So you want to take up wicketkeeping but you are worried your hands will be like Teflon and your feet buried in concrete?
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But until then, follow these simple tips (and work on your chirping) and before you know it you will be on the way to becoming the hub of the fielding unit.
The ‘keeper stands away or near to wickets depending upon the type of bowler. Law requires you to have all your body behind the stumps; if any part is in front of stumps before the ball reaches the batsman it is called a no-ball.
When keeping to a right hander, your left foot is line of the middle stump. This angle proves helpful as most balls are taken outside off stump.
Keep yourself well balanced and alert. If you are keeping to a fast bowler, judge the position where the elevation of the ball starts to decrease, that would be the ideal place for you to stand.
After you have positioned yourself according to the speed of the bowler, be ready to catch the ball.
Keep your eye on the ball from the moment bowler starts to run in. When bowler starts his run up, go into a comfortable crouching position. As the ball pitches, rise with it (getting up too early leads to missing balls that stay low).
3. Taking the ball
When the ball reaches, catch it with relaxed but strong hands. Have a steady head with your eyes on the ball all the way into the gloves. Your hands should be in line of your body and ideally you should take the ball below your chest.
Your fingers will usually be pointing downwards as most takes will be below chest height. Keep your thumbs comfortably apart to create a wide catching area. The ball should be caught in palm of the gloves not in fingers.
Be ready to move your body across quickly to catch the ball. Get your head straight in line of the ball, by shuffling your feet quickly sideways but staying facing the bowler. You won’t be able to get into line every ball, but the intent must be there.
Diving often compensates for poor footwork so make sure you are moving your feet well if you find you dive a lot.
However, diving becomes necessary for the keeper when the ball is hopelessly out of his standing range. A thick edge on the ball would make it go away from you so you have to dive to take the ball.
When you are standing up from the crouch position, you are on your toes, weight evenly distributed, which allow you to execute a dive easily. Try and look to catch the ball with two hands, but one hand expands your diving reach and looks spectacular.
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image credit: pulkitsinha