15 June 2010

Tactics in the field

Interesting observing the tactics that Ravi Patel (Middlesex 2s) was advocating on Sunday when Laurie Evans got going. He wanted no more than 4 in the circle to him after the fielding restrictions were lifted and he wanted all his ring fielders on the edge of the circle gifting Evans one. I gather that's standard in the first class game now and in the top division of the Middlesex League, as the thinking is that any player can hit over the top at any time or they wouldn't be playing.

It's always impossible to know what tactics may have served you best because you can't play two versions of the same game, but it would be interesting to know what would have happened if we'd kept some fielders in. He may then have needed to take risks to score rather than accumulating, but equally he could have won the game with many more overs to spare if we'd changed our tactics.

But my main take out was that the outlook around the first class game seems to be very much defensive when fielding, rather than looking to force the batsman to take risks and I wonder if that's down to the surfeit of Twenty20 games that they play at County level, both 1st and 2nd XIs?

1 comment:

Peter Lamb said...

Yes, there was a lot of criticism from the older generation watching that the field set was saving neither ones nor fours. I suppose a class batsman will always be able to score pretty well at will whatever the field, but surely it is better for the fielding side to try to prevent the easy and relatively risk-free singles plus a boundary sweeper on each side, and make the batsman try to hit it over the infield for boundaries: then he may try to do it to the wrong ball or mishit it slightly, either resulting in a catch.
In general I'm not sure that tactics employed at the higher levels of the game are always right even at those levels and certainly not at lower levels. I still find the number of runs given away through the absent third man baffling in test cricket: fair enough for the first few overs when there are perhaps four slips and a gully, but once the slips start to disperse surely a third man is essential (especially for England, whose faster bowlers always bowl too short).