This article is part of "The complete guide to cricket field settings" series.
Who can resist something for free?
Not the readers of PitchVision Academy because 19 people submitted a field in an effort to win some coaching from the courses section. 19 different fields demonstrate how cricket is far from an exact science!
So who won?
After due consideration (of which you can read more below) I went for AB’s field: congrats AB, drop me an email for your prize. Here it is:
What actually happened in the match I was talking about here was:
- A 50 over limited over match, bowling first
- The bowler is on after 15 overs with the score 78-2
There was not much in the pitch for the spinner but there was some erratic bounce to exploit. The bowler decided to bowl his usual off stump line, varying his pace.
Bowling to this field
The focus is very much on containment in the middle overs. A slip provides a nod to attacking cricket, but the main job of the spinner here is to force the batsman to playing shot he does not want to play because the main scoring areas are cut off. The ring is well-enforced and there are boundary runners for the most likely get-out shots.
Bowl a consistent off stump line on a length that forces the batsman forward. Vary the pace and flight to deceive the batsman as much as possible without altering line or length.
The batsman will be tied down and looking to work the ball dangerously across the line into gaps. Wickets will come from a frustrated mishit. If the ball does turn a little the slip or keeper can pouch the reward.
Why not sweeper on the offside? Left-armers tend to drag their short balls onto leg stump rather than wide of off, meaning they get hit through square leg more than point.
The one variation (apart from flight) is the arm ball that will see a batsman bowled through the gate or trying to cut a ball that comes back and playing on or nicking off.
If the batsman is attacking the leg side more, the deep mid-off can shuffle over to a deep mid on, and the mid-on can move into midwicket. Slip is better at gully in this situation.
For a batsman hitting “inside out” over the covers, the deep square leg can go to deep extra cover.
Why this field?
As you know, this field was born out of a new bowler making his debut for our club. It was a lot of fun going through the fields. Variety was huge.
My preference was for a 6/3 split field to defend the main batsman’s scoring area. However as 9 fields were 5/4 split I went with the majority.
The most commonly chose field positions were:
Deep midwicket and deep extra cover were the most popular deep positions.
An interesting variation that got 4 fields was the 4/5 split. Here the line would be straighter. You could even go further with 6 or 7 on the leg side, but nobody did this time.
What do you think of this field?