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Fielding Masterclass with Middlesex's Nick Gubbins

Middlesex’s Nick Gubbins is a good example of a modern cricketer who can field in any position. At the MCC Academy at Lord’s he demonstrated some of the drills the modern player performs to enhance those dynamic skills

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Simon Hughes | 2/18/2019 at 11:21 AM

This article features in The Cricketer's Club Cricket Guide - you can read the guide in full HERE!

With preparations at cricket clubs well underway in advance of the new season, we spent a day with dynamic Vitality Blast player Nick Gubbins for his top tips on improving your team's performance in the field. 

If the power and range of batsmen is the most noticeable development of T20, then the athleticism and versatility of fielders is not far behind. The breathtaking catches, the brilliant stops and shies at the stumps while in mid air and the acrobatic over-the-boundary catches has helped make T20 cricket almost a cross between sport and circus.  

Middlesex’s Gubbins is a good example of a modern cricketer who can field in any position. At the MCC Academy at Lord’s he demonstrated some of the drills the modern player performs to enhance those dynamic skills.

 

These simple drills can be set up at your club, during practice or before the start of a game and when practised regularly, can make a significant difference to a team’s performance in the field. 

It’s particularly interesting to see his technique fielding in the ring. The gentle stroll in with the bowler is redundant. There is a brief two step before he adopts a sort of goalkeeper’s position (as if he was about to face a penalty) knees slightly braced, weight evenly distributed on either foot, head slightly forward ready to pounce.

Interestingly, when the ball is hit hard at the extra cover or mid wicket region, modern thinking is to go towards and at the ball to narrow the angle and have more chance of stopping the ball. Even if its catchable, the attitude is take the ball going forward rather than ‘give’ with it. 

 

Low body positions are all important - explaining why lunges, squats and core work feature so prominently in players’ training these days - and when shying at the stumps, aim low, i.e. at the base of the stumps, ensuring the ball doesn’t miss the target on height even if it does miss on direction.

- NICK GUBBINS’ TOP 5 TIPS FOR CLUB CRICKETERS -
1. Solid base 
2. Get low, stay low
3. Watch for shot shape
4. Cut down the angle
5. Aim at base of the stumps
Nick was at pains to point out that the key to improvement is practice, practice, practice. Clubs that are prepared to work hard on their fielding drills will be rewarded with those brilliant run outs or diving catches that can change the course of a season.

 

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