17 June 2019

South Africa: Fielding to the Fore At ICC Cricket World Cup

analysis

While individual batters and bowlers grab the headlines, it's the players in the field who're making the difference at the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup.

People used to say that Jonty Rhodes was worth 20 runs per innings, purely based on his fielding. From his familiar position at backward point (square of the wicket on the off-side), the South African tyro would - time and again, by his sheer presence and alertness - extinguish some of the batsman's best-hit back-foot shots.

It may be an overstatement to say that Jonty changed the game of cricket; but in the modern one-day game there's no questioning the value of an aggressive, attentive attitude in the field. England was reminded of this in their 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup defeat to Pakistan.

After beating South Africa at Trent Bridge in their opening game (thanks, in part, to Ben Stokes's spectacular one-handed catch on the boundary to dismiss Andile Phehlukwayo), England then lost to Pakistan at The Oval (no thanks, in part, to sloppy work in the field).

"We've gone from probably one of our best performances in the field at The Oval to not extremely bad, but it's cost us probably about 15...

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