How to get fielders winning matches.

How to get fielders winning matches.

, 2 min reading time

Everyone knows catches win matches but, how else can fielders influence matches. We sat down last week to compare this season, to last season. We thought our bowling was better this year, our batting overall was not so good and our fielding lethargic. Last season we had a cup quarter final, against a side much stronger than ours, or at least it was on paper. We had 2 district players, they had 3 district and 2 county players. So, we had to find a way of getting our fielders to have a major effect on this game, rather than relying on our bowling attack alone. Catches win matches but what happens if the ball isn't going aerial. We knew, if we could put pressure on their top order batsmen, we had a big chance of progressing to the semis. But, by putting pressure on their batters we would probably open ourselves up to conceding more boundaries than singles. One coach then came up with a cunning plan. ATTACK AND DEFEND, at the same time. We worked out, where most under 13 sides score most of their boundaries, deep cover and deep midwicket. We then put our quickest fielders with strong throwing arms in these positions. That was the defensive part covered, now for the attack. We put point, mid off, mid on and square leg into their usual places, then asked the fielders to walk in, as they would when a bowler comes in to bowl. This then became their new fielding starting position. Walking in from this point, put them approximately 5 metres closer to the batsmen. This, subsequently, ensured pressure was applied from the start, with defenders on the boundary, they felt they had nothing to lose when attacking the Cricket Ball. WE also got them to be more vocal. Talk and praise each other more than usual. This created a real buzz, energy and increased enjoyment in the field, not seen before. Bowlers deliver Cricket Balls to either take wickets or not to conceed runs, if the fielders are on top of their game, this if more likely to happen. At the end of each over players were running to their new position, building pressure all the time on the batsmen. The Batters had their usual scoring areas reduced and overs were completed much quicker, this built the pressure. The opposition had not scored less than 120 in 20 overs all season, we restricted them to 83 runs. We then knocked off those runs to enjoy a sweet victory. Maybe the occasion got to the opposition or maybe the ATTACK AND DEFEND format really did work.


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