Ask the Readers: Set a Seam Bowler Field and Win a Prize | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Ask the Readers: Set a Seam Bowler Field and Win a Prize

It’s been a while since I asked for your help in return for some online cricket coaching; but now the time has come again.

I need your help with setting a field for another new player in my team. Yes, this is a real life problem.

Like last time with our left-arm spinner, we have a new bowler.

So the question is:

What is the best field for a medium pace seam bowler in a club league match?

The best field will win a prize of an online coaching course from our library at PitchVision Academy.

He is young, plays a lot of cricket and bowls at a good pace for club level.

Due to our seam bowling strength he has had few chances in the 1st team, but the captain has promised him a run in the team up to the end of the season.

He bowls from wide on the crease meaning his stock ball is angled in to the right handed batsman, which often cramps players for room. 

He gets seam movement both ways.

With a skiddy action, he bowls a heavy ball without noticeable bounce.

He is a thinking cricketer and adapts his game to the pitch, sometimes slowing his pace on dead wickets but able to ramp it up on quicker ones.

He is also a very capable death bowler, able to bowl full and straight. He often cleans up the tail in 2nd XI games by just bowling at the stumps. He gets a lot of wickets bowled.

He is inexperienced at first team level and has a temperament that often sees him lose interest if things are not going the right way.

In first team cricket I can see him bowling at the back end of an innings; both in the middle overs and at the death where he can reduce the options of big hitting batsmen.

So what would your standard field be for a bowler like this?

Remember we play maximum 50 over per innings games with draws possible.

4 fielders must be in the 30 yard circle at all times.

Remember the most useful field will win a prize, so don’t forget to check back to find out if you have won.

Leave a comment in the comments box with your field

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To a RHB in the middle overs, my field would be:
-1 slip
-wide third man
-cover point
-extra cover
-mid off
-mid on(can be wider)
-mid wicket
-deep backward square leg
-straight fine leg
As he is angling the ball in, the focus in keeping the fielders on the off side straighter whilst those on the leg side squarer. The wide third man is for any delivery wide outside off, which from that angle could easily be played there.

At the death, I would make the following adjustments:
-slip goes to deep cover/deep extra cover
-cover point comes to point
-mid on goes back to long on
-deep backward square leg comes squarer
To a full and straight line with an inward angle, this should restrict the batsman's scoring and especially boundary options, as the only place to easily hit such bowling would be towards long on and to balls slightly more leg side,to square leg.

Put a squeeze field, trying to reduce the singles and keep the pressure on. With his angle the ball will often go into the leg side

Slip ( worth it if he can move it away off seam)

3 in a ring on offside - backward point, cover, and mid off. - leave a gap at extra cover to encourage the batsman to try and work the ball against the natural movement.

fine leg on the fence
backward square leg, mid wicket and mid on on the one.

I would probably them have a man on the legside boundary to protect against the big smear. Whether it was more square leg or more mid on would depend on the exact line and length he was hitting, and an assessment of the batsman's plan.

-Close-ish Gully
-Slightly Square Close midwicket
-Mid off
-Mid on
- Fine Fine Leg
-Cow Corner

Close Gully for the ball he may try to push a way from his body, yet he must be closer for the ball to carry. Close Midwicket for the leading edge that loops up in an attempted push of the hips, Fine Leg must be fine because if he strays to0 legside then it is easy to tickle down to that region, Cow Corner because that is a favoured hitting area for medium pacers.

The bowler himself is watching these comments so I'll ask him what field he likes best if you get it in quick!

G'day David.

My thoughts on the field are this. This bowler in question bowls skiddy with some sideways movement off the old seamarooney so i suggest this field:

-1 Slip (the standard he plays at may not be that high so fieldsmen are not so competent and batsmen may not be able to hit the edge).
-You want both the mid off and mid on to be quite straight to promote shots across the line, tell him not to worry about hackers.
-Forward point
-Deep cow, for the rank stuff
-Fine leg, we are all human and bowl some legside filth from time to time
-Short leg, for that surprise BUMPA aimed to cause serious damage, even if he doesnt bowl it, the fear factor may be enough for the batsman to retire in fear of injury.

