Following our article “Basic Fundas of Wicket Keeping” we have received the following Queries which have been answered by our Expert Coach M.R.Baig:
Q. Sir, I want to know the exercises to improve movements when we are close to wickets.
MR Baig : Agility Exercises are important for a keeper. Keep up at a distance of 5ft on both sides to your left and to the right and move for 10 seconds. In the beginning you will be moving for 5-6 times, with regular practice and exercise it will improve to 8-10 times.
Q. Can you tell us how to dive?
MR Baig : 1.Stretch your leg towards the ball and hand close to the ball. Pivot your toe and fall on the back of the shoulder and side of the buttock and catch the ball. Keep your legs and knee bent down close to your stomach and roll back on the either side of the catch. Do not dive by stretching your leg like a football goal keeper or water diver.
Q. How to practice catches? I only ask some one to hit the ball towards me from 10 to 12 steps. Is there any other way that we can practice?
MR Baig : Practice on the wall with a tennis ball without your keeping gloves or use the catching gadgets.
Q. I found the finger position of many international wicket keepers is different. Please let me know what should be the exact position of the fingers.
MR Baig : Both the hands should be together and the fingers should not be towards the ball. The palm should be facing the ball’s direction.
Q. Sir what are the tips you would give for a wicket keeper if he wants to stand up to the stumps for the medium pacers eg. standing up to the stumps to the likes of Ganguly, Nathan Astle etc.
MR Baig : It is not advisable for wicket keepers to stand up to the stumps for fast bowlers. But if the bowler is just above medium pace, Wicket Keepers stand in front and make sure that his gloves are very close to the bat. If the gloves are little away from the bat, catches come at a broader angle. So in essence it is to cut the angle of deviation by keeping the gloves close to the bat.
Q. Sir what do you think about wicket keepers wearing helmets while keeping?
MR Baig : It is advisable that the wicket keeper wears a helmet for keeping up to medium pacers or spinners when the ball is bouncing awkwardly off the track. This gives him confidence and allows him to focus on the game rather than worry about an injury.
Thanks to Himansu Kumar Vegad, a district level wicket keeper from Bangalore, Shahid from Pakistan and Minaz from U.A.E for sending your queries.