30 Oct / 2014(270)… Clarke’s field setting symbolizes Cricket!

I thought it was an amazing field setting employed by Clarke on day 1. Although Australia picked only 2 wickets the whole day, reflecting great limitations their bowlers have in sub-continent.

It didn’t stop Clarke to think logically, and employ the best positon to restrict runs, and create opportunity for bowlers to pick wickets. Experts were baffled when he employed “arrow mid-on/off” for Azhar Ali only. Then he had 2 short close in on leg side and off side. Most times we saw at least 3 to 4 fielders inside the 30 yard circle but in front of wicket.

An Analysis


Clarke’ field positioning  is “straight tight field”, visualize a image of a “Kite” (quadrilaterals)

These are rational reason

  • In Sub continent: the bounce is Avg. knee height for pacemen, and as the ball gets old and worn out, the speed is reduced making the bounce irrelevant.
  • Australian bowlers(both spin and pace) always erred in their length, especially in sub-continent. A slight help from the surface tempts them to bowls shorter continuously/consistently- Its motor training.
  • To keep that length in reign, captain Clarke employed a very objective field. The only time one witnessed this field was back in 2004 when Australia won a Test series in India under Gilchrist’s leadership. However they don’t have the same bowling experience as they had back in 2004(McGrath, Gillespie, Warne).
  • In sub-continent if the bounce is low, than you cannot play horizontal shots to fairly fuller length. And if the line is on stumps or around off stump than it forces batsmen to play straight. Hence Clarke employed a “straight tight field”. It is to constrain scoring areas. In the first test there were continues leakage of runs in mid-off(for fast bowlers) midon(for spinners) position. This was reduced drastically so far in this Test, though i am certain they can have still squeeze more from wide mid-on fielder and not allow regular runs.
  • Australia underestimated Pakistani batsmen in the 1st Test – The host have improved immensely in this series, and acquired patience to bat for long period. Nevertheless their scoring areas are basically square of the wicket – the sweep was major scoring shot against spinners in the first Test. Clarke’s tactic was commendable and logical. His bowlers need to execute them now.
  • Horizontal shots will always fetch more runs, but same time there is risk of losing wicket. The fuller length restricts horizontal shots and forces batsman to play vertical shots. The so called “batting technique”is based on vertical shots, the more one plays vertically, the greater applaud….however it’s the runs that counts.


Field map 

Here is day 1 (first 5 overs not included).  In the map below is Pakistan’s  scoring area(red data).

Pak-2nd test-day1


Here is where Younis Khan scored.

It clear suggests he scored more freely on leg side from mid-on to square leg. Although more runs were scored on off side but it took him more balls to that.


younis 1st inn

I believe Australia still bowled a bit short, and were not consistently reversing the ball. A skill that still eludes them!. Even the great Glenn McGrath  struggled in sub-continent(only one five wicket haul), and only at the end of his illustrious career he became as effective in Asia.




Aussies at home receive great bounce from their pitches. And they hardly train on surface that has low bounce. Though its no excuse for any for being inaccurate in terms of Line Length and swing(conventional/reverse). Having said that yet I feel this this in-experience(both in sub-contient and overall) bowling attack bowled much better than that played in India in 2013.

Here is a data list of how much bounce was extracted on day 1(the first 5 overs are missing) of 2nd Test.

The strike rate is to only to show the runs scored and not to reflect the effectiveness the bounce had.

From the tables below it is very clear that anything above knee height has been very effective in terms of containing runs. Obviously the line/length is also vital to have an impact in terms of taking wickets.


  • Bounce for all bowlers


Bounce(pertaining to batsman’s height while playing the shot) Balls Runs St.rate
Above head height 6 0 0.00
Head 2 0 0.00
Neck 1 0 0.00
Shoulder 5 1 20.00
Chest 13 1 7.69
Stomach 15 6 40.00
Waist 29 12 41.38
Thigh 12 2 16.67
Knee 166 68 40.96
Shin 122 85 69.67
Ankle 75 62 82.67
Feet 54 44 81.48
Toe 1 0 0.00


  • Bounce for fast bowlers.


Bounce(pertaining to batsman’s height while playing the shot) Balls Runs St.rate
above head 6 0 0.00
head 2 0 0.00
neck 1 0 0.00
shoulder 5 1 20.00
chest 13 1 7.69
stomach 15 6 40.00
waist 29 12 41.38
thigh 11 2 18.18
knee 107 37 34.58
shin 59 41 69.49
ankle 27 32 118.52
feet 14 3 21.43
toe 1 0 0.00









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