Q Which is not a fielding position in cricket?
Ans A fielding position which isn’t recognized a fielding position isn’t a fielding position in cricket. This type of question typically comes as a cricket quiz question. Hence, it is recommended that you familiarize ourself with the known cricket positions either by watching a game or by playing it yourself.
Q Can a fielder move while bowling?
Ans A given fielder for sure isn’t allowed to move in any way he wants after the bowl is released by the bowler. He can only move towards the batsman in a straight line and in such a way that it shouldn’t change his fielding position (implying one can’t just run towards the batsman).
Q What is long leg in cricket?
Ans The long leg is a lesser-known cricket fielding position. It is a bizarre fielding position since it is directly behind the batsman and almost in line with the wicketkeeper. It is quite a rare occasion to see a captain of the fielding team making use of this position in particular.
Q Which side is leg side in cricket?
Ans This question confuses a lot to those who are newbies to the game of cricket. The thing is, the leg side isn’t fixed in the game of cricket. It varies depending on what type of batsman is batting. If a right-handed batsman is batting, then it is on the right-handed side of the bowler and vice versa.
Q What is a fly slip in cricket?
Ans While you might be thinking that a fielder fielding on the fly slip position might be nearer to the regular slips, but this isn’t the case. The fly slip is somewhat near to the 30 yards circle. Some even refer to it as ‘flying slip’ but that isn’t its other name.
Q Can a fielder stand outside the boundary?
Ans There isn’t a specific rule prohibiting this but the rules of cricket do state that a fielder will be considered as ‘grounded beyond the boundary’ if he stands out of the boundary after the delivery is bowled. There isn’t any kind of penalty listed as well for doing this thing.
Q Can two wickets fall in one ball?
Ans It can’t happen as per the laws of cricket that are in place right now but there is a hypothetical scenario which might be quite close to this. Imagine a batsman gets dismissed on one bowl and the next batsman is timed out. But this isn’t exactly equal to two wickets falling on a single delivery.
Q Can you be caught off a fielder’s helmet?
Ans This too wasn’t considered to be out before but changes were made to the laws of cricket and now, a batsman will be considered as dismissed after he hits a shot and if the shot hits a fielder or wicketkeeper’s helmet and then the catch is taken by another player.
Q Where do the best fielders field in cricket?
Ans While people might argue that the best fielders field on almost every fielding position. But there are positions which are quite crucial and hence, need best fielders to be placed there. Some of them are forward short leg, extra cover, slips, gully, and point. Still, some fielders excel at other positions as well and do their job.
Q Can a wicket-keeper bowl?
Ans Of course, a wicketkeeper can bowl. Those who follow cricket regularly know this as a fact. There has even been an instance when wicketkeepers of both the teams had bowled in the same match. And guess what, they were the captain of their respective teams too. You can find out about this incidence here.
Q Who is the best slip fielder?
Ans The best slip fielder till date is Rahul Dravid. He also holds the record for being the person who has taken the greatest number of catches in international test cricket. He was known as someone who would rarely drop a catch while fielding as a slip with the wicketkeeper.
Q Is a straight fielder allowed?
Ans The answer to this question is dependent on the context. If you are talking straight in front of the batsman, then it isn’t allowed but if you are asking about if a fielder in line with the batsman is allowed behind the wicketkeeper then yes. There is even a dedicated fielding position known as the long leg for this.