If England’s bowling was far too good for Australia’s top seven then why should they suddenly treat their No 8, Mitchell Johnson, like a world-beater, affording him a respect that should have been reserved for the greats of the past rather than a haphazard, fragile bowler who sometimes succeeds with the bat?
Instead, Strauss spread the field, rather like Bob Willis almost suicidally did when faced with Allan Border and Jeff Thomson in that famous last wicket stand in the 1982-83 thriller at Melbourne, and let Johnson dictate terms rather than allow England’s bowlers to put him in his place.
The result was that Johnson swung merrily, with as many as six or seven fielders on the boundary, and Ben Hilfenhaus gained confidence from his team-mate’s productivity, heaving Tim Bresnan for a huge six on his way to 34 runs which may yet prove crucial.
It seems churlish to criticise Strauss after he and Andy Flower have done so much to inspire and revolutionise England, but if they are to become the best team in the world then they must be judged by the highest standards.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/cricket/article-1344143/Cautious-Andrew-Strauss-reverts-type-England-let-Mitchell-Johnson-hook.html#ixzz1ACDCEM9h
What the explanation seemed to be was that the focus was Johnson's wicket and the tactic of putting men on the boundary was aimed at thwarting/or finishing Johnson. But the side affect was that it allowed both men to hit two's and singles with relative ease and help build both men's confidence.
Strauss seems to have been caught between a rock and a hard place and the Sky commentators seemed to cut him some slack on the matter. But, it does go to show that field settings is a complex game. I'm a newbie at cricket and since the very start I've had captains ask where I want my field and I haven't had a clue and till this very day I've not been in a position where I've set my field with any real intention, always doing so in conjunction with a captain and letting him decide 80% of the positions. I've bowled on occassions where I've seen situations where now I would change the field or at least ask the captain to do so. Last year seeing my mate at Grays set this field - http://mpafirsteleven.blogspot.com/2010/12/alex-mclellan-field-sept-2010.html and creating five good chances I suddenly grasped some of the theory and realised that thinking outside the box and being creative can yield results. Needless to say this has to be combined with watching the batsmen and observing how they play and what strokes they have in their reperoire. All this combined with staying focussed on your fielding and being ready for the ball to come your way.
I've previously posted a field setting (See below) as a starting point and this is on the basis that you've been thrown the ball with no real idea as to how the batsmen are playing and where they're looking to hit the ball, so for instance possibly tail enders or blokes that are new to the crease?
This supposedly would give you a chance to settle in to your first over. I bowl a pretty tight off-stump line looking to find the edge of the bat. This works well if the batsmen are driving or blocking with a straight bat, but goes to pieces to some extent if they're looking to play aggressively through the off-side. Being club cricket, your fielders (Me included) are not Collingwood-esque in our abilities and I'd leak runs. In the one above - there's an assumption that most batsmen have some ability and preference to try and get the ball Leg-side and this I'm hoping might be encouraged by the field being set with an off-side bias trying to encourage the batsmen to step across the wicket and try and hoik the ball to the on-side? In which case I'd deploy more Top-Spin or bowl Top-Spinners. Not being a batsman - I'm pretty unsure of all this and it is only theory and part of a learning process. The other potential outcome which would be the desired one - would be if the batsman decided that his best option would be to drive the ball back past me. If that was to happen, the bloke at 10 (Short fine leg) would be brought up to a leg-slip position to bring into play the wrong un.
Legspin Field Setting - encouraging the drive.
Another variation that I thought of to encourage the batsman that showed a hint of self belief in playing the ball straight would be to use a field setting where you removed the mid -off and on fielders. (See below).
The idea here is that you open up the field beyond the bowler to encourage the batsman to drive the ball. Again with the consideration of variables and possibly in a longer format of the game you might even wish to concede a few runs by bowling in such a way that you enticed the player to play straight - bowling straight balls looking to get him trying to play past you. Once that's adopted you'd then bring in a little leg spin looking to find the edge. If turns out that the bat can play straight and he's okay then bring in the wrong un and the top-spinner?
Again I have to say - this is all theory and I'm a newcomer to this aspect of the game. If you want to suggest as to why do so via the link below.........
This page has been superseded by a more recent and permanent page with additional field setting and is on-going and update regularly see below...
Check out my other blog here - this is all about Leg-spin bowling and nothing else. Double click on the image below.