Hope you like the field mate, and as for left handers, the deep cow would go out to cover, especially as lefties have that little extra class and refuse to go hack-happy over cow.

I would suggest this.
1 slip, in case there is some pace in the pitch, and for him to gain some confidence to bowl an attacking line.
A square leg to the umpire's right for the flick off the pads.
Mid on and mid off, fairly straight for the line he bowls.
Deep midwicket for the heave.
Sweeper cover point as a boundary saver and to dry up the runs.
catching gully for some short stuff outside off, and
a short cover for the ball that goes away asking for the drive on slow wickets.
On quick wickets, the short cover could be moved to a fine leg.

First and Second Slip - If we only put in one slip the bowlers head may drop as he doesnt think the skipper believes in him
Gully - Outside edges may well bring the gully fielder into the game
Backward Point - As he bowls a heavy skiddy ball I would expect the ball to go to this position more often than a conventional point position.
Mid off - Go to have them to protect him
Fine leg - Coming from wide of the crease he is always likely to angle a ball down to fine leg and this will offer a little more protection.
Backward Square leg - Again due to his angle from wide of the crease this man will be there to stop the 1 from a little flick off the hips.
Mid wicket
Deep Cover (Sweeping) - To cut off boundaries on the off side.

Dear David,

Hopefully he bowls consistent and with good control.
For the heavy ball, angled into the right-hand batsmen, from wide on the crease:

He could be exposed with a batsman good off the legs.

I would have a fine leg (on boundary), square-leg (in 30 yrds), midwicket (in 30 yrds), mid-on (in 30yrds). As a start, to keep the batsman under pressure and support an inexperienced bowler, I would also have a silly mid-on.
I would start off with a single slip, point, cover and mid-off (all within 30 yrds) on the offside.

If there is bounce one could even consider a leg-slip or short-leg when attacking. Taking your cover out.

If the batsmen are aggressive and using their feet or trying to go over-the-top, I could go for a deep midwicket, taking out silly mid-on.
Push both mid-off and mid-on deep.
Drop the slip to 3rd man.

For the left-hands batsmen;

I would start with two or three slips. Third slip to move to 3rd man if no bounce off pitch.
Off-side: point, cover, mid-off (within 30yrds)
On side: mid-on, square leg (both in 30 yrds) and fine leg on boundary.



I would also say its important to discuss with the youngster where he wants his field/thinks he needs his field. As David mentioned in his article about keeping youngsters interested in adult cricket.

-Wide third man
-mid off
-mid on
-shortish mid wicket
-deep forward square leg
-fine leg

Interesting how many people are setting an offside field for a bowler who bowls at the stumps from wide on the crease.

Typical AB, he tells us that we put too many on the offside, yet he goes and puts 4 men there too! Strange cricketing brain...

Ha! My field was 4-5 field. I was just interested in the number of people using a 5-4 or 6-3 field with a cover-point sweeper or wide third man. Normally the sweeper only comes into play with away swing bowlers or a bowler giving too much width in my experience. A guy angling the ball in towards the ribs/middle stump shouldn't get hit square on the off side to much I would have thought.

I see you set a very similar field to mine Alex - great minds and all.

My Field would be

- Fine Leg dropped wide and 2/3,
- Square leg dropped down to the rope,
- Short mid-wicket,
- Long-On dropped down all the way to the rope,
- Long-Off dropped down all the way to the rope,
- Short Cover,
- Deep Cover,
- Point (on the edge of circle)
- Third Man 2/3 but wider a bit

And I would ask him to bowl an odd and relatively slow in-swinger aimed at the middle stump intimidating him to try hitting over the top. Otherwise, keep a strict aim at off stump and as they say the trick for bowling in dead overs is to KEEP IT FULL-LENGTH but variate line for catches and inside edges!!

(That's what I do whenever I am playing and bowling in dead overs and it seems to work all the time ^^ )

Thanks all, the competition is now closed with the winning field here.

-Deep square leg (ball angling across the batsman, bowled short)
-Fine leg (yorkers dug out, also extra protection for short ball)
-Wide deep mid-on
-Extra cover
-Short third man
-Deep mid-wicket
-Cover point
-Short leg