Hello to all the Cricketfundas.com’s readers. In this chapter, I am going to talk about the Basic Fundas of Wicket Keeping. I really hope that this article is very useful for all the budding cricketers and any queries on this topic are going to be answered by me. Email your queries to our editor at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Some people are of the opinion that wicket keepers are born, not made. ‘Keeper’ represents the most exciting and satisfying department of the game. The writer has coached International wicket keepers like : 1. Sadanand Vishwanath 2. Kiran More 3. Chandrakanth Pandit 4. M.S.K.Prasad 5. Zulfiqar Parkar and 6. Etheshamuddin, a former Hyderabad Ranji wicket keeper, who served Hyderabad Ranji team for a long time. On basis of his vast experiences, he is guiding the budding wicket keepers to upgrade their wicket keeping skills.
1. PHYSICAL TRAINING
Specific Exercises for a Stumper as shown in the below pictures.
Exercises for triceps and biceps (above)
Exercises for pic1 : hamstring , pic 2 :lower back, pic 3 & 4 : hands and shoulders (above)
Exercises for pic 1 : thighs, pic 2 : hamstring, pic 3 : legs and abdomen, pic 4 : spinal cord (above)
Exercises for pic 1 : Upper vertebra, pic 2 : complete spinal chord, pic 3 : lower back (above)
2. TECHNICAL TRAINING
BASIC SKILL : There are two approaches 1. stand too far back and 2. close to the stumps.
WICKET KEEPER’S STANCE POSITION
Most of the Technical books recommend this stance.
1. Weight of the body is on the legs and heels; this slows down the movements on either side of the ‘keeeper’.
2. Legs are in a ‘V’ shape position.
3. Elbows are straight and stiff.
Position – 2
1. This stance position is more technical and scientific.
2. Body is more balanced.
3. Quick and easy to move on either sides or in front.
4. Weight is equally distributed on both the legs.
5. Head and hips should be in one line.
6. Low crouched; hands held ready, eyes intently follow the ball from the bowler’s hands, NOT AFTER THE PITCHING.
7. Watch the ball, not the batsman or the bat.
8. Legs are parallel.
Pic 1 : Front view of Position 1 Pic 2 : Side view of Position 2 Pic 3 : Side view of Position 1
STANCE TOO FAR BACK :
1. Mostly for a pace bowler or swing bowler.
2. To prevent Byes.
3. To take Catches.
4. On bouncy wickets or for Bouncers.
CLOSE TO THE STUMPS
1. To sustain the pressure on the batsman.
2. On a turning pitch.
3. For Spinners.
4. Keep the body low, do not get up.
5. Lift the body with the bounce of the ball.
6. It is easy to get up, difficult to go down, keep the position low.
7. Try to dismiss the batsmen when they err just for a moment.
8. Be sharp on the leg side.
9. On side movement, keeper has to move on side, watching the line of attack of the ball, DO NOT MOVE AFTER THE PITCH, it is too late.
10. Move on the leg side early to sight the ball, otherwise it stops the vision.
Pic 1 : Stance too far back Pic 2 : Close to the stumps Pic 3 : Close to the stumps & receiving the ball
All the above pics illustrate the proper way of stumping on the either side of the stumps
All the above pics illustrate the proper way of receiving the ball from different directions
Pics 1,2 & 3 illustrate Diving Pic 4 is gathering half volleys
TALENT AND QUALITY IN A WICKET KEEPER
1. The job of the stumper is the most important and demanding one, more so in a tense and pressure situation like winning and losing the match with the narrowest margin. Hence he needs to be physically, technically and mentally very well equipped.
2. A good eye and fast reflex action.
3. Agile and quick movements.
4. A bold and tough person, a complete unconcern for bruises.
5. Possess a wealth of patience.
6. Must love the game and enjoy it.
7. Technical competence must be backed up by the assets or otherwise a keeper will be relegated to the ‘BACK STOPPER CATEGORY’.
Besides Physical and Technical a ‘Keeper’ has to grill himself more in mental training to par with other ‘Keepers’.
1. Mentally he has to be tough.
2. Motivate himself.
3. Do not get discouraged by lapses.
4. Must know to overcome the mental tiredness.
5. ‘Keeper’ must know how to relax during the game.
6. Mental tiredness can harm his performance and result in loss of concentration.
7. He must learn to anticipate certain movements.
8. Mentally he has to be alert.
9. Mentally he must prepare for every ball.
10. He has to be agile and should not relax while the ball is being bowled.
11. His lapses will be criticized very closely.
12. He should give his 100%.
It is easy to lean and practice the basic technique or skills of a wicket keeper. But to achieve a higher standard, there are many points a keeper has to learn, follow, and implement them during the game. His practical aspect in reality of the match and presence of mind makes a keeper better and successful behind the stumps.
1. Either stand RIGHT UP or RIGHT BACK, NOT HALFWAY HOUSE.
2. Keeper must be unceasingly vigilant, alert for the half chances, which can cause a dismissal.
3. Slips should stand where a ‘Keeper’ cannot reach, their (slip’s) out-stretch hands should not overlap.
4. Do not grab or snatch the ball, receive it.
5. Position of fingers are vital for good keeping and for the prevention of finger injuries.
6. Timing and taking the ball is essential. There is a tell tale smack of the ball in the gloves, which is well taken, though the hands should give a little at the movements of impact with the ball.
7. Best way to practice the Timing is to have regular keeping session at the practice nets.
8. Improve reflex action which makes the keeper a hawk like figure.
9. Stumping should be neat, clean and deadly.
10. ‘Keepers’ have to protect their fingers, there are many methods : a. Tapping the inner gloves on the nickels b. Using two inner gloves c. fingers rubber cups etc.
11. Pair of gloves should be good and of high quality.
12. Gloves should have ‘CUP SHAPE’, not with stitches in palm that is the main drawback as the ball jumps out of the wicket keeper’s hand.
13. Pads should be chosen properly and carefully. He spends a great deal of time on the field.
14. Pads should not be big and heavy for free movements, but they should protect his shin and thighs as much as possible.
Pic 1 : Illustrates Point no. 12 – incorrect gloves Pic 2 & Pic 3 : Point no. 13
15. ‘Keeper’ should stand where he can have a clear picture of the ball.
16. Do not stand just behind the stumps, batsman obscures the view.
17. His duty is to save himself from injuries.
18. Find out what the bowler is doing with the ball (variations).
19. Run after the ball if you think you can save a run.
20. Fielder should not return the ball hard at him.
CHARACTERISTICS OF A KEEPER
1. Work hard and enjoy the game.
2. Pluck allied to quick wits and unlimited stamina.
3. Work out few signals when deliveries are about to delivered.
4. ‘Keepers’ are well known for their sense of humour.
5. Skied catches, close to the keeper should always be left to him.
6. ‘Keeper’ should return to the bowler neatly on the full, so that the bowler doesn’t have to bend, do not kick the ball.
7. An alert keeper can detect which deliveries are troubling the batsmen.
8. Keepers can guide most of the bowlers with useful tips.
9. ‘Keeper’ can help a tiring bowler immensely with a few encouraging words.
10. He can motivate and encourage the complete team.
11. ‘Keeper’ should have good knowledge to guide bowlers and captain for the tight planning.
Wicket keeping is all about working hard, it is not an easy place to stand, a very hot place, a thankless and a tiring job.