Home > Features >

Kieron Pollard’s catch of Kevon Cooper in IPL 2014 – a frame-by-frame analysis

 Kieron Pollard has redefined fielding around the boundary line. H Natarajan gives a frame-by-frame analysis of Pollard’s Riplesque catch to dismiss Kevon Cooper in the 2014 Indian Premier League (IPL) game on Monday and shares a few more videos of Pollard’s believe-it-or-not catches to prove his point.

If one were to pick the defining moment when fielding, as it is understood in the modern era, underwent a serious mind shift, then it has to be the run-out of Inzamam-ul-Haq by Jonty Rhodes in the 1992 World Cup. The athleticism, foot speed and predatory reflexes that Rhodes brought to his craft made fielding an unalloyed joy.

Rhodes was worth his place in the eleven on his fielding merits alone; he could save about 30-35 runs in an average innings. But it’s hard to guess how many he saved by merely sowing the fear factor in batsmen’s mind.  A large area to Rhodes, left, right, front, back and above were high-risk areas for the batsmen because of the South Africa’s incredible feline instincts to intercept the ball.

Rhodes was the catalyst to the fielding that is seen across the world now. Fast bowlers expend lot more energy in plying their trade, but unlike in the bygone when they recouped in the boundary, some of the modern fast bowlers are as good as the best fielders on the field. Kapil Dev was a classic example. But in the era of T20 where every run counts, fast bowlers have upgraded their skills to the demands of the modern era. And none exemplifies that better than Kieron Pollard.

Pollard is a hulk: six feet, five inches tall and weighing 220 pounds. But for a man that big, he is a marvel on the field. Some of the catches that he has taken, like the one he took to dismiss, Kevon Cooper in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 game against Rajasthan Royals on Monday, are beyond the comprehension of most, leave alone taking it. It was a catch where he got full marks for anticipation, alacrity and agility and, of course, brilliant thinking on his feet. If one were to see just the final frame, it would appear as if Pollard had taken a low catch at slip or gully. But that catch was on the fence, the finale to a sensational prelude.

Let us go frame by frame:

This was the first attempt by Kieron Pollard leaping in the air with right hand outstretched managing to catch the ball.
This was the first attempt by Kieron Pollard leaping in the air with right hand outstretched managing to catch the ball.

Photo 1:  That ball would have been a six on nine out of 10 occasions. But given Pollard’s towering height, high leap and remarkable presence of mind, it was a different story. Pollard is captured here in anti-gravity mode, both feet high above the ground, body arched and the right hand just about intercepting the velocity of the ball. Quite clearly he is stretching himself to his physical limits.

The moment where Kieron Pollard realises he is too close to the boundary line.
The moment where Kieron Pollard realises he is too close to the boundary line.

Photo 2:  Looking at the second photo, anybody who did not know the final outcome, would say that Pollard would have hurtled his big body with the ball because ofthe imbalance, the momentum and the awkwardness of the leap. Pollard is seen here grasping the ball with his right hand and battling to save himself from toppling over as he is looking at the danger below.

Pollard ensures that he lands his left feet well inside the boundary line.
Pollard ensures that he lands his left feet well inside the boundary line.

Photo 3: A major portion of Pollard’s body has crossed the rope. But most a miniscule part of his left leg is off the danger mark!

Pollard tosses the ball up in the air while he crosses over the boundary line.
Pollard tosses the ball up in the air while he crosses over the boundary line.

Photo 4: Pollard is unable to check the momentum from taking him over the line. But his incredible presence of mind has seen him get airborne and throw the ball behind in the nick of time.

Pollard readies himself to take another go at the catch.
Pollard readies himself to take another go at the catch.

Photo 5: Pollard is seen here on the other side of the boundary. His head position gives an indication of how high he has thrown the ball.

A stunning dive to pluck the catch with left hand. To remind, Pollard is a right-hander.
A stunning dive to pluck the catch with left hand. To remind, Pollard is a right-hander.

Photo 6: This photo clearly shows Pollard had thrown the ball a bit too further away than he would have liked. But the athletic West Indian covered lot of ground, stretched himself fully forward and just got his fingers to clasp the ball!

Pollard completes the stunning catch
Pollard completes the stunning catch

Magic! The final act shows Pollard complete a miraculous left-handed catch!

If you thought that was a fluke, think again! Watch this effort by Pollard to dismiss Glenn Maxwell in a One-Day International against Australia at Manuka Oval, Canberra, in February 2013.

If you are still not convinced, how about this?

It would not be wrong to say, that if Eknath Solkar manufactured catches at short-leg, then Pollard does the same around the fence. What a fielder!

(H Natarajanformerly All India Deputy Sports Editor of the Indian Express and Senior Editor with Cricinfo/Wisden, is the Executive Editor of CricketCountry.com. A prolific writer, he has written for many of the biggest newspapers, magazines and websites all over the world. A great believer in the power of social media, he can be followed on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/H.Natarajan and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/hnatarajan)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Dambulla

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014 (08:50 IST)   at Sydney

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Chittagong

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

More

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 87 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Melbourne

Australia won by 3 wkts

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 20, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled(Match rescheduled to 21/11/2014)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 19, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Photos

Australia vs South Africa, 3rd ODI at Canberra

Videos

SL vs Eng: Buttler practices wicketkeeping in nets

PCB’s biggest challenge is to bring back international cricket to Pakistan: Subhan Ahmad

Tim Southee’s 50 Test sixes and related records

India vs Australia 2014: India may have heavy dose of pace in store in 1st Test

Ross Taylor’s crucial knock against Pakistan will boost his sub-par subcontinent record

Stuart Binny — can the all-rounder be a trump card for India in ODIs?

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand tour of UAE 2014 New Zealand vs Pakistan New Zealand vs Pakistan 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs New Zealand Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe, 2nd ODI at Chittagong Preview: Hosts look to build on winning start

Colin Ingram joins Glamorgan under Kolpak ruling

Assad Fudadin replaces Darren Bravo in West Indies Test squad for South Africa tour

George Bailey does not expect Test recall for series against India

Kumar Sangakkara asked to review retirement plans: Reports

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014: Sabbir Rahman fires explosive 44 on debut

World Cup 1979: Mike Hendrick blows Pakistan away

Shakib Al Hasan becomes 12th player to hit ODI century and take four wickets in same match

Narendra Modi and Tony Abbott take cricket diplomacy to a new level

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: Highest chases against New Zealand in Test matches

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

681 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli vs Australian cricketers

Watch Free Live Streaming & Telecast of Indian Super League (ISL) 2014 Football 37th Match between Kerala Blasters FC vs Atletico de Kolkata

PK Tharki Chokro making: Rancho aka Aamir Khan and Munna Bhai aka Sanjay Dutt shake legs to this folk number

Simbu-Hansika’s Vaalu slated for Christmas release!

Yeh Hai Mohabbatein: Will Raman and Ishita help Mihika with her plans?

Alibaba to launch its Taobao marketplace in international markets: Reuters

8 reasons to add rosemary to your diet

eBay India ‘Black Friday’ sale kicks off today

How many calories do bananas have?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here