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How Bangladesh bullied the mighty Indians

There is one area in which the 'minnows' can steal a march over their big brothers — fielding, writes Aakash Chopra.
None | By Aakash Chopra
UPDATED ON MAR 21, 2007 02:11 AM IST

Though the minnows and 'seniors' are unevenly matched in the batting and bowling departments, there is one area in which the ‘minnows’ can steal a march over their big brothers — fielding.

Fielding is one department that does not require a lot of skill, talent or experience; just enthusiasm, athleticism and a willingness to improve are enough to excel. Since the minnows seldom outshine their more feted adversaries with the bat or ball, it becomes vital for them to put in that extra effort in the field. Bangladesh did it with aplomb against India.

Getting the optimum result in the field involves a scientific approach. Fielding in the 30-yard circle is all about saving singles. Ideally, every fielder in a non-catching position has to take a ‘start’ (taking a few steps towards the batsman as the bowler approaches the crease) to gain momentum, pause a little when the ball is bowled (the body must be still for a correct judgement), expect every ball to come his way and then cut the angles to give himself the best opportunity to stop a run.

If the fielder stays on the edge of the circle, the angles will be too wide and hence, he will have to cover a larger area (the further you are from the bat, the wider the angle). That’s why all good fielders take a long start, come as close to the bat as possible and then back reflexes to react quickly.

Angles are widest for people fielding at point, covers, mid-wicket and square-leg. That’s why you see the best fielders in these positions.

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