Menno Gazendam is author of Spin Bowling Project. Get your free 8 week spin bowling course here.
India has many great cricketers, but fielding has always been the weakest area for the team. Like a club side, the attitude is that fielding comes last. It's not as important as batting or bowling so you can afford standards to drop, as long as your main skill is in form.
That's a pure hoax.
Unlike fast bowlers who take a lot more wickets by hitting the stumps or LBW, spin bowlers rely much more on a good fielding team.
You get frustrated when catches are dropped and boundaries are given away through a poor attitude.
That why a good fielding team is worth extra wickets every time.
Yet most players don’t play in a team where fielding counts. If India can't do it, what chance have your Academy team got?
Of course, this attitude is not limited to India, so what do you do when you bowl spin a not-so-good fielding team?
Here are a few tips:
- Even in a poor fielding team some guys are better than others. Get your team's Kohli and Raina in the right place to take those catches (sometimes it's on the boundary).
- Watch you team at practice and at warm ups before the game. This way you can identify your fielders’ strengths.
- If you really do not have good close catchers, do not waste them by putting them close. It might be the correct field but it’s no use if they will never take a catch. Be realistic and put them where they will be worth something.
- Bowl a straight line with the aim of hitting the stumps or getting LBW.
- Make sure you practice your own fielding from your bowling at every pactice and that you lead by example.
- Stay calm when your see a misfield or drop. No one does that on purpose and all it will do is alienate you in the team and make you lose your own temper and control.
If you take the matter of fielding up with the coach or captain you will see results.
You have much more to lose with a poor fielding team than the quick guys, so you must take that initiative if the matter calls for it.
Often you will battle a negative culture to fielding. Maybe you even have the attitude yourself. But remember that good catching gets you wickets and you won't fall into the trap of the Indian squad of often giving lip-service to the third rail of cricket.
For more detailed spin bowling advice, tips, tricks, tactics and training drill for spinners in all formats of cricket, get the Spin Bowling Project free 8 week email coaching course.