“Bad luck.. We all drop `em and nobody means to!!”
How many times have you heard that saying when you’ve just dropped a catch? Truest words in the game I reckon. But dropping the ball isn’t where I’m going with fielding fumbles.
We’ve all been in the field when the run out chance comes along, your team mates start screaming at you which end to throw the ball to and in that split second of picking the ball up, you fumble and the run out chance passes you by… Hmmm it’s happened to us all for sure and for the moments after it’s happened there’s silence in the field amongst your mates (only usually the bowler having a moan at you!!) but nothing deflates a fielding team like missing a run out opportunity `because of a fumble`.
For goodness sake if you’re going to miss a run out then miss it because you missed the stumps with your throw, your team mates will react in a completely different manner trust me. But why do we fumble? Apart from the odd time you get a bad bounce or bobble as the ball comes towards you, the biggest reason is not watching the ball into your hands.
As fielders we`re always keen to look at where the batsmen are or looking for your target when you throw before you have the ball. We must ensure we don’t get ahead of ourselves and think at this point only about getting the ball into our hands
When you practice your fielding, encourage yourself and your mates to practice ‘clean hands’ meaning every time to the ball comes the main objective is to pick the ball up cleanly. Start easy, always with two hands, before starting on the harder one handed pickups.
Here are a few tips to think about and try out at practice.
- Try to see the seam of the ball as it’s rolling to ensure you`re actually watching the ball and not just looking at it.
- Get your hands together early and present the palms of the hands towards the ball, fingers pointing down.
- Finally, make the bend down towards the ball from your knees rather than your waist. Get your backside as low to the ground as you can, this will help get your head in a much better position and you`ll have better balance whilst you`re picking the ball up.
- Lastly my favourite – don’t miss high! It`s easy to miss left or right of the stumps, it happens. Missing high is something you can do something about. As cricketers, you’re going to spend most of your time in the field, you might as well get good at it and make sure you enjoy it.