How To Be A Good Wicketkeeper – 3 Tips

You need to mainly focus on these 3 important techniques that can tune your skills to become one of the greatest wicketkeepers in the world.

3 Essential Strategies To Become The Best Wicketkeeper in Cricket

A wicketkeeper is the core player of the fielding team who stands behind the stumps or the batter at the striker’s end. It is the responsibility of the wicketkeeper to collect every ball being bowled by the bowler, dismissing opponent team batters either by taking a catch or stumping out, and observing the fielding position to coordinate well with the team members.

Compared to batting, bowling, or fielding, the responsibility of wicketkeeping is more challenging.  It is a fact that wicketkeepers should have great stamina and fitness levels to perform well as batsmen in the next innings of the match and vice versa. Especially, in a 50-over game, a wicketkeeper should sit and stand till the completion of the 300th ball or even more (additional deliveries due to wide and no-balls), which requires greater physical and mental strength.

Most importantly, you should improve your catching techniques and alertness to become one of the greatest wicketkeepers for your national cricket team in the future. 

If you’re a beginner or experienced wicketkeeper, this guide will help you understand the essential skills required for wicketkeeping and elevate your way of playing cricket to a higher level.

3 Strategies You Should Follow to Become the World’s Best Wicketkeeper

You need to mainly focus on these 3 important techniques that can tune your skills to become one of the greatest wicketkeepers in the world:

1. Catching skills:

Typically, a wicketkeeper’s reflexes should be faster enough to catch the ball and execute stumping with perfection. But, you need to maintain an outstanding balance of hand-eye coordination. The technique is SIMPLE! A soft and relaxed hand helps you get into a comfortable position to quickly grab the ball.

Follow these steps to improve your catching skills:

  • Maintain your focus on the ball. As soon as the ball gets released from the bowler’s hand, keep your vision completely on the ball and try to visualize catching it at different possible angles as the ball comes closer to you.
  • It is important to take a deep breath and focus on breathing calmly. This helps to relax between balls and helps to regain your concentration in the game.
  • Squat down in such a way that your position is strong and lowered before facing each ball. Your toes should be slightly leaned forward with your hands coming in contact with the ground and your palm facing towards the ball. As a result, you can receive the ball at any speed without any errors.
  • After the ball bounces, you need to rise from the crouched position. However, you might not know the trajectory of the ball and its bounce. So, it is recommended to stay down at a lower position until the ball bounces, which helps to catch at a perfect height. Also, this technique helps to grab lower catches and prevents missing balls due to higher bounces.
  •  While diving, you need to lean your head toward the ball by keeping your fingers pointed down for the effective functioning of your eyes and brain to take the catch. After taking a diving catch and landing safely, you should straighten your elbow, if it was a lower catch.

2. Teamwork:

Since the wicketkeeper is the focal point of the fielding team, it is important to set a pattern for fielding. Especially, in limited-overs cricket, you need to be ahead with overrate to avoid penalties, since time is a major concern in these formats.

You need to use your prediction, focus, and catching techniques to stop the opponent team’s run flow even if the bowler unintentionally delivers a wide ball. It becomes crucial to work together to save as many runs as possible for your team.

Even if the bowler delivers a poor throw, you should make feel the opponent team batters that you are always ready to take a catch and ensure a perfect dismissal.

Slips are typically the fielders placed behind a batter on the offside of the field. You should motivate the slip fielders on your team to take the catch if the ball is beyond your reach. Sometimes, you might require 2 or 3 slip fielders. In such cases, you should position them far enough so that you have space to dive and move as well as ensure that they catch the ball which you cannot grab.

Most importantly, fielders consider the wicketkeeper’s reaction. So, it’s important to be cheerful and support your team members under pressure. Also, remember that you are allowed to make some noise to provide some guidance for your team and avoid being too loud or aggressive behind the stumps, which might discourage the opponent team.

3. Physical Fitness:

Mainly, a wicketkeeper needs to perform these exercises to maintain greater physical fitness:

  • Combine a mix of exercises into your daily routines which includes running, weight training, and jumping drills.
  • Perform repetitive sprints with 4 to 6 sets of 40 meters (130 feet) approximately during every training session.
  • To build greater strength and attain movement equal to boxers or tennis players, you should perform regular sets of exercises such as squats or lunges, box jumps, or jump squats. This helps to increase your muscle power and allows you to make faster movements during a cricket match.

Finally, you need to follow these strategies to become a talented and alert wicketkeeper in cricket.

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