If you have ever bowled or captained, you are sure to have asked yourself: Where are we going to get 10 wickets from today?
It's rare in club cricket to have bowlers good enough to knock a side over one their own, so you have to use every trick in the book.
You already know the main ploy: Risk losing in order to win. Now you need to convert that to real life tactics:
- Work on hunches. Many club batsmen give the game away before they have faced a ball. Look at the grip, stance, backlift, guard and physique of a player. Take a guess at where his weakness might be and set a field to it. It might just pay off but even if it doesn't you can always go back to your original plan.
- Set fields for each batter. As each batsmen has their own style, strengths and weaknesses your field should reflect this. Most tail-enders, for example, will go for the slog. So set the field with fewer (or no) close catchers and people in the places where big hits and mishits will go.
- Be subtle. Sometimes you need to work a batsman off strike, or feed runs to a side to keep them in the game enough to stop them going for the draw. You don't want them to catch on that this is what you are doing so be careful. Leaving a gap in the field, or a fielder slightly too deep on the batsman's strongest shot often goes unnoticed, or a star bowler suddenly getting 'injured' is just unfortunate timing.
- Use spin at the death. Spinners win more games than seamers in club cricket because tail-enders generally can't resist them. So aim to have 2 decent spinners fresh enough to operate in the last hour of the innings, especially if you are bowling 2nd. This works especially well if you have one spinner who looks significantly easier to hit than the other (one loopy and slow, one quicker).
Using these 4 tactics you can significantly improve the number of wickets you get in a season and the number of games you win. Plus the game will be more fun!
Subscribe to learn even more about captaincy, wicket taking and field placings.© Copyright miSport Holdings Ltd 2008