India v England 4th ODI… passing thoughts 3

Fielding…I think that is what will eventually ensure that India will lose this match…especially out-fielding.

I believe there are two aspects to a good out-fielder:

1) The ability to dive (that includes sliding wherever necessary) and

2) Anticipation

I would like to see how many out-fielders move even before they see the ball. When you are standing 70-75 yards from the bat, it takes time to register what kind of a shot the batsman has played (especially if you are standing behind the wicket — third man, fine leg, backward point etc). This is where out-fielders miss out on those crucial couple of seconds before they make their move.

What is needed is some kind of anticipation. You start reading the pace of the wicket, the length the bowlers are bowling, is the batsman predominantly front-foot or back-foot etc..

If the wicket is quick, you know the ball is more likely to come finer. On a slower wicket, you know it may come to you squarer. Does the batsman prefer the paddle-sweep or the slog-sweep ?

I would like to watch videos of Indian outfielders (especially Powar) and see how well they anticipate…at what point do they make their move….I guess it is just a little too late.

Update: Some points from Roshan Mahanama on anticipation. Coming from a blogger like me, such generalizations are passe. Coming from a professional (especially one known for his fielding exploits), you tend to expect more specifics.

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