You may have just learned the basics of cricket. You know how the game is played between the two teams on the field. Now, you have understood how the different formats work in cricket. The concepts of overs and dismissals were not complicated.
You may have completely learned of all the ways how a batsman can be dismissed in cricket. You are wondering whether learning all those things was never enough to know the game completely. If you want to become a cricket fanatic like your South Asian friend, you need to learn about cricket field positions.
Why You Should Learn About the Cricket Field Positions?
To enjoy the game, it’s not necessary to learn about all the cricket field positions. But for instance, imagine Virat Kohli is batting amazingly against Pakistan in a World Cup game. Everything that is touching his bat is turning into gold. Kohli is proving the odds on the best online sportsbook sites in the UK right.
He is batting as if he were to score an astonishing hundred against arch-rivals Pakistan. Virat is batting in the nervous nineties. Suddenly, Shaheen Afridi bowls a beautiful outswinger and the fielder makes a dive to take a blinder. You witnessed one of the most beautiful catches that ever happened in cricket.
You have a Pakistani cricket friend whom you need to explain with excitement how difficult the catching position was. Well, you need to use pro-cricketing terms to completely grab his attention this time. So why you should not learn about the cricket field positions in detail?
The cricket field needs to be understood to get the idea of field positions. According to CricketersHub, the cricket field is divided into three parts, The Close Catching Infield, The Inner Ring, and The Outfield. Let’s discuss all of the categories one by one to learn about the cricket field positions in detail.
The Close Catching Infield
The close catching infield is the area where the fielders are close to the batsman. The fielders who have expertise in catching are preferred to be in the close catching infield positions. The players fielding at these positions don’t particularly focus on stopping the runs. The fielders just try to grab anything quickly that comes toward them. The closest catching infield positions require the fielders to wear a helmet on the field.
The wicket-keeper is one of the most significant fielding positions in cricket. Every team specifies the wicket-keeper in their playing eleven before the game. When the batsman bat on the pitch, the wicket-keeper stands behind him. The wicket-keeper is ready to collect the ball every time the ball comes towards him.
Especially in Test cricket, holding the gloves is a hectic and tough task because the ball comes frequently to the wicket-keeper. The job of a wicket-keeper requires splendid focus on the ball. Whenever the batsman misses or edges the ball to the wicket-keeper, the bowling side expects the wicket-keeper to take a catch that is in his range. It’s a tough job as the wicket-keeper needs to have a lightning-fast reaction towards the ball.
When a fast bowler is bowling in the game, the wicket-keeper should maintain a gap of about 20 meters from the batsman. When a spinner is bowling, the wicket-keeper stands close to the stumps. List of some renowned wicket-keepers: Mark Boucher, Mahindra Singh Dhoni, Ian Healy, Rod Marsh, and Adam Gilchrist
Slips – 1st Slip, 2nd Slip, 3rd Slip, and 4th Slip
The slip position is one of the most important positions in Test cricket. In red-ball cricket, a batsman can edge the ball quite frequently to the slips. So the fielders at the slip have to be sharp as well as quick on the field. The main slip positions in cricket are 1st slip, 2nd slip, 3rd slip, and 4th slip.
The slip fielders stand close to the wicket-keeper. All of the players fielding at the slip position stand diagonally on the field. Often, more than one slip fielder is at the fielding position only when the fast bowler is bowling. In the case of a spin bowler, the captain generally places only one slip fielder. Keeping in perspective the fast pace of T20 cricket, the slip is used seldom after the powerplay overs in the shortest format of the game.
The fielding position of the gully is an extension of the fielders standing diagonally on the slip fielding positions. The gully fielder stands ahead of the slip fielders but maintains the diagonal position. The captain usually calls the fielder at the gully position if the batsman is new at the crease.
Did you watch the renowned dismissal of Stuard Broad in a Test match against New Zealand? Kane Williamson took the catch of Broad at Gully. Earlier on social media, the catch left the cricket fans amazed.
