From time to time, guest posters will give you a slightly different take on cricket. This is the first guest post from Ian Canaway of CricketSecrets.com.
Essential cricket fielding drills
Being able to field well in cricket is crucial as a cricket match can easily be won or lost in the field. Your job as a fielder is to support the bowler and put pressure on the batsman by fielding the ball effectively and getting it back in to the wicket keeper as quickly and precisely as possible. There are many drills which you can practice to help improve your fielding performance and to aid you in applying the fielding techniques you learn. These drills can be modified and varied to suit your needs and skill level accordingly, a bit of imagination can go a long way in increasing the effectiveness and enjoyment of training drills. The more fun the better.
Fielding Drill 1
This is a drill to practice defensive techniques specifically the long barrier, it is also good for improving general hand eye coordination which is essential in cricket.
- Set out four cones parallel to each other to act as goals, one fielder stands between each goal as shown below.
- Player A starts with the ball and throws the ball under arm along the ground to try and score past player B
- Player B has to try and stop the ball using the long barrier.
- Player B repeats the exercise to try and score past player A.
- The winner is the first to reach a set number of goals or whoever scores the most goals in a given time frame.
To vary this drill, instead of throwing the ball under arm along the ground, player A could throw the ball under arm into the air for player B to stop by catching with two hands.
Fielding Drill 2
This drill is aimed at improving the catching, throwing and stopping skills as well as to improve communication skills within the team.
- The players assemble as shown in the diagram below, with the fielders closest to the batsman standing around 20m away and those standing furthest away from the batsman around 30-35m away (make sure you are well spaced apart).
- The batsman (Bt) starts by hitting the ball high into the air towards the fielders, one of the fielders must CALL for the ball, take the catch and throw it into the wicket keeper (WK) over the top of the stumps.
- The wicket keeper then passes the ball back to the batsman to start again.
- After everyone has taken a catch, rotate those fielders who are closest to the bat with those furthest away, to ensure everyone receives a variety of catches, so that everyone faces new challenges and changing conditions.
You can vary this drill easily by hitting the ball along the ground for the fielders to stop with a long barrier, or by varying the height that the ball is hit in the air and the power with which the ball is hit. This drill can also be easily made into a game, just split the players into two teams, carry out the drill with each team and which ever team drops the least catches is the winner.
Fielding Drill 3
This drill is designed to help the fielder practice attacking the ball and picking it up.
- The ball is thrown along the ground underarm by fielder A, fielder B runs up from the cone behind the goal to intercept the ball before it passes through the goal, using a two handed pickup.
- Fielder B then returns the ball back to fielder A and fielder B goes to the back of the queue behind the cone so that the drill can continue with the other players.
- Rotate fielder A.
- Who ever scores the most goals as fielder A is the winner.
You can vary the drill by changing to a one handed pick up and throw.
Fielding Drill 4
The final drill is great for practicing chasing the ball and throwing it in over the top of the keeper’s stumps.
- The batsman (Bt), hits the ball out in to the outfield for fielder A to chase.
- Fielder A should chase down the ball pick it up on the outside of the right foot (for a right-handed thrower) and throw it back over the top of the stumps to the wicket keeper (WK).
- Fielder A should go to the back of the queue.
- The wicketkeeper passes the ball back to the batsman to hit for fielder B.
A good variation of the drill is for the batsman to hit the ball in the air so that the fielder has to chase and catch the ball, make sure the fielder is given a bit of a head start for longer ranger catches. Also another variation would be once fielder A has thrown the ball to the keeper, the wicket keeper then throws the ball up in the air for fielder A to catch as he’s running in. It’s also worth rotating a fielder in a backing up position 10-15m behind the wicket keeper to stop any wayward throws.
Don’t forget with a little creativity and imagination you can easily come up with your own drills, try to make them fun and add a competitive aspect where possible.
If you want even more fielding techniques, tactics and animated drills from one of the best fielders in the world, check out Fielding: The Derek Randall Way on PitchVision Academy.