• Rhodes laments lack of fielding focus

    Jonty Rhodes says many players still don’t work hard enough on fielding, claiming that ‘some can hardly throw’.

    Rhodes, who is one of the best fielders in the game’s history, was speaking to the Telegraph in a wide-ranging interview. He rates the evolution of fielding as an art and science in the modern era, but still laments a lack of focus on this discipline.

    ‘If you had to count the number of balls a fielder had in practice every day as opposed to balls bowled or hit, there would be a massive disparity,’ he said.

    Rhodes singled out throwing as the most glaring deficiency in many fielders’ arsenal, using his iconic diving run-out at the 1992 World Cup as an example.

    ‘I was always asked why did I dive into the stumps in the World Cup. The answer is that I didn’t back my accuracy of throwing,’ he said.

    ‘We still throw badly, our throwing arms are terrible. Think of baseball, it’s such an integral part of the game — they work really hard on their throwing techniques. I don’t think we work hard enough. I look at big strong guys and they can hardly throw the ball.

    ‘It’s just lack of technique. Think of like a tennis serve: you don’t just serve with your shoulder, you need to serve from the ground up … I could throw from my knees if I dived for the ball, I didn’t have to get back up on to my feet. Because I understood the whole momentum and power comes from the ground up.’

    Rhodes explained that the key to effective fielding doesn’t lie in the hands but the feet. ‘I look at their feet all the time. You can have the best hands in the world but if your feet are in a bad position the rest of your body is generally in a bad position. The hardest part is not catching the ball; the hardest part is getting to the ball.’

    Rhodes will soon leave for Stockholm, where he will be based during his stint as head coach of Sweden. He cited the ‘the stress and money involved in an IPL environment sometimes takes the fun away [of coaching]’.

    Read the full interview here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/cricket/2020/11/09/jonty-rhodes-interview-cricketers-still-dont-work-hard-enough/

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    Ryan Vrede