The fielder stands behind the batsman in the leg-side position. The fielding position of the leg slip is used rarely by the captains. The captain usually places the fielder on the leg-side position if the batsman is expected to play a paddle sweep shot. Furthermore, when a spinner is having an amusing time on the pitch, the captain also uses the leg slip to trap the batsman.
The silly point fielder is placed at the off-side. He stands at an angle of approximately 45 degrees ahead of the batsman. It is a critical fielding position where the ball comes quickly towards the fielder. Some of the fielding marvels have taken splendid catches at this position.
The fielder at the silly mid-off position stands relatively straight as compared to the fielder at the silly point. It is also a tough fielding position as the fielder is extremely close to the batsman. The preferable technique is to wear the helmet while fielding at the silly mid-off position.
Usually, when the game is at a critical stage and the captain target the final wickets of the opposition, the silly mid-on fielder plays an important role. The fielder at the silly mid-on position stands opposite to the fielder at the silly mid-off position. The player stands in the leg-side position.
The Inner Ring
Point is one of the most important fielding positions in cricket. Especially, when the batsman is attacking, a great point fielder plays a terrific role in stopping the runs. The point fielder stands at the off-side position exactly on the square of the wicket.
The best fielder in the team typically stands at the point position. Jonty Rhodes, one of the greatest fielders of all time, was a tremendously agile fielder at the point. In the Champions Trophy 2017 final, Shadab Khan caught the batting giant Virat Kohli at the point. The fielder at the point must be really quick.
The backward point fielding position is pretty much similar to the point position. The only difference is that the backward point fielder stands behind the square of the wicket at the offside.
The mid-off fielder stands at the straight off-side position typically to stop runs coming from a straight drive. The batsmen try to take quick singles while playing the shot towards the mid-off fielder.
While the player standing at the mid-off position attempts a successful throw to run the batsman out. Often, the batsman tries to play an aerial shot over the mid-off fielder to get the boundary in the shorter formats during the powerplay overs. A mishit by the batsman results in a simple catch to the mid-off fielder. It is an important fielding position.
The fielder at the square leg position is at the leg side positioned on the square of the wicket. The umpire stands at the square leg position. It is a critical batting position when the batsman plays a pull or a hook shot against the fast bowler. When the spinner is bowling, the batsmen often play sweep shots towards the square leg position.
Have you heard the term cover-drive before? It is one of the elegant-looking shots are played towards the cover fielding position in cricket. The player fielding at the cover position stands ahead of the square of the wicket which is at the off-side position. The fielder at the cover typically stands on the inner circle’s edge. When the cover’s position is kept empty, it’s a 50/50 situation for the fielding team. The batsman gets a perfect gap to hit an enthralling cover drive but also carries a risk of edging the ball to the wicket-keeper.
The extra cover position is pretty much similar to the cover position in cricket. To understand the extra cover position in clear terms, just know that the extra-cover fielder is at the place between the cover fielder and the mid-off fielder.
The fielding position is as important as the cover position and the fielder needs to be sharp and athletic while fielding at the extra cover position.
The fielder at the fine leg position is placed behind the square of the wicket at the leg-side of the batsman. The fine leg fielder approximately stands at the 45-degree to the batsman batting on the pitch. When a batsman tried to play a sweep shot against the spin bowler, the captain prefers to place the fine leg fielder.
Normally, there is a point in the game when the captain places no slip. It is the time when the bowling side goes with the defensive mindset. The fly slip fielder is positioned in the direction of the third slip fielder but he stands deeper. When there is no slip, the batsman tries to place the shots towards the fly slip region. The batsmen love to play the shots towards the fly slip region to take the singles.
The fielder of the mid-wicket is positioned ahead of the square of the wicket at the leg-side area of the batsman. For a simple understanding, the mid-wicket fielder stands between the square leg fielder and mid-on fielder. When the batsman is trying to play aggressively, he could give a simple catch to the mid-wicket fielder.
However, in some instances, the ball comes quickly towards the mid-wicket fielder. So the fielder has to be sharp and focused while fielding at the mid-wicket.
