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Batting  Bowling  Fielding  Wicket-Keeping
Gear | Standing Back | Standing Up

Standing Back:
  • While standing back, the most important aspect of the stance is to be in a position where you can clearly sight the ball.

  • Adjust yourself to a position where you can look past the beyond the batsman and comfortably see the bowlers arm as he delivers. The distance to stand behind the wicket depends on the pace of the bowler and the conditions of the pitch.

  • You must stand at a spot where you can gather the ball between knee and waist height. The ball must be gathered after it has reached the peak of its bounce and is starting to drop down.

  • Try to watch the bowler during his entire run up, but avoid standing too much on the side as this could slow down your movement down the leg side.

  • Go down on your haunches as the bowler starts his run up and just before he takes his action to deliver the ball, go up on your toes and get into the alert position, from where you can move to either side quickly.

  • The feet must be spread apart about shoulder height and the weight is evenly balanced on the balls of the feet. The head is still and the eyes focussed on the ball in the bowler's hand.

  • Many keepers have their oven individual style of the stance, but what is important to note is that the ball has to be watched throughout from the bowlers arm and you must get into a position where you can react early and move quickly to catch the ball.

  • The gloves are placed in front of the body or at the sides, depending on individual comfort.

Coming out of the stance:

  • Just before the bowler delivers the ball, you must come out of the stance by raising your hips and balancing on the balls of the feet. You must be relaxed and not tense.

  • The head and eyes must be still and focussed on the ball. Be ready to move either way and bring your hands together early in anticipation of the ball coming your way.

  • Try not to go back on to the heel as this could prevent you from moving quickly. Gathering the Ball:

  • The line of the delivery must be spotted early and the body moved in such a way that the ball is gathered near the left thigh on the off side (for a right-handed batsman) or in front of the right thigh on the leg side.

  • The fingers are spread (not too wide) and pointing downwards and the ball is allowed to land in the cup of the glove.

  • Generally for two handed catching the little finger and ring finger of the right glove will be on top of the corresponding fingers on the left glove. The ball is taken at a point at the base of the little and ring finger of the right glove.

  • The other fingers then close over the ball. While moving sideways to take the ball, the fingers must be pointing sideways. While taking a ball rising to the chest or above, the fingers point upwards and the ball is taken at the base of the index finger of the right glove, with the left glove behind it, to give it support.

  • Another point to be remembered is to move the hands back a little as the ball falls into the glove. This is called `giving in' and helps to reduce the force of the impact of the ball. Never point the fingers in the direction the ball is coming from, as this could result in very painful injuries.

Taking Wide Deliveries
  • When the ball is bowled wide of either stump, start moving early by taking a couple of step sideways.

  • If the ball is within reach, it can be gathered as usual, but if it still wide, the body must turn and take a stride in front to reach the ball.

  • At all times, try to be down as this helps to catch the ball, even if it is dipping or going to bounce in front of you. Taking the shooters

  • When the ball is shooting along the ground or bouncing a couple of times before it reaches you, bring both the pads together in line with the ball, the knees slightly bent and the head steady and watching the ball all the time.

  • The gloves are ready near the ankles and the knees are kept together to block any gap between the pads. If the ball shoots under the glove or bounces over, it should hit the pads and roll in front.

  • Be alert to go after the ball if you have not gathered it cleanly. You can also stop the ball like the fielder does, by bringing down one knee on the ground next to the other foot, thus creating a barrier to the ball.

  • Remember that whatever style you use, you must be comfortable doing it and a lot of practice must go into it. Keeping the eyes on the ball is of paramount importance and avoid the tendency to take the eyes away when the ball pitches in front of you.