Have you ever experienced that embarrassing moment in cricket of fumbling what should have been an easy catch? Time seems to slow down as the ball drops and you kiss goodbye to that precious opportunity to get a batter out.
It’s probably the first thing you learn when you start out in cricket: catch the ball! Sounds simple right? Well, it’s not always. Catching ability, just like any cricketing skill, needs a lot of practice and hard work.
Kaushal Silva, head coach of Superkings Cricket Academy, offers some great advice for a clean catch while fielding, in this latest video.
The best fielders will watch the ball from the moment it leaves the bowler’s hands, and over time you’ll become more adept at judging the ball’s direction purely based on how it lands on the bat.
If you don’t have your eyes on the ball there is no way you’ll have a good gauge on it’s speed and trajectory. With a correct judgement, you’ll be able to adjust position and give yourself the best chance of a clean catch.
It’s common for players to lose sight of the ball as it gets close, usually due to confidence that they know where it is going. While you may feel that you have a good read on the line of the ball, there’s always a chance you don’t – and the more you can watch it to the very end the higher your catch rate will be.
You need to get into the right position to catch the ball. Bend your knees and lower your weight, so you are closer to the ground. Your weight should be on the balls of your feet, and your head forward. This gives you a balanced, wide and strong base.
As you’re getting down low, simultaneously get your hands at the ready.
If the ball is below waist height, keep your hands in the orthodox cup method (fingers pointing down) and close to your body.
If the ball is high, get under it, still remaining low, but with your hands high in the reverse cup position (fingers pointing up).
It’s a good idea to practice single and double hand catches so that you are adept at both. Similarly, during practice make sure you are mastering ground balls, bouncing balls, high balls and everything in between.
Keep practicing and don’t be too hard on yourself – even the professionals drop balls! But with these tips and some dedication, you’ll see an improvement. For some personalised advice, why not sign up for a Free Skills Assessment today.