We have talked at length on how you can motivate your fielding team, when playing cricket but, here we take a slightly different angle. We know as cricket coaches, to get the best out of our side will take weeks and months of carefully planned coaching sessions, motivating team talks and lots of hard work from the coach and players.
We were watching the 4th test match between England and India, at the Kia Oval last week and saw a marked difference in the field. Ok so India haven't really turned up this year. Poor preparation and lack of application, has seen India fall from the number one spot in the world, to be replaced by England. What we saw at the Oval was staggering, we were shocked, because the following day we witnessed the same lack of fielding nouce, with a local cricket side, during a training game.
Imagine the scene:- the batsman pushes the ball for a single to point, the fielder picks the ball up and shy's at the stumps, the wicket keeper fails to get to the ball and it then allows the batsmen to get extra runs, from the over throw. The fielder that then collects the ball was standing at deep square leg and he then threw the ball in to the keeper. All ok? NO.
In both case we watched in disbelief, as the fielder at deep square, stood and waited for the ball to get to him. Now witness the England team in the same situation:- The fielder at deep square starts moving in towards a closer square leg, as soon as the ball is hit. This then puts the fielder in a better position to stop the over throw and also any extra runs. All to often fielders on the boundary stay there and wait for the ball to get to them. What we as coaches should be doing is to ensure all fielders are aware of the role when backing up. The point fielder could easily have thrown to the bowlers end and would now expect Mid on or deep mid on to field the ball. If the fielder is out deep on the boundary he must be encouraged to come in and attack the ball. The fielder then does not allow themselves any time to switch off and are now involved in the game for almost every delivery.
This is a must for any winning side as it could easily save 10 to 20 runs.