The third man is one of the most used positions in the white-ball format. Especially in T20 cricket, where the slips are seldom used following the powerplay, a fielder is a place must at the third man. The third man stands behind a square of the wicket in the off-side direction. It is the outfield fielding position.
The deep point fielding position is at the off-side position on the square of the wicket. Its direction is exactly similar to the point fielding position but the fielder stands at the boundary line. The fielder is placed at the deep point to stop the boundaries resulting from a cut shot. It’s a commonly used field position in limited-overs cricket.
Deep Backward Point
The direction of the deep backward point is towards the behind area of the square of the wicket at the boundary. When a batsman plays a blistering cut shot, the deep backward point fielder tries his best to grab the ball. It’s an imperative fielding position in the game of cricket.
When the powerplay is off, the captain often places the fielder at deep cover. The captain has the fielder at the deep cover position to stop a boundary resulting from a shot played towards covers.
The batsmen often lose their wickets against spinners trying to play over the shot deep cover fielder. Its direction is exactly similar to the cover fielding position but the fielder stands at the boundary line.
It is one of the busiest positions in cricket following the powerplay. Many batsmen rotate their strike after hitting toward the long-off fielder. When aggressive batsmen like Chris Gayle bat against spinners, they try to hit over the long-off fielder. The long-off fielder stands behind the direction of the bowler at the boundary. The long-off position receive many catches during the limited-overs game.
The long-on fielder stands beside the other side of the long-off fielder. The fielder at the long-on stands straight on the boundary line at the leg side area of the batsman. This is also a very common catching position for fielders. Many batsmen play shots advancing down the ground towards the long-on area. Hence a mishit by the batsman can result in a simple catch at the long-on position.
Deep Extra Cover
The player at the deep extra cover position at the place between the deep cover fielder and the long-off fielder. The batsmen like Virat Kohli loves to play lofted drives towards this position as the captain doesn’t usually stand a fielder on the deep extra cover position.
Cow corner sounds like a funny term for a fielding position in cricket. The fielder at the cow corner stands between the deep midwicket fielder and the long-on fielder at the boundary line position. Aggressive players like Hardik Pandya often like to clear the fielder at cow corner for a six.
Deep Mid Wicket
The direction of the fielder at the deep mid-wicket is just similar to the deep mid-wicket fielder. The only difference is that the deep mid-wicket fielder stands near the boundary line to stop a four or a six.
Deep Fine Leg
The deep fine leg fielder stands on the leg-side area behind the square of the wicket. When a batsman plays a disconnected pull shot on a bouncer, he often gives a catch to the deep fine-leg fielder.
In the quarter-final of World Cup 2015, Wahab Riaz bowled an unbelievable spell against Australia which was full of bouncers. Watson ended up giving a catch on the bouncer to the deep fine-leg fielder Rahat Ali who dropped the catch. The delivery could’ve turned the game for Pakistan.
Deep Square Leg
The deep square leg fielder is located at the boundary in the direction of the leg side of the square of the wicket. This is another area that batsmen target while playing the pull shot. Strong pull-shot players like Rohit Sharma tend to hit often towards the deep square leg position.
The fielder at the long leg fielding position stands behind the square of the wicket on the leg side area of the batsman. However, the position of the long leg fielder is a little bit different from the deep fine leg fielder. The long leg fielder typically stands between the deep fine leg fielder and the deep square leg fielder.
When you learned the basic rules of cricket, you might have thought that cricket is not as complicated as it seems. But maybe after finishing this article, you might be thinking that your earlier idea was right. Well, in my opinion, your thought was 50/50. Cricket is a pretty easy game to understand if you don’t want to dive deeper into the rules.
Do you need to learn about all the fielding positions to enjoy the game? The answer is no! Cricket can still entertain you without you learning the fielding positions. However, if you want to sound like your pro cricket fanatic friend, you should save this guide.
No pressure! Just keep watching the games and use this article for your assistance in the future. Soon, you will know about all the fielding positions at your fingertips. As you have gained interest in the fielding positions, why you should not visit the best online sportsbook sites in the UK and see which players stand the chance of taking the most number of catches in 2021.