According to me, the toughest fielding position is standing at forward short leg.
In case you are not clear about this position, it is the guy who wears a helmet and stands on the leg side close to the batsman!
It is one of those places that needs concentration each and every ball. Most close in positions need a lot of concentration. This stands out because you need to react not only for a catch but also for a booming shot whizzing past your ear!
And of course, you need to be prepared mentally to get hit physically!
Every time the ball goes in the air past you, the bowler expects you to catch them and trust me, most are impossible.
Even though it is impossible, the oohs and aahs make you feel as if you dropped a sitter!
I have fielded in this position at least a thousand times and been hit probably two thirds of the matches! I can not frankly imagine how people stood in that position in earlier days without a helmet. Poor late Raman Lamba being the unluckiest of the lot!
The most important aspect of standing in such positions is that you need to watch the bat right from the moment the bowler releases the ball. You need to make subtle adjustments according to the batsman’s game.
The most famous of such fielders is probably Late Eknath Solkar of India. I have not seen him but heard a lot about his abilities. David Boon was also brilliant in that position even though he was a bit bulky.
There have been loads of articles but I wanted something finer in the game. Not an interesting article for many I’m sure but just for people interested! Cheers!