Cricket is one of the most popular sports in the world. It began in England in the late 16th century. Since then it has evolved in every era. The rules and regulations have been constantly changing for the betterment of the sport. Like many other factors, fielding is also one of the factors that can turn the tide in any match if done properly.
Now, most of you already know that how important fielding is in a cricket match. But, what are the different cricket fielding positions and what combinations are used by teams? Let’s have a look.
There are around 65-70 different cricket fielding positions in the field as shown in the above pic. A total of 11 players are to be positioned on the ground, usually by the captain of the team with the input from other senior and experienced players in the team. The field is set, keeping in mind the playing style of the batsman on strike. For a defensive batsman, an attacking field is set while for attacking batsman, a defensive field is implemented. The wicketkeeper and bowler have a fixed position. The keeper is always behind the batsman while bowler bowls from the opposite side.
Let’s have a look at the different cricket fielding positions and combinations used by the teams in different formats of cricket.
The fielding positions are set according to the situation of the match. However, in Test matches, we usually see attacking field set by the teams. There is no Power-play rule in Test matches as the rule is for limited overs format only.
In a Test match there are usually 3-4 Slips with a Gully to defend the area behind the batsman. Also, there is a fielder on the Long-On or Long-Off position to stop the boundaries. A Third-Man position is given to a fielder to recover the ball if the Slips miss it. The Point fielder guards the off-side shots while Square Leg is responsible for the on-side shots.
The field is quite different in ODI because of the limited overs and the Power-play rule. The field in ODI is defensive as compared to the Test matches.
According to the new rules introduced by ICC, following are the new Power-Play rules for ODIs:
- There are 3 Power-Plays in each ODI.
- First Power-Play is from 1-10 overs allowing 3 players outside the circle
- Second Power-Play is from 11- 40 overs allowing 4 players outside the circle
- Third and last Power-Play is from 41-50 overs allowing 5 players outside the circle
There are usually 1 or 2 slips set in the starting 6 – 10 overs. 4 fielders defend at the bounders in the middle overs. The Long-On and Long-Off positions are almost always occupied. Deep Square Leg and Deep Cover positions are also covered to prevent runs. Cover and Mid-Wicket positioned players are responsible for the open area between Long-On and Square Leg as well as Long-Off and Deep Cover.
T20 is officially the shortest format in cricket comprising of only 20 overs per innings. The batsmen play aggressively and try to score as many boundaries as they can. To stop the boundaries, a defensive field is set. According to the ICC rules for a T20 match:
- First 4 overs are counted as Power-Play and only 2 fielders are allowed outside the 30-yard circle.
- For the remaining 14 overs, a total of 5 players are allowed to field outside the 30-yard circle.
Usually, one Slip is set in the first 6 overs. Because of field restrictions, the Mid-On and Mid-Off take the charge of defending the straight hits. The gap between Fly Slip and Point is covered by the Gully. However, after the Power-play, 5 players are set on boundary positions including the Long-On, Long-Off, Deep Mid-Wicket, Deep Cover and a Deep Fine Leg or a Deep Third Man.
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Pic Credit: Wikimedia