It’s junior fielding lesson number two: walking in with the bowler.
Unfortunately, you often see a least one fielder in every side who doesn’t do it; and it makes a massive difference.
But you can go one better than walking in; you can trot in.
Walking in keeps momentum going forward. Move continually towards the ball prevents a quick single or allows you to cut the firmly struck ball off before it is past you.
The positioning of the fielder is always a balance between being close enough to prevent a quick single and far enough to allow the furthest distance to increase reaction time.
But with an increase in speed during the walking in, you are a greater distance from the bat. This creates further reaction distances whilst knowing that you are holding a greater speed to attack.
By trotting in you can afford to be a yard further away from the normal position, but still be able to attack the ball just as quickly due to more momentum.
This deeper position will also play on the batsman’s mind.
Seeing the fielder setting themselves slightly deeper than normal, it may start to create whispers in his head that a quick single is on the cards; he commits to a fatal quick single. And with the extra speed you carry into the ball you increase the chances you have of a run out.
You can see some of the best fielders in the world using this technique every ball they witness.
Jonty Rhodes did it and Paul Collingwood still does; do you need any more convincing?