If you are a captain or bowler the chances are that you agonise over setting the right field.
While the wrong field can be a disaster, the right one can make the difference between winning and losing. Especially in lower scoring games. So mastering the basics is essential. As is being able to think on your feet and change your ideas and plots at a moments notice. Perhaps even every ball.
With that in mind, here are some general notes on how to place the field.
- Consider moving your mid on and mid off closer at the start of a batsman's innings. They will not be timing at as well and if your fielders are set to save one on a well timed shot they might concede one to a weaker drive. You can also adjust their position depending on pace and swing.
- Cut off batsman's favourite shots as early as possible. Even if they are not timing the shots well, they will be looking to play them early. This is different from chasing the ball - the captains cardinal sin.
- Be aware of how the ball is moving and how wide on the crease the bowler goes. Left arm in swing bowling goes in very different directions than right arm away swing.
- Make sure your fielders don't drift from positions. Lines and angles are vital when setting the field. If you have a side of 'wycombe' fielders (wanderers that is) then make sure they mark the spot where you put them.
- Left handers make great midwicket fielders.
- Keep an eye on fielders who have little to do. Chances are they can be used better elsewhere (especially gulley).
- Encourage your keeper to stand up to medium pacers if the ball is not doing much. As a keeper myself, I can assure you we don't need much encouragement.
- Subscribe for some sample field placings to different bowling types, but as a rule of thumb try these: 2 in the covers to left arm seamers, no cover point to in swing bowlers, forward short leg on wickets that stop, more slips to away swing bowling and short third man and fine leg to slower seamers.