The simple way to look at placing the field it is to put the fielders where you think the ball is most likely to go (not always just where it has gone).
How do you do that without resorting to the stock fields that everyone uses?
Researchers at the University of Brighton are developing computer programmes to help batsmen cope better with fast bowlers.
Footage of bowlers is projected onto life-size screens and batsmen's reactions are analysed to help them develop the ability to read the bowler's pre-release delivery kinematics, or body movements, in order to anticipate the type, direction and length of delivery.
Effective ground fielding is a hallmark of the fine fielder. Knowing when to aggressively seek the run out and when to be more circumspect will get you the results your captain and team mates expect from you. The benefits are clear...
If your cricket team is anything like mine, success means a great deal. They may be amateurs but they still want to do well personally and in the league.
But playing well means training well: especially for those of us who are not lucky to have the skill of Ponting.
Time restrictions might stop you practising as much as a pro, but you can still train the way the top guys do.
There is no sight more pleasing than your yorker taking out a batsman's stumps. Like a sniper you can use a single yet fatal blow to cause destruction.
And itâ€™s a skill that when done at pace is worth a fortune because it wins you Twenty20 games (and there is no faster way to make a fortune than to show you can win IPL matches).
A bad butcher with a sharp knife is still a bad butcher.
And for cricket coaches, technology is the same: A shiny tool can make you feel like you are going to make a difference to players. But in reality the best thing technology can do is add to good coaching, not make bad coaches better.
Does this sound familiar?
You have been practising your catching like always before play. You stroll onto the field focused and confident that today you will catch everything that comes your way.
That is, until it does.
It's an increasingly common sight across the cricket fields of the world: games without draws.
These games are a totally different way of playing with their own tactical challenges for cricketers, especially captains.
The essential difference between a limited overs and a declaration match is that you don't need to bowl the opposition out to win the former.
A batsman who can use their feet effectively is a spinner's nightmare.
Spin is all about rhythm. You can easily upset that if you are able to move down the track to drive or rock right back to cut or pull.
However, the risk of moving out of your crease is that you can be stumped.
How many times have you played a club game where the scores are something like 227/3 dec. and 158/5 at stumps.
Totally one sided and totally dull?
Dull draws are avoided when the captain knows what he is doing and has the confidence to control the game.
So if you are a captain or bored player and want to know how to dodge draws and not waste your weekend afternoons blocking out, then read these top tips:
Ian Botham, it was often said, was England's 'go to' bowler. He made things happen. He took wickets. Famously he often did it without bowling as well as others.
Beefy just had that magical touch.
While it would be impossible to plan to bowl a rank long hop that gets hit straight to backward point, there are some elements we can take from great go to bowlers of the past:
Most coaches and players make the mistake of assuming everyone knows about playing the bowling on line and length. It isn't always as obvious as it seems. A fellow coach who has years of experience with talented younger players has a story to reflect this.