riki wessels says being as switched on for the last ball of the day as the first is the key to successful slip fielding.
the worcestershire player performed with distinction at first slip in 2019 during his first year at New Road after his move from nottinghamshire.
he ended with 21 catches – the most by anyone outside of wicket-keepers in division two of the specsavers county championship this summer.
with second slip daryl mitchell and keeper ben cox also showing safe pairs of hands, it was an encouraging combination behind the stumps for the county’s bowlers as they ran in and tried to find an edge.
wessels said: “it is just really years of experience, when to switch on, when to switch off fielding in the slips.
“it could be the first delivery of the day, or alternatively, the 90th over of the day that you get your first chance.
“you’ve got to be as switched on at the end as you are at the beginning of the day.
“it’s been nice to have daryl next to me as well as coxy and i think the three of us have performed quite well behind the wicket.
“it gives the bowlers a bit of confidence to know, if they find the edge, than more often than not it is going to be caught which is what we need.”
so how does wessels switch off in between the potential 576 deliveries (96 overs times six balls) he has to concentrate on each day.
he said: “it’s generally listening and talking to the guys next to you. it’s just about trying to keep your head in the game long enough not to miss that chance when it comes along.”