With changing dynamics of cricket, the role of fielding in the modern game has assumed dizzying proportions. Gone are the days when one could hope to make it to a national team on the basis of a single skill set. Ground fielding forms an integral part of a team's tactics, and captains spend a significant amount of time to figure out ideal field placements.
Australia have always been an excellent fielding unit, and one outfielder who stood out with his blinding run and incredible throwing arm in his heyday was Brett Lee. Lee, apart from being Australia's pace spearhead, was a natural athlete who never shied away from diving to stop balls.
Deconstructing the technique of ground fielding, Lee, who is a Select Dugout expert on Star sports, said, "I spent most of my career fielding on the fence and one thing I learned and you learn it from the guys that have done it before you with the strike routine but you want to know where the boundary rope is so I try to feel watch the game, go 1 2 3 steps, watch where the ball is and anticipate and despite the balls coming. So now if I go 1 2 3 steps behind I'm actually on the rope and I can feel it with my left and my right shoe.
"What you don't want to do is start here, walk in so you're 5-6 metres off the mark and try to find where the rope is. I'm going back, feeling and searching, I don't know where the rope is. That's where you go for a six, that's where you lose the momentum. It's a lot easier to run in, watch the ball take the catch going forward, then as we saw with the Bangladeshi player go the side miss his mark, go for a four that could cost the game in the end. Start on the fence, find out where the rope is. Take a few steps forward, anticipate the ball where it's gonna go but know where your mark is," he said.
Meanwhile, Star Sports, the official global broadcaster of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, has sent the Indian team a deep-rooted symbolic item – a jar of soil, #DeshKiMitti, that takes the 15 players in the squad back to their roots. The jar represents #BlessingsFromHomeground and reminds them of the days when they started their cricketing journey from.
The jar contains soil collected from across the schools and maidans where the players first started playing cricket. Members of the school, friends, coaches who have been a part of player’s early cricketing journey sent their blessings through this soil. #DeshKiMitti travelled to the United Kingdom and prior to the India vs Australia game, Star Sports anchor Jatin Sapru handed over the jar to Captain Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni and coach Ravi Shastri. Virat in a moment of emotion, after receiving the jar opened it to smell the love of his land. #BlessingsFromHomeGround will remind the players not just of their roots but a billion voices chanting “India, India” at home as the jar takes a permanent spot in the dressing room.
The fifteen boxes with soil collected from the home ground of the Indian cricketing squad will travel with the team reminding them of the billion fans back in India hoping and praying for their success every time they get on the field. This time each player will have their home ground with them which will remind them of their journey and inspire them to achieve the ultimate glory i.e. #CricketKaCrown.
The Select Dugout, will be aired on Star Sports Select 1 SD/HD during all India match days and on all Sundays providing fans with richer analytical experience coupled with a stimulating narrative during matches to stay ahead of the Game.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
Shastri, along with several other players, have been very vocal about the challenges of being in bio-bubbles for long periods of time.
Cricket has always been statistically-driven like baseball, but over the past 15 years we have moved beyond comparing averages and now use data to help in strategy and player selection, Dravid said during a panel discussion at the 15th MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Heinrich Klaasen will take over as captain for the four-match series which gets underway at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.