Throughout your playing career, you will spend more time fielding than batting and bowling combined. Therefore, to make yourself the best fielder you can be, will not only increase your personal enjoyment of the game, but will make you a more valuable team member. Remember that saving 20 runs in the field through your enthusiastic and athletic fielding is equal to scoring 20 with the bat.
You will get immense satisfaction from sprinting around the boundary to save a certain four, then after the save, with a fast flat throwback to the stumps. Likewise, a diving save in the covers which saves not only a certain boundary, but results in a run-out of a key batter, may be worth more to the team cause than any runs made or wickets you may have taken in the match to that point.
There is an old saying in cricket, as true today as when it was first uttered – “catches win matches”. Teams that do not drop any catches in an innings very rarely lose the match. The message here then is to practice your fielding as much as you practice your batting and bowling. Do not neglect this essential skill.
Throwing biomechanics – Key points for performance
- Stride length (80-90%)
- Lag between pelvis and shoulders
- Front knee extending through acceleration phase
- Shoulder rotation during arm cocking phase – the greater the faster but also the greater injury risk
- Follow through – line and length