Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting, who was regarded as one of the best fielders during his heydays, has stated that batsmen could never make out the end he was aiming, which helped him get many run-outs. He added that he outfoxed the batsmen by being much closer at different field positions.
The Australia team of the noughties wasn't just a great batting and bowling unit, but their acrobatic and clinical fielding was also second to none. They were indeed a world-class fielding unit led by none other than their skipper Ricky Ponting himself. Punter aced direct-hits and saving boundaries in the outfield like an absolute master. One can still recall how agile he was on the boundary ropes and would dive across and throw back the ball in play giving his 100 per cent.
The former Aussie skipper-turned Delhi Capitals head coach holds the distinction of affecting 80 run-outs if we combine his exploits in Tests, ODIs and T20Is, which is the most by any fielder in international cricket. During the ‘Lessons Learnt With The Greats Podcast,’ with Shane Watson, Ponting revealed that the secret behind his success in impacting run-outs lied in how he outfoxed batsmen by taking few steps here and there in anticipation at the backward point or deep point and stayed one up on the batsmen.
“I fielded most of my one-day career at backward point. As soon as the field went out and there was a deep point, I would always move three or four steps finer towards third man but walk a different angle, so I’d walk an angle towards the bowler’s end stumps,” Ricky Ponting told Shane Watson, reported Hindustan Times.
“If I was going to get the run out from a ball pushed out towards deep point … the ball that was blocked in on or around point, I was making an angle towards the bowler’s end stumps so I was already moving in that direction and I was a couple of steps ahead of the batsman,” he added.
The two-time 50-overs World-Cup winning captain also asserted that batsmen could never make out how close he was to the batsmen, fielding inside the ring which is also one of the reasons why he could rack up so many run-outs.
“Once (the batsman) played it down and saw it go into point, I was a lot closer than he thought I was going to be. I think that was one of the reasons I probably got as many run-outs with direct hits at the bowler’s end, because I’d got a few yards on them and they didn’t really know where I was going to be.”