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Five players who stood at short leg or silly point even after becoming captain

Short leg and silly point were long considered a rookie's job but these captains changed that perception and how.


England v Sri Lanka: 1st Investec Test - Day Three : News Photo
Cook has made the close-in fielding positions his own

The positions of short leg and silly point are believed to be Test rookies' spots. Many debutants are handed the job as a sort of initiation and rightly so, because the experienced, top brass do not like to get their hands dirty or get hit with hard sweeps for that matter.

It is therefore surprising that some players, even after being elevated as captain, take up the close-in fielding spot. And as many analysts argue that short leg and silly point positions have fast become more of a specialist’s spot than a newbie’s, it has only gained its significance since the introduction of the decision review system.

So, while captains today prefer to take up the promotion into the slip cordon and leave the close-in spots for ‘specialists’, here are five skippers who regularly fielded at silly point or short leg during their tenure.


#1 Alastair Cook

The former England captain has had a love-hate relationship with close-in fielding positions. He is tall and has quick reflexes and thus is the ideal candidate for the short-leg and silly point positions but at the same time, it makes him a target for stray shots too. Cook became England’s Test captain in 2012 and while he did transfer his short leg duties to Ian Bell at the time, he didn’t mind fielding in that position later on as his stint as captain evolved.

In the 2016 series against Sri Lanka, Cook, while fielding at the silly point position, was hit just below the knee by Rangana Herath and forced to bat outside the top-three for the first time in 10 years. That, however, hasn’t deterred him from taking up the spot time and again thereafter.

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